Dec '10/Jan '11

CIM's blueprint

Designing the roadmap to a prosperous and sustainable future

By Andrea Nichiporuk

A year has passed since CIM first informed its members about undergoing a blueprint exercise, whereby the Institute took a step back, reevaluated its purpose and planned for the future. With a goal of ensuring CIM’s longevity and growing relevance to the global mining industry, a concrete plan of action — a roadmap — was set forth. This elaborate plan cannot be carried out solely at the national level; engaging all of CIM’s constituents is crucial to its successful completion.

So, what does this mean for you, our members?

CIM — your one-stop shop

“On the global front, Canada’s mining industry makes a big impact,” says Chris Twigge-Molecey, president of CIM. “Our industry professionals are spread around the globe sharing knowledge and expertise at every conference they attend and at every exploration camp and mine site they visit. However, the impact could be even greater — and this is where CIM comes in.”

“The Institute is taking steps that will allow us to provide knowledge, timely information and expertise worldwide,” explains CIM executive director Jean Vavrek. “There will be no side-stepping CIM when it comes to everything related to this industry. When you think ‘mining,’ you will immediately think of CIM.”

How will this be achieved? By being the community for leading industry expertise. “Our approach to establishing practices and gathering knowledge is becoming more targeted, including doing the necessary research. We’re making a clear commitment to bring solutions to any and all problems. If we can’t help you, we’ll connect you with the people who can,” says Vavrek.

Enhancing the CIM experience

Every strategic plan set forth by CIM Council since the mid-1990s has reconfirmed the Institute’s initial purpose established back in 1898, that of knowledge sharing, building industry expertise and networking. CIM’s current roadmap strives for the very same thing.

Playing a significant part in this undertaking is the overhaul of CIM’s information technology infrastructure — the foundation upon which all of CIM’s practices, processes, services and products will evolve and grow. All things considered, this massive project is moving along fairly smoothly.

Major accomplishments to date include:

  • The visual designs of the new CIM website are complete (see the November 2010 issue of CIM Magazine for a sneak peek). In 2011, this new website, which will be integrated with the new association/ contact relationship management system (CRM), exhibitor management system and document management system, will give all of CIM’s constituents the same level of access and the ability to modify their member profiles directly online. It will also enable them to select attributes and functions to customize their web experience. It will be equipped with a powerful search engine, covering all facets of the site — publications, member information, societies/branches, events, etc. Users will be able to refine searches and accurately find information of true value.
  • The membership component of the CRM has gone live — a major milestone in the IT project —and CIM’s membership department is now working fully in this new system. Over the coming year, members will be able to customize their profiles allowing CIM to tailor the information, products and services it shares with them according to their specific needs and interests.
  • The stand-alone version of the exhibitor management system (EXPOCAD and EXPOCAD FX) has been implemented. This tool, now available for the MEMO 2011 exhibition, features an interactive floor plan allowing future exhibitors to select booths more strategically and make their purchases directly online.

“Our goal is to help our exhibitors market themselves and their products and services more efficiently,” says CIM deputy director Jean-Marc Demers of the new exhibitor management system. “To this end, we are looking to position our environment as a vehicle to enhance the value and the experience as opposed to simply listing a company profile and contact details.” Through focus groups to be held during the CIM Conference & Exhibition 2011 in Montreal this coming May, CIM will be looking to its exhibitors for feedback on how it can help market them.

During the coming year, members can also expect to see: a new integrated peer review system for technical papers, conference abstracts and proceedings; and a new integrated system for nominating members for CIM awards, which will also be used for endorsing nominations and to support the judging process. As the new website and systems will be integrated in stages throughout 2011 (and into 2012), it is likely that, at times, users may find themselves redirected to the old website. This will happen less frequently as time goes by.

Connecting you to the world

The tools and systems CIM is putting in place are designed to make it easier for members of the global mining industry to connect and share knowledge and best practices. During the past nine months, CIM has increased its focus on social media to expand its reach and make it easier for people to be involved with the Institute. As the new tools and systems come online, CIM will be expanding beyond traditional membership and moving towards web-based membership services, for a more enhanced and customized experience. “We have no choice but to move in this direction, to become a global player and grow our relevance and reach,” adds Vavrek. “It’s about being an advocate for the industry in Canada and worldwide.”

