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More than 17,000 converge on Toronto for first PDAC mining conference in two years

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(Kitco News) - After two years of webinars and zoom meetings, investors, mining executives and market analysts were able to meet for the first time face-to-face at the world's largest mining conference in Toronto, Canada.

According to the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada, more than 17,000 people attended its annual convention this week, the first time it was held since March 2020.

"Like most of the world, the mineral exploration and mining industry faced a variety of challenges during the pandemic, and yet its significance and resilience has remained admirable, and that pride was on full display at the PDAC 2022 Convention," said PDAC President Alex Christopher, reflecting on the COVID-19 pandemic that forced PDAC 2021 to be a completely online event.

"Energy was widespread across the sold-out Trade Show and Investors Exchange, as well as highly-attended short courses and programming that reflected conversations happening within the sector, including the dominant themes of equity, diversity and inclusion, Indigenous engagement, critical minerals, sustainability and industry's role in helping the world realize a low-emissions future," Christopher added.

Along with its regular conference, the PDAC hosted the seventh annual International Mines Ministers Summit (IMMS) in partnership with the World Economic Forum. The meeting brought together 20 Ministers responsible for mining from around the world to discuss the industry's role in reducing global emissions.

According to analysts, investor sentiment in the mining sector remains favorable as producers continue to increase their cash flow in a solid gold price environment.

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Looking at trends in the marketplace, analysts said that they expect to see more merger and acquisition activity throughout the year.

"A common theme at the conference, including at another session with a panel of mining investment bankers, was the need for further consolidation in the gold sector, and an acknowledgment of the benefits of scale and diversification," said Fahad Tariq, precious metals analyst at Credit Suisse.

Tariq added that another major theme during the conference was the mining sector's commitment to improving their Environment Social Governance (ESG) policies.

"Panelists emphasized how mining provides significant economic benefits to local communities through employment and direct community investments. In a separate address, the CEO of a senior gold company linked consolidation and ESG together, noting that in order for companies to dig up harder-to-access deposits in an environmentally friendly way, more M&A and partnerships are needed in the sector. There were also discussions on critical battery metals that are needed for electrification and decarbonization, and how Canada is well-positioned on that front," said Tariq.

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