Association for Mineral Exploration British Columbia (AME BC)

Association for Mineral Exploration British Columbia (AME BC)

January 17, 2007 16:10 ET

AME BC: Mineral Exploration Roundup Conference Expected to Attract 5,000 Delegates to Vancouver

The world's largest technical mineral exploration conference focusing on the elusive hunt for new mines in BC

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(CCNMatthews - Jan. 17, 2007) - More than 5,000 delegates from around the world will converge on The Westin Bayshore, Vancouver from January 29 to February 1 to hear about the latest techniques in mineral exploration, project financing options and exploration success stories at the 24th Annual Mineral Exploration Roundup Conference.

Hosted by the Association for Mineral Exploration BC (AME BC), this year's Roundup Conference, "Leading the World in Exploration", will bring together representatives from all facets of the global mineral exploration industry. Last year's event attracted 5,400 delegates from 28 countries. This year's conference will include sessions covering BC's mineral exploration highlights, international mineral discoveries, fostering community support for new projects and the outlook for commodities, among other topics.

Keynote speakers for the 24th Annual Mineral Exploration Roundup Conference include: Jim Gowans, President & CEO, DeBeers Canada, Alex Davidson, Executive Vice President, Exploration and Corporate Development, Barrick Gold Corporation, Robert Friedland, Executive Chairman, Ivanhoe Mines Ltd., and Donald Lindsay, President & CEO, Teck Cominco Limited.

Chief Ian Campbell, Squamish First Nation, will open the conference on Monday, January 29, followed by BC's Minister of State for Mining, Bill Bennett, who will provide an update on government initiatives supporting mineral exploration and mining in the province. Monday afternoon will feature presentations by Mike de Jong, BC's Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation, and Nunavut Premier Paul Okalik, among others.

"It's been a stellar year for BC's mineral exploration industry," said Dan Jepsen, President and CEO of AME BC. "The combination of strong global demand for metals and minerals, the availability of good geoscience data and supportive government policies have put BC at the forefront of mineral exploration in Canada. Of the 52 mining projects in the permitting process across Canada today, 25 of them are in BC. This marks a historic shift away from Ontario and Quebec's domination of the mining industry in favour of British Columbia."

While firm numbers are not yet available, Jepsen anticipates 2006 exploration expenditures in BC will exceed the $220 million level reached in 2005. According to preliminary figures released by the BC Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, there were 620 mineral exploration projects underway in the province last year. Drilling on 240 projects amounted to 830,000 metres, up 26 per cent over the previous year. Mineral tenure acquisition (claim staking) is projected to reach nearly 6 million hectares for 2006, a 20 per cent increase over the 4.9 million hectares of mineral tenure staked in 2005. This is the seventh year in a row there has been an increase in claim staking.

For full program details on the annual Mineral Exploration Roundup Conference visit the AME BC website at www.amebc.ca.

About AME BC

The Association for Mineral Exploration BC (AME BC) represents over 3,800 members including individual geoscientists, prospectors, engineers, entrepreneurs, exploration companies, suppliers, mineral producers, and associations who are directly or indirectly engaged in mineral exploration in British Columbia and throughout the world. Through leadership, partnerships and advocacy, AME BC promotes a healthy environment and business climate for the mineral exploration industry on behalf of its members. AME BC is regarded as the predominant voice of mineral exploration and related issues in the province.

Journalists interested in covering the Mineral Exploration Roundup Conference are asked to contact Martin Livingston for media accreditation.

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