The South Central British Columbia Branch of CIM finds its strength in the dedication of its members and the companies involved. The branch spans a vast mountainous region and hosts its activities in Kamloops, the “Tournament Capital of Canada.” The annual conference is held in September every year.
The branch values education and has been a strong supporter of mining-related education for decades. The branch regularly contributes to the Mining Association of BC’s Mineral Resource Education fund and has a bursary committee to distribute bursaries annually to students with a connection to the branch. In 2008, more than $10,000 was distributed amongst 15 students. Applications for the bursary are included with the annual conference registration package. In 2008, the branch also donated $30,000 to the Thompson Rivers University (TRU) Foundation for annual awards to students in mining-related studies. Every year since then, a Trades student and a Natural Resource Science student have each received an award as a result of this bursary.
The largest mine in the area, Highland Valley Copper, is located about 50 km from Kamloops, where more than half of its employees live. Kelowna now has no operating mines, but remains one of the focal towns of the branch, as it was the original site of CIM in the region. The branch faced a real challenge of keeping membership alive during the last low metal price cycle, which caused a great decrease in mining activity in the area. Several branches shut down during this period, and the survival of the South Central Branch is proof of the strong mining tradition within the community and of the demand for not only technical support but fellowship and networking that is the very foundation of CIM.
The branch committee would like to thank all of their sponsors for their continued support of the branch activities and of the area’s mining community.