THUNDER BAY, ON – BUSINESS – Confederation College’s presence at the annual four-day Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) Convention in Toronto, Ontario has affirmed the College’s work within the industry. During the convention, Confederation celebrated a successful alliance with Noront Resources Ltd. and confirmed a new alliance with the Universidad Técnica Particular de Loja in Ecuador.
Noront Resources Ltd., Confederation’s partner in the Ring of Fire Aboriginal Training Alliance (RoFATA), received PDAC’s Environmental & Social Responsibility Award for its work with the RoFATA program as well as its many other community initiatives. The award recognizes outstanding leadership in environmental protection and/or good community relations.
“We celebrate this incredible achievement of our community partner and are proud to have played a small part in their success,” said Jim Madder, President of Confederation College. “Noront Resources has provided extensive support and leadership within the RoFATA program and has consistently demonstrated its commitment to education and providing pathways to employment in the mining industry. Our congratulations go out to Noront. We are proud to work with such an incredible team.”
RoFATA was launched in October of 2013 and represents a partnership between Matawa First Nations – Kiikenomaga Kikenjigewen Employment and Training Services (KKETS), Noront Resources Ltd. and Confederation College. Its key objective is to provide training-to-employment opportunities to support the Matawa First Nations people. Funding for this initiative has been provided through the Skills and Partnership Fund.
Another momentous occasion at the PDAC Convention saw Confederation College, Lundin Mining Corporation and the Universidad Técnica Particular de Loja in the City Of Loja, Ecuador confirm that they will be working together to plan, promote, deliver and expand opportunities for the development of a highly skilled workforce in Ecuador.
The Fundación para el Desarrollo Empresarial y Social (FEDES), which is a non-government organization will also work with Confederation and the Universidad de Loja to strengthen the action already taken by the South Mining Centre and the Department of Mines, Geology and Civil Engineering in the areas of vocational training, mining cluster development and economic diversification of the southern region in Ecuador.
“What we’ve learned from the success of our RoFATA program will be carried over into this new alliance to ensure it is equally as successful,” said Madder. “It will run in parallel to our work in the north and will open up important opportunities for Ecuadorian students interested in the mining industry.”
Don Bernosky, Vice President, Regional Workforce Development at Confederation added that “We are extremely excited to provide the University and Ecuadorian government with technical assistance and training in the mining and mineral sector. The proposed programs for delivery are in the areas of mining essentials, skilled trades, training, technology and business. Programs will also teach principles of social innovation and community development to maximize the potential economic impact in the areas.”
In addition, there are development plans for a South Mining Centre that will include the development and implementation of academic curricula relating to the operations side of large-scale mining.
Leonardo Benavides, Director of the Mining Centre agrees that the opportunities this collaboration brings to the south of Ecuador is of great benefit to their progress. “We are looking for the education and training expertise at Confederation College with the intent to grow the expertise in the workplace and to expand the mining sector in our country.”