February 2009

President's notes

Knowledge – the best investment

By J. Gowans

Across the mining world, companies are actively re-assessing their businesses, from capital spending reductions and project deferrals to operational efficiencies and production curtailments. Along the way, difficult decisions have been made. We are all in business to generate a return on investment. Belts have been tightened and budgets have been cut to maximize the power of every dollar invested into the business.

Over my three decades in the mining industry, I have learned time and time again that the best investment a mining company can make is in knowledge. A better process, a safer practice, a more productive and cost-effective operation, a more sustainable approach… these can be the difference between a successful operation and a shutdown.

This becomes even more important in difficult times like the ones we are experiencing, and it is one reason that I am honoured to serve as CIM’s president. Our organization’s unrelenting focus on continuous innovation in extraction and processing should be considered a valued resource to us all. The best practices and processes that are shared via this magazine, our website and numerous meetings provide us with the ideas and knowledge that members can take back to their operations and turn into actions that benefit their companies.

This May 10-13, CIM hosts its most important annual event, the CIM Conference and Exhibition, being held in Toronto.  I am excited by the lineup of speakers and symposia, which will offer attendees the latest knowledge across five streams: Best Practices, Projects, Mine Cycle Management, People Resources, and Earth Biodiversity.

In my opinion, this will be the mining “knowledge event” of the year. The knowledge shared and gained at the conference will be one of the best investments you can make.  I look forward to seeing you there.

Jim Gowans, CIM President

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