Ausgeo News  June 2006   Issue No. 82

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PDAC 2006–the world’s premier Mineral Exploration Convention

The 74th Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada Annual International Convention, Trade Show and Investors Exchange, (PDAC 2006), was held in Toronto, Canada, between 5 and 8 March. A record 14 500 delegates, exhibitors and visitors from an estimated 100 countries attended this year’s event. Among the attendees were national delegations from some 40 countries including one from Argentina which numbered 100 people. The Trade Show attracted 280 exhibitors including government agencies from 26 countries. In the Investors Exchange 430 companies exhibited and attracted an additional 3400 investors as well as convention traffic.

The mood of the Convention was buoyant reflecting the continuing optimistic outlook being enjoyed by the mineral exploration industry at a time when most commodity prices are at or near 25-year highs.

Australian Governments at PDAC

Australia mounted a high-profile promotion by combined industry and government exhibitors. All the state and the Northern Territory governments as well as the Australian Government (Geoscience Australia) were represented under the “Team Australia” banner. In addition to the Australian governments, the Australian Pavilion attracted five industry exhibitors whose participation was coordinated by GeoJAG Australia. Industry participants were Encom Technology Pty Ltd, Intrepid Geophysics, Intellection Pty Ltd, Gekko Systems Pty Ltd and AME Mineral Economics.

The governments’ displays highlighted Australia’s premier exploration provinces, undiscovered mineral potential and scientific and technical expertise in relation to mineral exploration. Australia’s profile was boosted by the attendance of the NT Minister for Mines and Energy, the Hon Kon Vatskalis who led a delegation from the Northern Territory. Australia’s High Commissioner to Canada, Mr Bill Fisher, again added his support to the Australian promotion. The Australian exhibitors received valuable support from the Austrade office in Toronto.

In addition to the Trade Show promotion, a well attended (up to 140 delegates) half-day seminar, ‘Exploration Down Under’, featuring eight mining and mineral exploration companies active in Australia, was opened by Minister Vatskalis. Presentations were made by: Teck Cominco Ltd, Iluka Resources Ltd, Avoca Resources Ltd, Arafura Resources NL, Western Areas NL, Allegiance Mining NL, Compass Resources and Ivernia Inc.

For more information phone Mike Huleatt +61 2 6249 9087 (email

Delegation from Inner Mongolia visits Geoscience Australia

Geoscience Australia’s Adrian Hitchman and Miriam Middelmann (centre) with members of the visiting Mongolian delegation.

On 28 March eight delegates from the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region (IMAR), People’s Repubilc of China, visited Geoscience Australia as part of an eleven day AusAID-sponsored study tour of Australia.

The delegates included officials from government departments of the Alxa League, an arid mountainous region in the western-most IMAR roughly the size of Australia’s Nullarbor Plain. The group included economists and engineers who were particularly interested in learning about Australian agricultural and environmental management practices, together with the roles played by governments, research institutions, industry and the community.

Geoscience Australia scientists Adrian Hitchman and Miriam Middlemann (centre) with the visting Mongolian delegation. (Larger image [JPG 351.6kb])

During their visit to Geoscience Australia, the delegation enjoyed a tour of the organisation’s world-class, energy-efficient premises and learnt about geoscience applications utilising 3D data. The delegates also learnt about research currently being conducted by the Risk Research Group within the Geospatial and Earth Monitoring Division. The presentations provided the delegation with information on the Australian Government’s approach to natural hazard risk assessment and geoscience in general.

The delegation was keen to learn about natural hazard risks in Australia and presentations included information on earthquakes, severe winds and the tsunami risk posed to the Australian community. They were also given an insight into national flood risk, floodplain management in Australia and the development and implementation of flood vulnerability curves. They concluded that while most of the natural hazards facing IMAR and Australia are different there are some common hazards such as floods and earthquakes

For more information phone Adrian Hitchman +61 2 6249 9800 (email

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