The Association for Mineral Exploration (AME) will feature two new experiences at its 2018 AME Roundup conference from Jan. 22 to 25 in Vancouver: a prospect generator hub and an innovation hub.

David Gale, chair of Roundup’s organizing committee, said the prospect generator hub fills a gap for investors by showcasing projects that fall between the prospectors’ tent and more advanced projects. “What we were lacking was something in the middle ground,” he said, adding that it gives companies looking to invest a chance to view a broad range of opportunities that are “ready off the shelf.”

There will be 18 different companies featured – six each on Monday and Tuesday and a final six on Wednesday and Thursday. The new innovation hub will showcase 10 companies with cutting-edge ideas focusing on mineral exploration. “We’re trying to find better ways to explore and make that discovery,” Gale said.

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The conference aims to build upon recent industry optimism and appetite for investment with its theme, “new generation of discovery.”

“This is the 35th year for Roundup, so lots of generations of explorers have come and gone,” Gale said. As the industry bounces back, he said, there are a lot of people entering mining for the first time. “We all sensed that there was something new unfolding,” he said.

In addition to the new hubs, other highlights include keynote speakers Barrick Gold president Kelvin Dushnisky and Osisko Gold Royalties CEO Sean Roosen.