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Minerals North brings optimism to Houston

“My hat’s off to the organizing committee,” says attendee

Houston residents have many reasons to be proud after hosting the Minerals North 2018 conference, according to Lindsay Kislock, Mining Association of B.C.’s vice-president of corporate affairs.

Kislock, who was visiting Houston for the first time, said the event was “incredibly well-organized.”

“My hat’s off to the organizing committee,” she told Houston Today after attending the event last Thursday. “I don’t think it’s a small assignment for a community to take on to host a conference of that size.”

The event, which was held from April 25 to 27, provided an opportunity for Houston to showcase its capacity to service the mineral industry, and for community and industry leaders to learn about economic and policy issues that affect the sector.

“I really liked that Houston had multiple venues that people could move between,” said Kislock. “It got people moving around in the community.”

“Sitting in the movie theatre as a spectator watching the presentation was so comfortable,” she continued. “You’re normally in a ballroom in some nondescript hotel with uncomfortable chairs.”

Exhibits also took place at the Pleasant Valley Plaza, Claude Parish Memorial Arena, Houston Fire Hall, Houston Community Hall and the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 249.

“And the catering was out of this world,” added Kislock. “I go to a lot of events, certainly in downtown Vancouver, and nothing could match the quality.”

Kislock said the conference has also brought optimism to northern B.C.

“A number of the mining companies gave presentations on their current projects or projects that they hope to see come to fruition, and there was a general feeling of optimism,” she said. “We’re expecting the new projects to continue to be pursued, and some of the mines that are currently closed may go back to production.”

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She noted that commodity prices such as copper, coal and molybdenum have recently shown improvement.

“We are blessed with some great mineral resources in the province,” she added. “We have terrific talent in terms of people to work in the mines; we got a vibrant port, and we got good relationships with the indigenous people of this province.”

One of the highlights of the conference was keynote speaker Gordon Campbell, who drew on his vast knowledge of Canada’s political and civic landscape to discuss how Canadians can achieve prosperity together.

“The First Nations people do matter and their beliefs matter, so we need to invite them in and we need to work together,” he said during his keynote address. “We need to build a future for our communities so that we can grow stronger together as a better world.”

Most recently, Campbell was Canada’s high commissioner to the United Kingdom from 2011 to 2016. This appointment came after three terms as premier of British Columbia, during which time he was named best fiscal manager among Canadian premiers by the Fraser Institute.

Minerals North is held in a different location each year, with each host community being responsible for organizing and undertaking the event. Chetwynd has recently won the bid to host the 2019 conference.