By KELLY LOUISIEZE
It was no coincidence the 14th annual Sudbury Mining Week officially opened at a Greater Sudbury high school.
Mining, community and educational leaders were only too happy to discuss career opportunities with Lockerby Composite School students.
“We are here to let kids know that there are lots of opportunities in the mining industry,” Andrea Poryckyj, administrator in corporate service and marketing for the Mining Innovation, Rehabilitation and Applied Research Corporation (MIRARCO), says.
From prospecting to mine design and rehabilitation, there are a plethora of career choices for eager students wanting to take part in the mineral sector.
Five Sudbury secondary schools, Lockerby Composite, LoEllen Park, Chelmsford Valley District Composite, LaSalle Secondary and St. Benedict’s Catholic Secondary School, had an opportunity to participate in the interactive booth displayed during their respective lunch periods from
The booths featured information and art on Sudbury Basin rocks, three dimensional mining posters, recent mining school graduates working in the industry, laptop presentations on industry-related careers, a virtual reality presentation managed by MIRARCO and mining information from Laurentian University and Cambrian College.
In addition to the booth events, Dynamic Earth offered special programming to students in Grade 6 and up with underground tours, Nickel City stories and competitions for the title of Dynamic Earth Mining Week Challenge Winner.
All Greater Sudbury residents have investments in the Sudbury area whether it is children or real estate, Elaine Hull, chairperson of SMW says.
“Working toward keeping our children in the area plays a key role in providing an opportunity to stay in the North,” Hull says.
While the industry is benefiting from a global up-cycle, Ontario Mining Association president Chris Hodgson says there are uninformed public perceptions about mining and it is important for those in the industry to set the record straight: the sector is high-tech, well-paying, safe and environmentally responsible.
“I think we can all share our story ... because government policy is about (public) perception,” the former provincial cabinet minister told a noon-hour crowd of mine operators, suppliers and industry association officials.
Hodgson said it is important to remind people of the modern consumer goods derived from the resources mined in the region, including catalytic converters, plastics, paints, household goods and other leading-edge technology.
The industry also adds to Ontario’s wealth, providing 16,500 direct jobs with a value to the economy of $3.1 billion.
At $290,000 per employee, that is more than any other sector, said Hodgson.
“There’s a lot of value-added for every mining job in Ontario,” he added, noting mining boasts 50 per cent more PhD’s than any other manufacturing sector.
As a world leader in mining, Sudbury is a great example of a value-added industry sector with its robust mining supply cluster, developing mining education hub, world-class
research facilities and mining-related tourist attractions such as Dynamic Earth.
“When it comes to mining, we can honestly say we’re the best in the world.”
- With files from Ian Ross