TORONTO — A promotional video from a Toronto-based mining company featuring two bikini-clad women has caused a stir on social media after being criticized as “archaic and humiliating.”
The kerfuffle has prompted one of the women featured in the KWG Resources video, entitled “5 Interesting ‘Ring of Fire’ Facts,” to defend it on her Twitter feed.
Theresa Longo says the women are wearing “cottage attire” and the video was intended to be tongue-in-cheek and lighthearted.
In the video, Longo stands on a dock and notes that northern Ontario’s Ring of Fire project has been compared to Alberta’s oil sands.
Her colleague, identified as Ashley, at one point sits on a swing lakeside and says that First Nations are interested in sharing in the region’s resources.
The video has been criticized by some editorials in mining and northern Ontario publications as “archaic and humiliating” and not “socially progressive.”
Longo says on Twitter that criticism of her attire in the video dismisses her work in the mining industry.
In a subsequent video, Longo says she came to the attention of KWG while working at a trade show and is now a shareholder, producing the videos as her “own personal pilot project.”
The video is part of a Mining Minute series on KWG Resources’ YouTube channel and is in contrast to the two dozen other videos that mostly feature Longo talking to CEO Frank Smeenk in an office setting.
Smeenk says all junior companies trying to raise capital for exploration want to get attention. He said he sees no harm in the video, which he says was conceived by the women themselves while they were on vacation at a cottage.
The Ring of Fire is a mining area about 500 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay, Ont., that holds one of the world’s richest chromite deposits as well as nickel, copper and platinum.