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Mineral development company job fair held in Campbell River, B.C.

Click to play video: 'Job fair offers opportunities for Island miners'
Job fair offers opportunities for Island miners
When it was announced the Myra Falls mine would close just before Christmas, 300 lives were thrown into turmoil. For one B.C. company, the hardship caused by one mine's closure is an opportunity to recruit skilled workers. Paul Johnson has the story – Jan 13, 2024

A job fair that featured dozens of job openings with a Canadian mineral development company was held Thursday and Friday in Campbell River, B.C.

The company, Ascot Resources, operates primarily in northwestern B.C.

Ascot Resources is looking to fill 57 jobs including, engineers, operators, planners, technicians, electricians and supervisors.

“The response has been fantastic. It has been really wonderful to see how many people came out … braving the cold,” Bryant Schwengler, Ascot Resource Operations vice-president and general manager.

Schwengler said the company saw an opportunity in the area to find workers in the wake of the long-term shutdown of Myra Falls Mine.

A mine that employed 450 people is deemed to be “no longer financially viable,” and was being placed on what the company describes as long-term care and maintenance in December.

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In its notice to the union, the company blamed low metal prices and operating costs for the suspension of operations.

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“We do have employees that live here already and, obviously, when (the Myra Falls shutdown) we saw a real opportunity to find employees to join us up in Stewart, B.C.,” Schwengler said.

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The company said it knows workers in the area have some real “depth and knowledge” and are hoping a few can join the company to help move it forward.

“We are really focusing on the surface jobs only with this job fair,” Schwengler said.

The North Island Employment Foundations Society (NIEFS) supported the job fair and said it was a welcome sight for the region’s workers.

“It is really encouraging … we have a lot of skilled workers here in Campbell River, and hearing about the significant layoffs that were happening at Myra, we wanted to act as quickly as possible to help connect people to additional opportunities,”  Shannon Baikie, North Island Employment Foundations Society’s executive director, said.

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Baikie encourages workers, who are looking for jobs in the area, to contact NIEFS.

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