Industry events

CIM has also been working hard to develop relationships at home and abroad, partner with other associations on global events and bring international conferences to Canada — and these efforts have paid off. Over the coming years, in addition to its existing conferences — CIM Conference & Exhibition, Conference of Metallurgists (COM), MEMO and Symposium on Mining and the Environment — members will benefit from CIM’s involvement in an expanding range of co-hosted international conferences including:

  • SAG (Vancouver, September 2011)
  • CIM/SME conference on safety and reliability, 1st edition (Calgary, September 2011)
  • World Gold (Montreal, October 2011)
  • China Mining: Finance Mining Day (Beijing, November 2011)
  • Rock Engineering Symposium (Edmonton, May 2012)
  • MassMin 2012 (Sudbury, June 2012)
  • International Mine Management Conference, led by AusIMM (Melbourne, fall 2012)
  • NorCat Planetary/Space Symposium (Sudbury, 2013; integrated with CIM Conference & Exhibition)
  • CIM/SME conference on safety and reliability, 2nd edition (Denver, fall 2013)
  • International Symposium on Automation and Robotics in Construction – ISARC (Montreal, fall 2013)
  • World Mining Congress – WMC (Montreal, August-September 2013)
  • Materials Science & Technology Conference and Exposition – MS&T (Montreal, 2013)
  • International Mine Management Conference, held jointly with AusIMM (TBA, October 2014)
  • 13th ISRM International Congress (Montreal, 2015)
  • International Mineral Processing Congress – IMPC (Quebec City, fall 2016)

And even more, so stay tuned.

CIM will be renewing its efforts on existing initiatives, including safety, corporate social responsibility, environment, reliability, innovation and standards, and will be calling upon its societies and branches to collaborate in these areas. The Institute has also invigorated its commitment to increasing the number of peer-reviewed technical papers at all of its events.

Continuing its investment in education and outreach, CIM’s highly acclaimed Mining in Society show (free and open to the general public) is also being revamped and given a new name to better represent the scope of the industry it promotes: M4S — Mining for Society. The four Ms stand for mines, minerals, metals and materials.

Paper-based publications

Another way CIM connects its members to the global mining industry is through its publications — CIM Magazine, CIM Journal, special volumes, the Online Technical Paper Library, and its website and sub-sites. Keeping its members atop of industry developments and the latest in technical advancements has always been a priority for the Institute and as such, plays a prominent role in the current roadmap.

Over the coming years, CIM is planning to publish new technical volumes and possibly update a couple of existing ones, make over 100 years of technical information published in the former CIM Bulletin available online, and continue to grow its flagship publications CIM Magazine and CIM Journal.


The implementation of new tools and systems will make it easier for CIM to improve its communications and relationships with members, societies and branches. Over the coming three to six months, agreements will be finalized with the societies, branches and CIM Council on governance policies, reporting and accountability. “Our members are our biggest and best asset,” comments Vavrek. “We want to make it easier and more satisfying for all of our members, at every level, to contribute to us, our initiatives and our industry.”

By volunteering time to CIM, industry professionals can accumulate professional development credits (see p. 74 of CIM Magazine’s March/April 2010 issue for details). Areas where you can contribute include:

  • Confirm key areas of expertise and topics where you see the need for peer-reviewed content.
  • Send in feedback about our events, publications, initiatives, articles, etc.
  • Tell us what you need: Should we bring speakers and events closer to you? At what frequency? On what topics?
  • Identify potential future CIM members or areas to seek recruitment.
  • Identify key contributors and potential volunteers; the weight of volunteering is too often carried by the same few individuals.
  • Recruit new people to join your branch or society executive.
  • Identify individuals who would make great technical paper peer reviewers.
  • Increase our roster of experts in various subject matter. For example, we are looking to expand our advisory groups and network of experts who can contribute story ideas for CIM Magazine, pull together strong technical sessions at CIM conferences, etc.
  • Identify events you think CIM should collaborate on, in Canada and abroad.

“The best way people can help right now is by encouraging and supporting peers to join CIM, be it at the local branch level, at the national level or as a CYBER member for those residing outside North America,” says Vavrek. Everyone benefits by increasing CIM’s pool of resources. “Being able to tap into the collective brain power that makes up CIM is an asset we need to grow,” he adds.

An association is only as good as the people who contribute to it. CIM’s success depends upon all of its constituents banding together towards a common goal — ensuring CIM’s continued success, relevance and growth.

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