Friday, May 10, 2013

Space Miners Meet in Toronto, Again!


Chris Lewicki at the CIM2013 Plenary on "Global Leadership: The Courage to Change." A video of the session is available online here.
The small but slowly growing international community of asteroid and planetary miners touched down in Toronto for the second time in three months as part of the 4th Annual Joint Conference of the Planetary and Terrestrial Mining Sciences Symposium (PTMSS) and the Space Resources Roundtable (SRR), which was held in conjunction with the Canadian Institute of Mining (CIM) Annual Conference (CIM2013) in Toronto, ON from May 5th - 8th.

Chris Lewicki, the president and chief engineer of Planetary Resources (which is generally perceived of as being the best funded corporation in this category), even participated in the May 6th CIM2013 plenary session on "Global Leadership: the Courage to Change."

Canada"has been the centre of all these activities" stated Lewicki, referring to both mining and space in his comments during the plenary session. He also indicated that he will likely return again to Canada in the future.

The plenary session was hosted by Fifth Estate host Marc Kelley and included Stan Bharti (the Executive Chairman of Forbes & Manhattan, Inc.), Egizio Bianchini (the Vice-chair, global co-head, metals & mining at BMO Capital Markets), Richard A. Ross (the executive in residence & program director of the MBA Global Mining Management program at the Schulich School of Business), and Zoƫ Yujnovich (the President and CEO of the Iron Ore Company of Canada).

The Artemus Jr. lunar rover, built by a consortium of Canadian (and at least one US) companies, led by Neptec Design Group and funded through the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), on display at CIM2013
Others in attendance and contributing to the conference included Bob Richards, the Canadian born space serial entrepreneur and CEO of Silicon Valley based Moon Express, Jim Keravala, the chief operating officer and co-founder of Shackleton EnergyDavid Gump, the CEO of Deep Space Industries, Dale Boucher, the director of product design, prototyping and testing at the Northern Centre for Advanced Technology (NORCAT) and quite a few others.

Many of the conference attendees had also attended the 2013 Prospectors and Developers Association (PDAC) Annual Conference, which was held in Toronto from March 3rd - 6th.

According to Dr. Angel Abbud-Madrid, the Director of the Center for Space Resources (CSR), a research partnership center based at the Colorado School of Mines, and current President of the SRR,  "the genie is out of the bottle (with respect to space resource utilization) and the challenge now is to make it part of the overall conversation taking place in the mining industry."

The themes of the combined PTMSS/ SRR meeting focused on resource extraction, utilization and commercialization activities, which explained the preponderance of potential space miners.

Expect Canada to continue to take an important, but mostly nonpublic role as this new industry opens up.

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