Sean Canney TD, acting Minister of State for Natural Resources, provided the keynote address at the "Ireland – Open for Business" forum at the Prospectors and Developers Association Canada (PDAC) Convention and Tradeshow held in Toronto, 3 March.
The all-island forum, now in its fifth year, attracted over 130 delegates; the session provided updates of mineral exploration in Ireland and project overview from state bodies including Geological Survey Ireland, the Exploration and Mining Division of the Department Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Invest NI and the Irish Centre for Research in Applied Geosciences (iCRAG). The delegates were welcomed by John Boylan, Deputy Head of Mission, Irish Embassy in Canada, and Stephen Hughes, Head of Construction , Enterprise Ireland,
The mineral exploration project overview's comprised Conroy Natural Resources (gold) and base metal explorers Adventus, Arkle, Zinc Ireland (ZMI), Minco and Unicorn. Jessica Allen, Market Advisor Geoscience Ireland, facilitated a panel discussion titled: "Risky Business? Mining and the Environment" which drew on the expertise of Kate McCormick (CDE Global), Tim Paul (SLR Consulting), Paul Heaney (CSA) and Johnny Meehan (Aurum Exploration) who are representative of the entire mining value chain.
Minister Canney noted that Ireland's rankings as a destination for FDI have improved, as measured by the Fraser Institute in 2019, now ranking 2nd for Policy Perception and enjoyed a world class applied research centre in iCRAG.
This year's convention also saw the Irish Industry and Innovation pavilion open at PDAC; the pavilion comprised iCRAG, Geoscience Ireland, Enterprise Ireland, PW Mining, CDE Global and BRG.
Other GI companies at PDAC included PW Nigeria, Priority Drilling, Irish Drilling, Golder, ERM, SLR Consulting, Aurum Exploration, QME and Mincon, as well as Geological Survey Ireland.
Attendance at PDAC was c 23,000, down somewhat on 2019, but still the premier convention for the mineral exploration and mining industries.