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Massive mining expo in Timmins packing suppliers into every square inch of space

'Without a mining industry, I don’t think Timmins would be where it is today,' says organizer of the annual event being held June 4-6

All things mining are gearing up to roll into town. 

The 31st Canadian Mining Expo (CME) takes over the McIntyre Community Building and surrounding property June 4-6. 

Looking over the Hollinger open pit — an active mine in the centre of the city — mining week was proclaimed by Timmins Mayor Michelle Boileau.

After three decades, the trades show continues to grow. 

Last year, CME president Glenn Dredhart said they needed 17 outdoor tents for suppliers. This year, they require 37.

"We are literally using every bit of square inch there is to be had available," he said.

Over 400 indoor and outdoor booths will be set up, with the event attracting dozens of active mines. 

The main draw is the Abitibi-Greenstone Belt, a region that covers about 300-400 kilometres from northwestern Quebec to Lake Superior and has 54 active mines.

Its popularity in the industry allows organizers to be more selective with the suppliers chosen to display.

"It’s a large area, there’s a lot of mining and we wanted to make sure that if they made the trip they were able to see the newest in technology,” said Dredhart.

When CME ran the numbers a couple of years back, he said the immediate economic impact of the three-day trades show was $3-4 million. 

There are also longer-term gains. 

After a couple of days at the show, Dredhart said companies "take that information and say, ‘Geez, it’s worth opening up a shop in Timmins’. Over the years we’ve seen a direct reflection of that from this year."

Wednesday's mining week launch included representatives from First Nations communities, education, supply and service, economic development and the mining sector. 

“Without a mining industry, I don’t think Timmins would be where it is today. It’s very important, this event, to us as a community,” he said.

Mining, said Boileau, is the past and future of the city.

“Not only are you contributing to the economy, that economic development, but you contribute to the daily lives of all of our residents just by being here, by making the investments that you do, by ensuring safe workplaces for all of your employees, making sure everybody gets home safe at the end of the day,” she said.

Here's a look at some highlights of the agenda:

  • Tuesday, June 4.
    • 7 p.m. - Gala Dinner and Northern Mining Awards
  • Wednesday, June 5
    • 11 a.m. - Grand opening, near the McIntyre Curling Club
    • 11:30 a.m. - Jackleg drilling competition, north of the curling club
    • 9:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.- Indigenous Partnerships. Hear about the successes and how to partner with First Nations businesses.
  • Thursday, June 6
    • 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Projects in the pipeline. Management from all levels of mining companies will talk about their operations and five-year plans. The companies include Canada Nickel, Agnico Eagle, Gowest Gold, Alamos Gold, Equinox Gold, EV Nickel, Galleon Gold, Onyx Gold and GFG Resources. Ontario Mines Minister and Timmins MPP George Pirie is the luncheon speaker. 
    • 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. - Mining career fair, auditorium. Bring your resume! Reps from leading mining companies will be on hand to answer questions, receive resumes and do interviews in the designated interview rooms.

The full schedule, vendors list, tickets and more can be found online here.

- TimminsToday