September 28, 2012 – Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger officially opened the Northern Manitoba Mining Academy this afternoon in Flin Flon. This first-ever centre of innovation in the field of geological and environmental studies is the result of a strong partnership that included the province, the Government of Canada, the City of Flin Flon, HudBay Minerals, the Northern Manitoba Sector Council and University College of the North (UCN).
“As with other industries, the future of mining in Manitoba is very much dependent on our youth”, said Selinger. “Providing more educational opportunities for young Manitobans living in the North will ensure they are prepared to lead the industry’s growth and expansion over the next several decades. The Northern Manitoba Mining Academy will ensure our province remains a North American leader in mining while addressing both current and future labour and skills shortages in the industry.”
While the Government of Canada was unable to have a representative at the official ribbon cutting ceremony, it did forward on a note. “Our Government’s investment is helping to create jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity in Northern Manitoba,” said the Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification. “The mining sector is a major contributor to the Manitoba economy and this facility is critical to the long-term competitiveness of the sector.”
UCN President and Vice Chancellor, Konrad Jonasson was also in attendance and said that this partnership is truly unique and I am so proud that the University College of the North is a part of the Northern Manitoba Mining Academy. “This facility will ensure that our students have access to pursue careers in the geological and environmental studies. I am also very pleased that the Regional Centre in Flin Flon is being honored today and know that this facility will promote and support UCN programming in this region”.
Mr. Tom Goodman, representing HudBay Minerals, has been looking forward to this academy for some time. He said “the need for skilled workers and re-skilled workers in the mining industry is critical as mining methods advance with complex, computerized and mechanized machinery utilized in Manitoba’s changing environments”.
One of the major driving forces behind the development of the Academy is the Northern Manitoba Sector Council. It’s Chair, Don Nisbet who also acts as Chair of both the mining academy and the UCN Regional Centre, commented the Mining Academy along with its sister facility, the UCN Regional Centre, will give not only Flin Flon a unique training/educational base, but will become a resource for the region and the province as a whole. “This facility will see northern and other peoples training for resource-based roles from entry level jobs to professional level responsibilities. The Mining Academy, situated in Flin Flon, is strategically located within the most prolific greenstone mining belt in the world and will, as it already does, attract explorationists, academics and researchers from around the country and well beyond”.
Having this mining centre as well as a brand new UCN regional centre built in his community is good news according to Flin Flon Mayor George Fontaine. Mayor Fontaine said “both the mining academy and the regional centre are great fits for the community. Given the history of mining and the geological treasure trove, there is no better location in all of Canada for this centre”.
A major piece of equipment that sets the standard for the new mining facility is the state-of the-art underground mining simulator, one of only a few in all of North America.
For more information please contact Jim Scott, Director of Communications, University College of the North toll free (866)627-8244 or email email@example.com