HudBay Minerals is participating in a collaborative venture to launch the Northern Manitoba Mining Academy (NMMA) with the University College of the North, Northern Manitoba Sector Council, the Province of Manitoba, the city of Flin Flon and the University of Manitoba. “As one of northern Manitoba’s largest mining operators, we are very excited to be part of this initiative,” said David Garofalo, President and CEO. “The new mining academy will implement strategic training initiatives and skills enhancement, which is important for developing the skills of new entrants to the labour force as well as allowing current workers to upgrade their abilities.” The NMMA’s mandate is to provide northern Manitoba residents access to mining-related training with the objective of creating a knowledgeable, skilled and sustainable workforce. It will provide much needed training for the next generation of mining professionals, who will support increased activity in mining districts such as Flin Flon, Snow Lake and Sherridon within the Flin Flon Greenstone Belt.As part of its commitment to this initiative, HudBay is donating $200,000 and approximately half an acre of land in a prime location for training purposes. The consortium is working to ensure initial staffing and programming will be in place for the NMMA’s official opening, which is expected on April 1, 2011. The federal department of Western Economic Diversification Canada has already announced its commitment to invest $920,000 in the project.Sources have said that the NMMA may include the latest technology in automated underground mining equipment simulators that cost as much as $800,000 and have never before been available in the province. The new academy will provide facilities for training and research in mining, including a geology lab, a multi-purpose wet lab, video-conference facilities and a library specialising in mining and geosciences.