September 2014

President's notes

Hard lessons

By Sean Waller

Sean_Waller One of our key responsibilities as a technical institute is to provide leading-edge, sciencebased information relevant to the various sectors of the minerals industry. This information is shared through CIM conferences, society and branch functions, CIM publications and the online CIM library. When our members, regardless of their location, can access that information they can execute their roles to the very best of their abilities.

For these reasons we continue to develop our international branch structure and international membership. Following on the establishment of CIM branches in Santiago and Lima, plus five years of coordinated activities in China, we now welcome our newest international branch in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. This branch, along with our Dakar, Senegal branch will act as the cornerstone of CIM's presence in West Africa. Looking ahead, CIM is working diligently on establishing a Hong Kong branch as well. Through our overseas presence, CIM shares information, provides cutting-edge expertise, and supports the development of responsible mining and best practices, wherever mining takes place.

It was while drafting this note that I learned of the tailings dam breach at the Mt. Polley copper mine in British Columbia. Thankfully, no injuries occurred. This incident has taken all of us by surprise, as Canada has extremely rigorous standards for tailings dam engineering design, construction and operation. This incident garnered widespread public reaction across the country, and rightly so, but unfortunately inaccurate information was disseminated. This breach will be investigated, and it is important that we await the facts. For us at CIM, it will be our responsibility to learn as much as we can from the event and ensure these lessons are shared with our members, branches and societies, and applied to mining projects around the world.

Sean Waller
CIM President

Go to cover story: natural gas vs nuclear Go to project profile: Chelopech mine Go to travel: Fort McMurray, AB Go to community: Strategic outreach
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