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Mining Day celebrated in Thunder Bay (4 photos)

The event, which showcases and promotes mines from across the region, was held on Saturday, June 22 at Marina Park.

THUNDER BAY - It took seven years for the sun to shine down at Marina Park on Mining Day, according to co-chair Bob Chataway.

"It's a perfect day," said Chataway on a hot, clear-skied day at Marina Park.

Chataway says it's a day to recognize the local and regional contributions of miners in Northwestern Ontario.

"Mining takes place in the bush, you're not going to learn about it if you live in the city."

He says the event is an opportunity for local youth to gain exposure to mines through many of the exhibitions.

"The kids here can do lots of activities that they're subtley learning," he said. "A lot of these children have parents in the mines... they'd like to know what their Dad or Mom does in the mines."

Mines from all across the region including Lac Des Illes, Musselwite, Greenstone, and New Gold Inc., were represented on Saturday.

Craig Robertson, a 30-year veteran of the mining industry attends Mining Day to attempt to debunk myths associated with the industry.

"I think a lot of people are confused about mining. They think if they get underground they'll be claustrophobic. I'm claustrophobic and I've worked underground all my life. It's a different sense. It's a neat work environment."

Robertson is a health and safety and training manager from Manroc Developments, a mining service based out of Manitouwadge, On.

On Saturday, he demonstrated an advanced drift, which Robertson described as "putting a hand drill through a massive rock." The operation is a common mining practice that is used for tunnels, or to provide ground support.

"Promoting and prospecting future exploration is important for the city to showcase (on Mining Day)."

It's an event which is appropiately growing at a rapid speed, similar to the industry in Northwestern Ontario.

"When it first started we had 700 people," Chataway said. "Now we're looking at about 2,000 throughout the day."


Michael Charlebois

About the Author: Michael Charlebois

Michael Charlebois was born and raised in Thunder Bay, where he attended St. Patrick High School and graduated in 2015. He attends Carleton University in Ottawa where he studies journalism.
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