June/July 2009

Standardizing standards

CIM Distinguished Lecturer Clifford Stanley is passionate about raising the bar

By R. Pillo

The concept of standards is as old as human endeavour itself, reflected by the fact that it has been addressed in our earliest writings. Standards are vital to the life of any culture and business operation.

In his lecture “Quality Assessment and Control in Mining and Mineral Exploration: A Modern Day How-to,” CIM Distinguished Lecturer Clifford Stanley addresses the need for consensus in establishing standards for quality control in mining and mineral exploration.

Standards for education

After receiving his bachelor’s degree in earth sciences in 1980 at Darthmouth College, Stanley went to work for Anaconda Minerals, travelling across Canada, the United States and Mexico as a geochemist. After three years at Anaconda, the vast opportunities open to geochemists in Canada at that time led Stanley to the University of British Columbia (UBC) where he completed his master’s degree in geochemical exploration in 1984 and his PhD in mathematical geology in 1988. He then moved on to a post-doctoral fellowship in mathematical petrology at the University of Calgary and spent the following two years as a research associate in applied geochemistry at Queen’s University. He returned to UBC as an adjunct professor in the Mineral Deposit Research Unit (MDRU), managing two major consortium projects in economic geology and exploration geochemistry. In 1999, Stanley joined Acadia University, where he currently serves as professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Science teaching mineralogy, geochemistry, geophysics and economic geology.

Standards for standardization

In the course of his research and part-time professional consulting, Stanley realized that geoscientists faced many challenges in their work due to misconceptions and misapplications. Reflection led him to conclude one thing that seemed to be lacking was a clear set of defining standards.

This realization became a call to action to which Stanley reacted. “I initiated research in quality control because I noticed that it was not being handled in a proper form, and there were many improvements to be made,” recalled Stanley. He added that overall lack of training in quality control has led to confusion and a lack of consensus. Standardizing practices and training employees in quality control resolves this confusion and can give mining companies exploring for minerals a clear path forward.

Standard for giving back

Stanley’s love for learning and teaching goes beyond the confines of his classroom. As an active member of his local Rotary Club, Stanley has many duties: vocational service director, member of the board of directors and ticket-master of their principle fundraising event, a rubber duck race. As chair of the scholarship committee, he works to support the education of local high school students. Stanley considers one of humankind’s greatest gifts to be the ability to learn, and to keep learning new things. It is a value to which he holds true, saying with a twinkle in eyes, “Don’t kid yourself, I never left school.” Undoubtedly, it is this love of learning that motivates Stanley to share his lessons with others through CIM’s Distinguished Lecturer Program.

Post a comment


PDF Version