Arizona's mining industry held a celebration on Friday, across the street from the Tucson Gem & Mineral Show to highlight the role of mining and mineral resources to the local economy especially for tourism and travel. Volunteers wore bright yellow t-shirts that said "without mining there would be no gem show."
About 250 attendees showed up for light refreshments in the GJX gem show tent where one of the independent gem shows had been housed for the previous two weeks. Mining companies and their suppliers set up a couple dozen informational booths around the giant tent. Alan Norville, owner of the gem show at the GJX tent, donated the facilities.
The Southern Arizona Business Coalition organized the event with support from the Arizona Rock Products Association, AMIGOS, a trade association, and the Arizona Mining Association.
Arizona State Senate President Andy Biggs was one of the featured speakers.
The organizers say that based on the enthusiastic response from this initial event with minimal preparation and notice, they plan to do it again next year and expect to see at least double the turnout.