Aug/Sept 2015

President's notes

Hang tough.

By Garth Kirkham

Garth Kirkham

My dad often said this when I was a kid. He never offered an explanation, although my impression was that he meant life always presents challenges, but, if you persevere, you will succeed.

As I read the industry news and talk to my peers, my father’s words are top of mind. Today, we are at a low point of the market cycle and that low is dragging on, which means the skills and experience of many good people are not being put to good use.

What can those of us, whose work has dried up, do with all of our extra time? As Theodore Roosevelt famously urged, “Get action, seize the moment.” Our situation presents us with the rare opportunity to rethink, re-engineer, reset and reload.

Now is the time to restructure the way projects are financed with a sustainable model that ensures all stakeholders a higher likelihood for return-on-investment and addresses the structural finance and cost issues of the junior mining space.

Now is the time to examine corporate social responsibility at earlier stages of projects and lay solid foundations for the future. Now is the time to mentor or train someone. While it is a difficult prospect to train your replacement when you are not ready to be replaced, there will inevitably be a significant scarcity and subsequent huge demand for qualified people. You will be doing your future self a favour.

And now is the opportunity to commit your time to CIM, whether as a peer reviewer, an expert voice at a technical session or through the many events and projects the CIM community is developing.

Once the dust settles, those who invested in themselves during this downturn will be the leaders when things pick up. Captains become Generals quickly in wartime, so do as much professional development as you can, take courses, publish and attend. Invest in skills and productivity to make you more marketable. Invest in yourself, friends, family and partnerships. Work out and get healthy.

In short: hang tough.

Garth Kirkham
CIM President

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