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TORONTO (Reuters) - The government of Ontario said on Monday that the province would play host in September to the first-ever North American leg of the Mines and Money Conference as it seeks to bolster Toronto's reputation as a mining hub.
The Mines and Money meeting, typically the most significant mining industry forum in Asia each year, has also held segments in London and Australia.
Holding the mining investment forum in Toronto is a unique opportunity to showcase Ontario's competitive business climate, the government said in a statement.
Toronto will also host the Americas leg of the forum in 2017, the government added.
The move comes at a time of tremendous pressure for the mining industry. Commodity prices have collapsed, and prices of metals hover around multiyear lows.
The Mines and Money forum in Hong Kong drew about 1,500 delegates in April, much lower than it has during boom years for the industry.
Ontario will join a group of 15 other sponsors of the forum in the Americas, including Bank of Montreal, which has played a leading role in a number of major mining deals in recent years, and the TMX Group, whose Toronto Stock Exchange and the TSX Venture Exchange are home to the vast majority of the world's mining companies.
Toronto already hosts the annual Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada gathering, the world's largest annual mining conference, each March.
PDAC has attracted more than 30,000 attendees during boom times, but its numbers dropped to about 23,500 this year amid the industry slump.
Reporting by Euan Rocha; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn