For 105 years, the Association for Mineral Exploration (AME) and its predecessors have been offering learning opportunities to the public and our members.

It was in 1918 that the AME – then the Vancouver Chamber of Mines – first presented a public lecture series which dealt with all phases of the mining industry. Twenty lectures were delivered by University of British Columbia lecturers that year.

The lecture series evolved into formal courses and training materials for prospectors, inspired by returning servicemen looking for work in the Great Depression of the early 1930s. Many individuals were looking to survive the depression by placer mining, so the Chamber – since renamed the British Columbia Chamber of Mines – published a booklet, Elementary Methods of Placer Mining.

UBC professor Harry Warren took over the Prospector Training classes in 1932 and continued to lecture at the classes through 1981.

Fast forward 105 years, and we are still delivering the tools and training explorers need to unearth the minerals and metals society requires. Of course, the delivery methods are evolving with the times!

In May 2023, AME launched a 6-hour self-paced online Introduction to Exploration Safety Short Course, a modern version of the highly successful AME short course that more than 1,200 explorers have attended since 1984.

Since its launch on May 15, 25 people have completed the course, and so far, the response is overwhelmingly positive, as one attendee remarked:

“As a newcomer to Exploration camps, I found this course to be very helpful and a great stepping stone for my future career.”

Short course participant, June 2023

The content of the courses AME delivers has evolved with time, too. Together with the technical content aimed at helping prospectors and geologists find new deposits, we are building the skills modern explorers need to turn discoveries into responsible, sustainable mining operations.

In the second half of 2023, we are working with communications specialist Kate Wale to develop an Indigenous Awareness Training Program for members to gain a better understanding of Indigenous history in BC, how that history affects individuals and communities, and what actions non-Indigenous individuals and businesses can take to support reconciliation and equality for all. 

The course will be available later this year as an on-demand, self-paced virtual course and adapted to be taken as an online or in-person short course.

AME members have always had the opportunity to shape the training and tools we deliver. If you have an idea for a short course for AME Roundup 2024, enter the details in this submission form by July 14, 2023.