If Jim Bennett has his way, his district will be ringing with the sound of hammers on rock.
The MHA for St. Barbe is trying to build some new economic activity in his area on the Northern Peninsula, and his mindset is that there’s potential underground.
“If we could get another mine for a period of time it would certainly help our economy,” he says.
The activity in the area now — fishing and tourism — is seasonal, so Bennett sees mining as one possibility to give the area a leg up.
First, the region needs prospectors. If there is mineral potential in the area as there is in other parts of the province which have a mining history, there has to be people to find it.
“I just want to see my area dig in and get a piece of that action and I don’t know how else to do it except get some prospectors.”
So Bennett is holding a series of sessions in his district to see if he can strike up some interest.
Starting in Parson Pond on Feb. 4, there will be a session that will have a speaker from each the Department of Natural Resources, the Newfoundland and Labrador Prospectors Association and Ubique Mineral Ltd.
Later next week there will also be sessions in Hawkes Bay and Plum Point.
Then there’s a nine-day prospectors school in Stephenville starting in late May for people who want to learn how to knock on a few rocks properly.
“There’s a lot of interest,” Bennett says. “If we could turn out a dozen or a few dozen prospectors over the next year or two, that would seem like one good way to find a mine.”
He figures it will take two to five years to get the momentum going.