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Kitimat gearing up for Minerals North Conference

Organizers of the 2024 Minerals North Conference have announced their keynote speakers, as trade show sells out and Kitimat ready’s itself for delegates May 8 to 10. Gibraltar Mines, pictured in this file photo, is the second largest open-pit mine in Canada is the largest employer in the Cariboo region. (Photo provided by Taseko Mines)

The 2024 Minerals North Conference in Kitimat, scheduled for May 8 to 10, has garnered significant interest with its trade show component already sold out and keynote speakers confirmed.

The event has registered 160 delegates to date and filled all 58 trade show booths, with a waiting list now in place. Additionally, sponsorship contributions are nearing $100,000, including Rio Tinto as the title sponsor.

Laurel D’Andrea, the executive director of the Kitimat Chamber of Commerce, has confirmed the keynote speakers for this year’s conference will be two veteran journalists—Vancouver Sun legislative columnist, Vaughn Palmer, and Global BC chief political correspondent and legislature bureau chief, Keith Baldrey

“It will be like a coffee-table chat. We’ll sit down and give them a couple of topics to discuss, followed by questions from the floor,” D’Andrea said.

Organisers are still awaiting confirmation from other VIPs, including elected officials and others.

In the meantime, the conference is shaping up to deliver significant economic benefits to Kitimat. Some hotels have booked up their allotted space with others filling up fast. In anticipation of a full booking, the Oseveo and Horizon North work camps, ensuring accessibility for all attendees.

“We want to showcase Kitimat. We want to make sure we offer everything we can,” said D’Andrea, adding that local businesses of all types have stepped up to accommodate the conference with low rates to ensure delegates don’t have to shuttle in from Terrace.

Although Kitimat is not typically a mining destination, the conference presents an opportunity to market the area’s diverse attractions. Delegates will have the chance to tour the Douglass Channel and visit the Rio Tinto BC Works and LNG Canada sites. A special highlight will be a new Haisla Art Exhibit at the Kitimat Museum.

“We’re unique because we’re not in the thick of the mining sector, but we’re grateful to have this opportunity to showcase the best of what Kitimat has to offer, and everyone has really come together to make this work,” D’Andrea said. “How many of these delegates would get to tour a $40-billion project anywhere else?”

About the Author: Quinn Bender

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