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18th annual Mineral South Conference underway in Cranbrook

Industry professionals and rock lovers alike are taking part in a mineral conference being hosted at the Heritage Inn.

The conference allows people from B.C.’s mining and natural resource sector to talk shop and learn about projects underway in the area.

Andy Randell, CEO and founder at Aeonian Industries out of Vancouver said they are currently looking at 140 square kilometres of copper mineralization near Lake Kookanusa.

Randell added that many of the projects take a long time to get to the development stage if they do at all.

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“I’ve worked in a lot of projects and sometimes a lot of them don’t go anywhere, but some of them can take 10 or 20 years even to get into development,” said Randell.

“They say only one in 10,000 projects ever becomes a mine, so it’s a real roll of the dice.”

Companies aren’t just at the conference to talk about what’s happening, but also what their businesses offer.

Thomas Malinowski, Senior Project Manager VAST Resource Solutions (Photo by Dennis Walker, Vista Radio)

“We have a wide variety of offerings from geotechnical engineering to environmental services, surveying and drones, as well as forestry services,” said Thomas Malinowski, senior project manager at VAST Resource Solutions.

“Depending on the stage of development we can help with environmental studies, help with geotechnical engineering, setting up resource roads and the design of that.”

“I’d say we have dozens if not over a hundred of projects going on at one time of various scales. Some small, few day projects and some projects we’ve been working on for close to a decade now.”


Different technical talks will be happening over the four-day conference and tables with minerals and fossils will be on display.

Randell’s table shows the history of the region through rocks.

“We’ve brought along some rocks from our project and presented them in a geological timeline that shows 120 million years of the history of this area and shows how the copper came through at different times and different stages into this basin.”

Randell is from the United Kingdom and said it’s interesting what types of rocks are focused on in different countries.

(Photo by Dennis Walker, Vista Radio

“It’s funny, we do get taught a lot more about sedimentary rocks, the kind of things like sandstones and stuff like that that build-up, whereas in Canada, there is a lot more of a focus on igneous rocks, like the magmas and the lavas that come up.”

This was the return of the conference in Cranbrook after being on hold because of the pandemic.

“I’m pleased how many people have turned up for it, this is my first conference in a couple of years now, so it’s nice to be back in front of people and have face-to-face conversations,” said Randell.

The Conference began on November 2nd and ends on November 4th, 2021.

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