Increasing global prices for gold, lead, zinc, and most other minerals continue to make Canada, and Nova Scotia, attractive for investors and for companies actively involved in the mineral resources industry. The growing opportunities for more skilled workers in the minerals industry in rural areas of Nova Scotia is one topic that staff from the Department of Natural Resources will explore when they head to Whistler, B.C., on Sept. 23, for a meeting with energy and mines counterparts from across the country. There are about 5,300 people employed in Nova Scotia’s minerals industry. With the age of the mining workforce older than that of the overall Canadian workforce, many are planning for retirement. “The past year has been a busy one here and across the country. The minerals industry already contributes $400 million to Nova Scotia’s annual gross domestic product, the global interest is escalating and outlook for the industry looks even better,” said Scott Swinden, executive director of the Department of Natural Resource’s mineral resources division. “Nova Scotia has historically produced a wide range of mineral commodities and there is still potential for new discoveries. The geological surveying that is being done in Nova Scotia continues to develop new data to better understand our mineral potential. But we already know that many more skilled workers will be needed in years to come.” Some of the skilled trades and professions in short supply include engineers, construction trades, geologists, technicians, managers and supervisors, and general miners. Mr. Swinden said the opportunities and demand is not unique to this province and it should be a topic of interest to both industry and government representatives at the annual Mines Ministers Conference, from Sunday, Sept. 23 through Tuesday, Sept. 25. Discussions at the conference will focus on ensuring that Canada remains a leading supplier of minerals, mining supplies and services in the global market.