February 2016

President's notes

The challenge before us

By Garth Kirkham

Garth KirkhamFor, in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s future. And we are all mortal.

John F. Kennedy

Though Kennedy was referring to the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons in his 1963 speech, I contend that these words still ring true today in the context of climate change.

As we all know, the recent UN Climate Change Conference in Paris resulted in an unprecedented global willingness to act on our collective concerns. Much of the Paris Agreement actions are focused on the reduction of carbon emissions and adaptation to climate change.

Engineers and geoscientists are equipped with the tools, knowledge and drive to solve such problems. I firmly believe that the mining industry is a key contributor to reaching these goals by finding ways to reduce energy consumption, mitigate mining’s environmental impacts and contribute to developing alternative energy sources.

Underground mines, for example, can serve as storage facilities for carbon dioxide or other waste, and may also provide a geothermal energy source, especially those mines that lie deep below the surface. As well, the world has decided to move away from coal for energy generation and today the most feasible alternative is nuclear power. It is our task to supply the key component, uranium, in a secure and safe manner. Lithium, graphite, and rare earths are essential and irreplaceable to the “clean technology” economy. Therefore, exploring for and mining these strategic elements must now become a priority.

The mining industry clearly has much to contribute to solving the climate change challenge. We do these things, as Kennedy said of sending a man to the moon, “not because they are easy, but because they are hard; because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win.”

Garth Kirkham
CIM President

In this issue
     Project Profile
    Upfront: Copper
Post a comment


PDF Version