The mining newspaper for Alaska and Canada's North

Alaska Miners cancels fall convention

Second AMA networking, fundraising event cancelled by COVID North of 60 Mining News – August 7, 2020

Series: COVID-19 coverage | Story 58

Alaska Miners Association Aug. 4 announced the difficult decision to cancel its annual convention and trade show scheduled for Nov. 1-7, 2020 at the Dena'ina Center in Anchorage, Alaska.

"We understand this is a major loss for AMA and our industry. We are losing our chance to make the networking contacts and business deals that are done each year," AMA penned in a notice to its membership. "We're going to miss seeing our extended AMA family and catching up. We'll miss the chance to put our industry on display for policymakers, media, and the general public. And AMA's fundraising will take a significant hit – the annual convention makes up the majority of the association's revenues per year. So please know that we did not come to this decision easily."

The continued spread of COVID-19, however, made the decision prudent from a health and safety standpoint.

"The decision was made out of an abundance of caution and with respect to our values as an industry that holds health and safety as our highest priority," AMA wrote. "Health mandates continue to advise against gathering in large numbers, and even after exploring all distancing and sanitizing options, our members and participants are simply too precious to be put at risk."

Additionally, current local COVID-19 mandates that restrict gatherings, travel, and hospitality establishments make many logistical aspects of holding a convention impossible.

This is the second AMA convention that was cancelled this year due to COVID-19. The association's biennial spring mining conference scheduled to be held in Fairbanks from March 30 through April 4 was among the first mining conventions cancelled after the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic.

Moving forward, the AMA convention committee will convene virtually and brainstorm what, if any, aspects of the convention can be held virtually. AMA, however, said virtual meetings are generally unfavorable and it will not host any unless they are considered to bring value to the association, its members, and supporters.

"Thank you for your understanding, and please exercise care and caution in the days ahead to take the best of care for your families, friends, and colleagues," AMA wrote.

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Shane Lasley, Publisher

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Over his more than 16 years of covering mining and mineral exploration, Shane has become renowned for his ability to report on the sector in a way that is technically sound enough to inform industry insiders while being easy to understand by a wider audience.


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