Sean Canney TD, Minister for Natural Resources, lead a strong Irish delegation at the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) Convention and Trade Show. Several Irish bodies and companies participated at the 2019 event including Geological Survey Ireland (GSI), the Exploration and Mining Division of the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment (DCCAE), the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), Enterprise Ireland, the Irish Centre for Research in Applied Geosciences (iCRAG) , the Geological Survey of Northern Ireland, the Department of the Economy, Invest NI, mineral exploration and mining companies, and professional services and contracting companies.
At PDAC, Ireland formally joined the Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals, Metals and Sustainable Development (IGF). The IGF is a voluntary partnership that welcomes member states of the United Nations and the agreement was signed by Minister Canney on Sunday, March 3.
The "Ireland – Open for Business Forum" was opened on Tuesday, March 5, by HE Jim Kelly, Ireland's Ambassador to Canada; Matt Collins, Assistant Secretary DCCAE, delivered the keynote address to the 100+ delegates in attendance.
The forum provided a platform for the Geological Survey's of Ireland and Northern Ireland to update delegates on respective projects and initiatives; iCrag promoted its recent activity and future ambitions; six companies operating on the island of Ireland provided updates on recent activities in both gold and base metals explorations, including an update on progress in outlining additional resources at the Tara Deep Project.
Eight Companies supported by Geoscience Ireland (Priority Drilling, BRG, Golder, Irish Drilling, SLR Environmental, Aurum Exploration, ERM and QME), Enterprise Ireland (Initiafy) and Invest Northern Ireland (CDE Meta and Sensoteq) delivered overviews of their professional consultancy and contracting capabilities. Whitney Moore provided an overview of legal dimensions in Ireland.
Although financing of exploration for junior companies remains challenging, there was an upbeat tone at PDAC. Topics covered included updates and outlooks on commodities; critical and battery minerals; geoscience communication. In addition to presenting at PDAC, seven GI companies including Mincon plc exhibited at the Convention while a further three attended. GI also participated at the African, Nordics and Sustainability sessions.
Commenting on PDAC 2019, Sean Finlay Business Development Director of GI said "Ireland remains an attractive destination for minerals FDI and for minerals-related research and services. A Team Ireland and all-island approach from governments, academia, state agencies and industry will continue to reap rewards for the sector in Ireland and internationally."