Ottawa will host the 11th joint meeting of the Planetary & Terrestrial Mining Sciences Symposium (PTMSS) and Space Resources Roundtable (SRR) next June.
It is the fifth time the meeting will be held in Canada, the last being in Montreal in 2017.
What’s important to understand is that some governments are taking the prospect of mining resources beyond the confines of Earth seriously now.
Certainly we’re still in the era of much hype, but for both governments and space mining corporate wannabe’s, there now appears to be a path forming to tackle the challenges all will face.
Those challenges are not just technological, there are economic challenges and importantly legal hurdles.
Canada joins the US, Japan, and several European countries in looking at the issues of mining in space. Some countries are further along than others.
Japan, the US and Luxembourg are all looking at the legal issues to allow companies to harvest resources, be it from asteroids or the moon.
An important meeting being organized in part by Luxembourg, is the Space Resources Week taking place October 7-11.
Canada looks to the longer term
Canada is taking initial steps in positioning itself to be involved in future in-situ resource utilization (ISRU).
One of those steps included Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) mentioning space mining in its Canadian Minerals and Metals Plan published last year.
Another step is supporting events like the PTMSS and SRR joint meeting, which is one reason why the meeting next year will be taking place in Ottawa.
NRCan is looking at the long term picture, which makes sense since Canada is a leader in terrestrial mining.
The organizers of the conference recognize that as well. Their notice about the upcoming PTMSS and SRR joint meeting said; “Innovation is critical to the success of the mining and oil and gas sectors for both new and existing operations, in current and new frontiers including harsh environments on Earth and in space. Regulatory, productivity, environmental, financial and commercialization issues are all common to both mining and space exploration.”
Of course it’s not just NRCan looking at ISRU, the Canadian Space Agency is also very much involved, including the newly created and funded Lunar Exploration Accelerator Program.
The organizers will be sending our more information on the event in a second announcement. That information will be posted to the PTMSS website. In the meantime you can browse past events and presentations at the ISRU archive website.