The Other Industry —
the Mining Community in Calgary


Editor's Note: The following was submitted for publication by Paul Hawkins, P.Eng., president of the Calgary Mineral Exploration Group, and Henry Lyatsky, P.Geol., P.Geoph., MEG vice-president and chair of the Calgary Mining Forum, April 6 and 7. Reach them at phawkins@shaw.ca and lyatskyh@telus.net.

For all the stereotypes, there is more to resource exploration in Calgary than oil and gas. As the Alberta economy develops new industries and the required infrastructure, the need for all sorts of natural resources grows fast as well.

Fortunately, there is much more to Alberta's natural endowment than oil, gas and coal. We have long had, and continue to have, a vibrant mineral-exploration industry. At present, as commodity prices recover, investment and exploration activity are expanding rapidly.

To showcase our mineral industry work, Calgary features a mining conference every spring. It began almost 15 years ago, in the first excitement of the northern diamond rush. Through the ups and downs that followed, the conference has endured, and it continues to attract hundreds of explorationists each year from across Canada.

This conference is called the Calgary Mining Forum. It is put on by a non-profit, local, volunteer-driven professional association called the Calgary Mineral Exploration Group.

The forum brings together mining companies, investors, consultants and government scientists. Under the theme Investing in the Future, the talks, short courses, trade-show displays and social events make for a healthy, educational and profitable mix of capital and expertise. Affordable registration fees (just $80 in advance) make the forum a true bargain.

The forum will provide highlights of mineral exploration in Alberta, as well as exploration by Western Canadian companies worldwide. The scope covers everything from gold to aggregate to uranium to diamonds to environmental issues, as well as industry financing.

Companies present reports of their recent exploration activities, the Alberta Geological Survey shows its exploration-related research, and short courses cover everything from mining geophysics to professional development to exploration geochemistry.

Technical talks and exhibits in previous forums have included presentations by company representatives and consulting geologists on diamond exploration in the Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Alberta; porphyry copper exploration in B.C.; nickel-copper exploration in Quebec; platinum-group elements in B.C.; and gold exploration in the Yukon. Many of these projects are managed and operated by Alberta-based explorers and contractors.

Geological, geophysical and engineering themes at the forum make it attractive for resource professionals of all stripes. Exploration, mining and service companies, from multinationals to prospectors to one-person consultancies, mingle with investors, scientists and equipment suppliers. Many a businesslike delegate has left the forum richer in knowledge — and wallet.

Besides the forum, the Calgary Mineral Exploration Group holds low-cost monthly technical luncheons in downtown Calgary, with professional speakers from Western Canada and beyond making presentations about their exploration projects. Tickets are $10 for members and $15 for non-members, including beer and a sandwich.

MEG is smaller than APEGGA, CSEG or CSPG, but our hundreds of members make it relevant and vibrant.

The 2005 Calgary Mining Forum is set for April 6-7 at the Ramada Hotel downtown. Current information regarding the forum and the monthly luncheons is posted on our website, www.meg.calgary.ab.ca, where you will also be able to join our regular electronic mailing list to receive event announcements.