Trail is the ideal place to congregate and talk about mining, given that one of the world’s largest zinc and lead smelters is in the city’s back yard.
Whether it be discussing exploration or engaging young minds with minerals to look at and panning for gold, this week, no matter the age, Greater Trail has a chance to unravel a few of the mysteries of mining.
From Tuesday through Friday in the Silver City, the Chamber of Mines of Eastern B.C. is hosting its Minerals South 2018 conference and trade show.
The trade show is free to the public and will run Wednesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. in the Trail Memorial Centre gym.
“(It) will showcase companies that are in exploration, mining, processing and supply,” Curator Brad Gretchev told the Trail Times. “The booths are for companies to reach out to people in the industry and to educate the general public on the importance of mining and the economic impact that exploration and mining generates in our communities.
“As well, we will have displays of minerals from the area, and the Kokanee Rock club will have a gold panning display.”
The Chamber of Mines of Eastern British Columbia is a non-profit organization that links the general public and the mining industry through education. Members range from individual prospectors to large mining and engineering companies, all of whom advocate for the mining industry and serve as a resource of information through geological data and maps as well as rock and mineral specimens.
“We will have school classes coming through to view our mineral displays and there will be activities for them,” said Gretchev. “We will also be having a series of technical talks over two days on Nov. 21 and 22 … and a field trip to Teck Trail Operations will be held on Nov. 23.”
Gretchev says approximately 150 registrants are expected to attend the technical talks in the McIntyre Room. Those informational meetings, which focus on topics like geochemistry and geo-metallurgy, are not open to the general public.
However, anyone interested in the legacy of mining in our region is welcome to attend a discussion called “Rossland’s Mining Heritage,” which will be open to the public at no-charge, on Thursday at 2:50 p.m.
“This is the one not to miss,” says Mary Austin from Austin Engineering. “Jackie Drysdale, former mayor of Rossland, will be discussing our community’s legacy of mining excellence, starting with the development of gold mines in Rossland and the development of world-class hydro power under West Kootenay Power. Both of which, ore and power, led to the development of Teck Trail Operations and (Teck’s) development of applied research and technology.”
B.C.’s mining industry – much of it based right here in the Kootenays – provides metals used in the products many rely on to sustain both urban and rural lifestyles.
One example is “Moly” (Molybdenum) used to construct mountain bikes. Other metals and minerals are used in trains, cars, cosmetics, toothpaste, MP3 players, planes, household appliances, and televisions.
“After over a century of mining activity, the Kootenay-Boundary region is still B.C.’s premier mining region,” the chamber states. “Producing 56 per cent of … mining revenues and accounting for 60 per cent of our province’s mining employment.”