PDAC 2023 Convention Welcomes 23,819 Attendees to World’s Premier Mineral Exploration and Mining Event in Toronto
The Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) recently welcomed pre-pandemic levels of attendance back to its annual convention, drawing 23,819 attendees to Toronto March 5-8 for the best business, investment and networking opportunities in the mineral exploration and mining industry.
In addition to the more than 1,100 exhibitors covering over 600,000 square feet of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, governments, companies and leading experts from around the world made this one of the largest events in the association’s 91 years.
“There’s never been a more critical time for our industry to gather, share and learn as we drive progress, tackle global challenges and seize opportunities for a better future,” said Alex Christopher, PDAC President. “And the energy and optimism witnessed during PDAC 2023 was palpable—it is clear the mineral exploration and mining industry has entered a period of great transformation and growth.”
“For almost a century, the PDAC Convention has been recognized as the leading choice for the world’s mineral exploration and mining industry, bringing the latest trends, technologies and conversations to one central location, and 2023 is no exception,” says Lisa McDonald, PDAC Executive Director. “Yet again, we have proudly delivered capital markets, Indigenous affairs, student and early career, sustainability and technical programs, and short courses that offer the latest in professional development opportunities.”
Key speakers included Ken Hoffman, McKinsey & Company; Sinead Kaufman, Rio Tinto; and Alex Dorsch & Kevin Frost, Chalice Mining.
Governments continue to use the event as an important platform for announcements, including Canadian Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson who announced an investment of $344 million to help advance “the development of a dynamic and competitive critical minerals sector”.
“Accessing equity or debt capital was much more challenging for mineral exploration and mining companies in 2022, and this could foretell a slowdown in exploration activity this year both within Canada and abroad,” added Christopher.
Inflation was central to both markets and Main Street in 2022, reaching the highest rates seen in decades. To combat this inflationary wave, central banks around the world increased interest rates, sparking concerns that a global recession is on the horizon and leading GDP growth projections downward over the course of the year.
While Canadian markets were not immune, they were better shielded from a weakening investment market as the pace of mineral industry financings in Canada remained well above other marketplaces in 2022. Notably, the amount of money raised for the sector outside of Canada halved last year. Our highly evolved mineral financing ecosystem’s ability to connect investors to the mineral industry and the effect of targeted exploration incentives provides Canada with an inherent advantage. Because of these factors, Canada’s share reached nearly 30% of all equity raised for the sector last year, up from the decade average of approximately 21%.
“Canada’s leadership as both a top destination to explore for minerals and in generating new capital investment should not be understated. That said, we must continue to identify new ways to connect companies with capital, boost our competitiveness and ensure that industry has the access to the land, people and capital needed to drive our transition towards a low-carbon future,” noted Christopher.
“Increasing demand for battery metals and the potential for Canada to play a primary role in sustainably sourcing these materials underlines why we have asked for new investments and incentives for mineral explorers. We are keen to see the new 30% Critical Mineral Exploration Tax Credit have an impact on Canadian over the coming years,” Christopher added.
The final day of the PDAC Convention also marks the transition of presidents. PDAC thanks Alex Christopher for his remarkable contributions to the industry and association during his two-year term, and welcomes Raymond Goldie to the role.