Teck Cominco donates $10M to Toronto's ROM

Mining firm Teck Cominco has donated $10 million to the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, the largest corporate gift in the museum's history.

Mining firm Teck Cominco has donated $10 million to the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, the largest corporate gift in the museum's history.

The gift will fund the creation of three earth sciences galleries within the ROM and endow a curator who will design exhibits for the galleries.

The ROM's extensive mineral collection includes this piece of Rosasite. A gift from mining firm Teck Cominco will help fund galleries and endow a curator of mineralogy. ((Royal Ontario Museum))

It also involves developing an exhibit at the museum devoted to the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame, which is currently at the University of Toronto.

The ROM has raised $249 million in its Renaissance campaign, ROM director William Thorsell said Thursday after announcing the Teck Cominco gift.

The museum is expanding with the addition of the Michael Lee-Chin Crystal, which it expects to be completed in June, and will revamp all its galleries. An additional $50 million is still needed to cover capital costs.

The gift from Teck Cominco, a diversified mining company with headquarters in Vancouver, will establish three galleries that will show minerals, gems, meteorites, gold and other artifacts.

"We will build three unique galleries within the Teck Cominco Suite, doubling the volume of ROM minerals and gems on display and opening up virtually limitless avenues for education," Thorsell said in a statement.

The ROM will double its space devoted to earth sciences, which features exhibits including this piece of quartz variety amethyst with prehnite. ((Royal Ontario Museum))

The ROM has an extensive mineral and gem collection and the new galleries provide greater opportunities to exhibit them.

The Canadian Mining Hall of Fame, an industry initiative that records the contribution of mining to Canadian history, will become an interactive, digital exhibit within the ROM.

The bilingual exhibit, to be based on ROM-developed exhibit technology, eventually could be reproduced for use across Canada.

Chair endowed

"Bringing the Hall of Fame to the new ROM is a natural fit, complemented by exhibits that investigate the link between earth's resources and everyday life," said Donald Lindsay, Teck Cominco president.

A branch of the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame will remain open in Elliot Lake, Ont.

Teck began as a gold mining company in Kirkland Lake, Ont., in 1913 and Cominco began in 1906, with one of its largest holdings the Sullivan lead and zinc mine in Kimberley, B.C. The companies merged in 2001.

Teck Cominco has also endowed a chair in mineralogy who will guide future exhibits in the earth sciences galleries, update educational content and make acquisitions decisions.