Mining workshop being offered here

Heather Latter

Given the potential for a mine to be built at Rainy River Resources’ project site north of Barwick, the junior exploration company is sponsoring a free seminar next month for adults and youths alike interested in learning more about geology.
    “In the Fort Frances area, there really isn’t much mining history,” noted Kyle Stanfield, director of environment and sustainability with the company.
    “We found that a lot of people don’t really know much about mining.
    “They sort of have an image of mining that is probably a little out of date,” he added.
    Stanfield said mining has come a lot way from the “pick and shovel” mining—and in a short period of time.
    “There’s a lot more technology involved, so we wanted to find a good way to help people get some more intensive understand of what mining is all about,” he reasoned.
    So Stanfield contacted the “Mining Matters” program, through the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada, back in January and came to an agreement to do a three-day program here.
    The program, slated for Aug. 3-5 at the Confederation College campus here in Fort Frances, will be open to 35 people, both adults and youth aged nine-15.
    The first day will be an adult workshop while the second day will focus on the youth. Then the third day will see a combined visit to the company’s exploration site.
    “Participants are going to be learning about rocks and minerals, why they are important for our society, how minerals are used for everything from home-building to vehicles,” Stanfield explained.
    “Basically learning about being a geologist, in a nutshell—a mini geology lesson,” added Lincoln Dunn, the First Nations’ engagement specialist, noting he had a chance to see the workshop when it was being conducted at Rainy River First Nations last week.
    “The program they developed is actually really cool,” Dunn enthused. “They were doing stuff with fossils and they have this thing called ‘cookie mining.’
    “It’s a chance to learn about how the mining industry develops a mine by using cookies.”
    Stanfield said participants also will learn how to use a compass and a GPS, and simulating exploration mapping in the field.
    “It’s going to be pretty neat for people. Very hands-on,” he remarked. “They’ll be going outside and learning how a compass works, and going out and looking at rock in the field to see what’s what.”
    He said those interested in what’s going to drive the economy forward are going to want to attend this seminar.
    “There’s been a lot of changes in the economy in the north . . . and I think people are interested in what minerals have to offer not only for our daily lives, but also for jobs,” he reasoned.
    “It’s important for people to understand the impact of the mining industry, not just on our local community but on a national scale, as well,” stressed Dunn.
    “And how integrated and how important the mining industry is to Canada’s economy.”
    Dunn added that if projects like Rainy River Resources’ north of Barwick come to fruition in this area, it’s important for people to understand that mining is not a big, bad industry.
    “It sometimes was given a bad reputation, but that’s really not the case anymore,” he remarked.
    For his part, Stanfield said Rainy River Resources is happy to be providing an opportunity for local residents to learn more about mining.
    “It’s not very often that a junior company is able to sponsor an in-classroom session like this,” he explained.
    “And I think it speaks to the seriousness of our company wanting to engage the local population and make sure they’re informed about what’s going on.”
    For registration information, call 482-2501.
    Registration forms can be downloaded from the company’s website at www.rainyriverresources.com