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CBJ Onsite: PDAC International Trade Show & Investors Exchange

Thousands of attendees at this year’s PDAC trade show proved that not all hope is lost for the Canadian market. CBJ had the honour of attending the convention, which was, by all accounts, one of the best PDAC shows yet.

The Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada puts on its International Trade Show & Investors Exchange every year to showcase resource companies from all over the world, giving investors, brokers, students, prospectors, scientists and the media an inside look at the global resource landscape. The show—sponsored by Diamond Teck—took place from March 1 to 4, 2009.

We were very proud to see that the International Food Fair was sponsored by Western Potash—a growing potash developer from Manitoba. Other exhibitors appearing in this month’s issue include Royal Nickel Corporation, Serengeti Resources, and Canadian Arrow Mines.

Sunday was a relatively quiet day at the convention. Starting at 1 p.m., attendees were able to attend the Commodities and Market Outlook section of the convention. The panel was presented in conjunction with BMO Capital Markets, National Bank Financial Inc., Raymond James Ltd., RBC Capital Markets, and Southeast Asia Mining Corp. What a way to learn about metals around the world! Speakers from Australia, Russia and the U.S. covered everything from uranium to zinc.

Monday was probably the biggest day of the convention—we got in early to see the empty floor space before the trade show and exhibitor’s hall opened, but by the time 10 a.m. rolled around, the place was swarming. We were able to catch Jon Baird, President of PDAC, at the CAMESE booth to talk about the event’s success (see photos). We also spoke with some companies that will be featured in future issues of the CBJ who had very interesting stories about operating in difficult mining jurisdictions, and heard from optimistic companies who were expectant about positive market turnaround. Monday’s keynote sessions included a variety of pertinent topics: Canadian leadership in responsible exploration, diamond mining, and the highlights and issues of developing old mining camps in Flin Flon.

In the evening, PDAC hosted an Awards night, which was very well-attended and enjoyed by all. The evening celebrated success and excellence in the mineral industry. Guests were treated to a prestigious reception and three course dinner, which was accompanied by live music, and, of course, fine wine.  

Tuesday and Wednesday brought many more experts to the convention. New to PDAC this year was an international luncheon on Tuesday—a global networking event that set the tone for the afternoon technical sessions focused on ore deposits of Latin America. On Wednesday, well-known investment advisor and author Marc Faber gave an address to delegates at the CIM-PDAC Luncheon. The Mad Hot Gala in the evening offered attendees the chance to let loose and enjoy each other’s company.

One of the most interesting and rewarding parts of this year’s conference was the strong aboriginal presence at the show. PDAC went beyond in order to showcase the ever-changing face of Canada’s mining and mineral exploration industry. The participation of aboriginal communities and companies in the resource sector is an area that needs more exposure in the coming years, regardless of industry downturn.

Representatives from the Athabasca Basin Development Limited Partnership hosted a special session on aboriginal participation in the mineral industry. The Partnership was the 2008 winner of PDAC’s Skookum Jim Award for aboriginal achievement in the mineral industry.

Another highlight of PDAC was the attendance of hundreds of students that came to the show to learn about resources, and explore career opportunities in mining and mineral exploration. PDAC offered special information sessions on site for students and recent graduates, as well as the opportunity to meet with industry professionals at a networking luncheon.

Overall, there was no shortage of action at this year’s convention, and we’re looking forward to bringing you more from upcoming resource conferences in future issues of The Canadian Business Journal.

2008 CONVENTION STATISTICS

General Information

Total number convention registrants = 20,162

Percentage of international attendees = 25%

Number of countries represented = 108

Number of student delegates = 717

Number of aboriginal delegates = approximately 200

Number of accredited media = 250

Trade Show

Total number of booths = 609

Total number of exhibiting organizations = 359

Number of governments exhibiting = 56 (provincial, federal, international)

Investors Exchange

Total number of booths = 603

Total number of exhibiting companies = 587

Core shack

Total number of exhibiting companies = 60

Presentations and workshops

Total number of technical sessions = 16

Total number of short courses/workshops = 8

Total number of Presentation Rooms = 11

Total number of Exchange Forum presentations = 120

Total number of PDAC/CAMESE Exhibitors Innovation Forum presentations = 41  

Visit www.pdac.ca for 2009 statistics, which should be available soon.

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