One of the key events at the June convention was Sudbury Night at the Royal York Hotel Imperial Room
When it comes to promoting itself at the world’s largest international mining exploration convention, it’s almost as if the City of Greater Sudbury has an unfair advantage over other mining municipalities in Canada.
As a world-class mining center, with a pool of mining experts, mining supply and technology companies, mining educators and raw mining talent, Sudbury indeed has a lot to offer.
It also helps that Sudbury is only a few hours drive, or an hour flight, from Canada’s largest city.
This is why Greater Sudbury Economic Development (GSED) is already planning to participate in the next annual conference of the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada scheduled for next March in Toronto.
Meredith Armstrong, director of economic development for GSED, said any conversation about the state of mining in Canada must include discussions about Sudbury.
“So we’re always thrilled to be a part of the PDAC. I mean, you can’t talk about mining in Canada without talking about Sudbury, and there’s a ton of reason to be proud of how the mining is done in Sudbury, the ecosystem that has developed here, the expertise and really the innovation.”
In addition to “honking the horn,” which Sudbury doesn’t always do, it’s important for Sudbury to showcase its mining expertise on the world stage, such as at the PDAC convention, Armstrong said.
“The key for us in terms of Sudbury’s presence at the PDAC is that international marketplace. Increasingly, the shareholders of these companies are acutely aware of their environmental, social and governance obligations – ESG obligations – and that triple bottom line. , and so they are looking for mining opportunities in a socially and environmentally responsible way and Sudbury has it in spades.”
Armstrong said Sudbury is also in the spotlight now for having access to all the right critical minerals – copper, nickel, cobalt, lithium – for the battery electric vehicle trend.
Just last week, the federal government announced more than $2 million in grants for research and development projects in Sudbury involving battery-powered vehicles, for both automotive and mining applications.
Just attending the convention in Toronto is not enough, Armstrong said. One of the main events was the Sudbury Evening Reception held in the Imperial Room of the Royal York Hotel.
It attracted hundreds of guests who were able to experience what Sudbury has to offer and connect international delegates with Sudbury-based mining leaders.
The event was a premier affair that saw Sudbury roll out the red carpet with fine food, drinks, live music and three hours of networking and mingling with big names in the mining industry.
This included Federal Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson, Finnish Ambassador to Canada Roy Eriksson, US Consul General, and many others, Armstrong said. So what about the cost, and was it a worthwhile investment?
Armstrong said she didn’t have the exact cost figure, but added that it was essentially a balancing act, thanks to private sector sponsors.
“Between our 21 sponsors, we had 80 different companies and a whole bunch of tickets sold. So we’re pretty much breaking even. There’s a lot of staff time going into that. But of course that’s why we exist: to create opportunity, to connect on the side of economic development,” Armstrong said.
“It’s a very nice company and it’s well supported by the private sector, so it doesn’t cost taxpayers a lot of money,” she added.
Armstrong said the important thing is to develop “the long term” and create direct links between Sudbury businesses and mining interests around the world.
“There’s also a whole bunch of conversations that happen in these social contexts that sometimes take years to come to fruition,” Armstrong explained.
She said the reception was worth it for Sudbury.
“And I think the best indication of that is the fact that within hours of the Sudbury 2022 reception closing, we received emails from existing sponsors guaranteeing their place next year, or new sponsors on board, or sponsors who are increasing their level of sponsorship, so that’s also a very good indication.”
Another strong indicator, Armstrong said, is that many international delegates took advantage of their time in Canada to visit Sudbury immediately after attending the PDAC in Toronto.
“This year, approximately 50 delegates came directly to Sudbury from Africa, France and Peru. We have Sweden this fall. These are the direct results of Sudbury’s investment in the PDAC. They visited the NORCAT Underground Center and Dynamic Earth,” Armstrong said. She added that PDAC delegates also met with mining suppliers and mining educators in Sudbury.
“So these delegates know they can make the most of their time while in Canada, and they choose to come with Sudbury.”