Email this articleE-mail this story  Discuss this articleWrite letter to editor  Discuss this articleOrder a classified ad  Print this page

NNSL Photo/graphic

Malcolm McLean, left, and Norm Case, of Discovery Mining Services, speak with Wendy Mathison, vice-president of operations with Peregrine Diamonds, during the 2005 Geoscience Forum. More than 100 booths from service, mining and exploration companies will be set up at this year's gathering. - NNSL file photo

Ready to rock

David Ryan
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Nov 15/06) - Mining takes centre stage next week as 800 delegates hit Yellowknife for the 34th annual Geoscience Forum.

Government agencies, service industry representatives and volunteers will join mining and exploration professionals for the annual event, Nov. 21-23.

With more than 100 presenters and 100 industry booths, delegates won't have much chance for a break, said NWT/Nunavut Chamber of Mines office manager and forum organizer Cheryl Wourms.

"Every year we have new companies attend," she said.

"Word of mouth sells the conference and it is growing."

The forum will once again have two main venues. Technical sessions, where government geologists unveil new Northern geological findings, will be located at the Capitol Theatre.

The industry trade show will be set up in the gymnasium at Weledeh/Ecole St.Patrick.

With more than half of the delegates coming from out of town, Wourms expects the Geoscience Forum to provide an economic boost for the city.

Travellers may spend more than $160,000 just on accommodations, she said.

"Between, meals, trinkets, and pre-Christmas gifts, it's big dollars," she said.

The Yellowknife Inn is almost entirely booked for the three days, said front desk supervisor Chris Hacala.

"We expect it to be quite busy," he said, adding staff have been scheduled in overlapping shifts to accommodate overflow traffic.

More than 90 per cent of 2006 Geoscience Forum expenditures such as catering, transportation and advertising are going to Northern businesses. The total bill comes in at about $152,000, Wourms said.

While the city benefits, the delegates will also come away with plenty to show for their time and effort thanks to the networking and information sessions, she said.

"Companies know it's booming up here and they want a piece of the pie," she said.

Networking is a major part of the event, said Rob Carpenter, president and CEO of Kaminak Gold Corp. His company was conceived over coffee during the 2003 Geoscience Forum.

Meeting members within the industry and gathering new information from the government are both valuable tools, he said.

"You get to see what people are doing right and see what people are doing wrong."

The Geoscience Forum organizing committee consists of the NWT/Nunavut Chamber of Mines, GNWT Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment, the NWT Geoscience Office and Indian and Northern Affairs Canada.