August 2008

Editor's letter

Sustainability on the roster

By H. Ednie

Sustainability. It’s a word that encompasses virtually everything we do. However, it’s a word some people feel is over-used. I remember attending the Global Mining Initiative conference in Toronto back in 2002, my first mining conference where the focus was on the three tiers of sustainability: social, environmental and economic responsibility.

Today, I can’t imagine a mining conference where sustainability isn’t on the roster. The CIM Conference and Exhibition in Edmonton this past spring exemplified that, themed Moving Beyond: Innovation for a Sustainable Future. I’m signed up to attend Caterpillar Global Mining’s Health, Safety, Environment and Community Forum in September. CIM is hosting the Mines and Environment conference in November. The list is endless.

Whether you call it sustainability, stewardship or responsibility, the minerals industry has proven itself a leader in the field. Forever under close scrutiny due to the nature of our operations, mining companies, suppliers, consultants and all our professionals have gone well beyond the suggested guidelines and pioneered best practices in community engagement and inclusion, environmental management and energy conservation.

This issue of CIM Magazine focuses on sustainability, though it merely brushes the surface of all the exemplary developments and efforts throughout industry. If you’re going to be active in our industries, you’re maintaining a focus on sustainable practices. As you read the many articles throughout this issue, you can think of ways to apply some of these tools, processes and approaches at your workplace.

We need to get the message out, beyond the boundaries of our peers, to educate the public about the great strides we’re taking. Both the Voices from Industry column (page 82) by Don Lindsay, president and CEO of Teck Cominco, and the MAC Economic Commentary column (page 46) provide terrific gems of information to help you develop a message to share with your kids, your community — with society.

Heather Ednie

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