June/July 2010

Beyond the podium

CIM Distinguished Lecturers leave lasting impressions

By R. Pillo

This past season’s CIM Distinguished Lecturers Program — an attendance record-breaking success — featured outstanding speakers and inspiring individuals who captivated CIM branch and society audiences across the country.  Each field-leading expert  left his mark, sparking discussion  that is integral to fostering CIM’s role as a community for leading industry expertise.

Steve Scott delivered his talk, “Seafloor Massive Sulfide Mining – the Dawning of a New Industry,”  at 17 venues between January and March. The subject never failed to generate enthusiasm and probing questions about this new source of base and precious metals. He had four versions of his presentation in both official languages and delivered two of them in French.

“After attending Steve Scott’s talk, I emailed my old classmates with a must-attend recommendation at their local branches,” said Ron Sinkiewicz, CIM Red Lake Branch chair. Sinkiewicz’s regard for Scott’s presentation is shared by MetSoc-CIM McGill Student Chapter president Nalini Singh who noted, “The possibility and reality of underwater mining captured the imagination of all, by pushing the lines of traditional mining ventures.”

Over 13 CIM branches across Canada have benefitted from Don Thompson’s timely address, “Setting the Record Straight,”  in which he dispelled the myths surrounding the oil sands industry and demonstrated this industry’s commitment to balancing significant development and economic benefits without sacrificing environmental stewardship.  “This presentation should be a required part of high school education across the continent,” said Fenna Poelzer, CIM Edmonton Branch chair. “Thompson kept students and industry veterans equally engaged by providing facts, citing his sources and encouraging everyone to not only verify his points themselves, but to take advantage of additional learning opportunities as well.”

Kelly Lendsay delivered a powerful message in his talk on “Aboriginal Inclusion: A New World of Opportunity.” Pierre Verpaelst, Quebec Branch chair said, “He left an enduring and strong impact on all who attended his talk.” CIM Edmonton Branch education chair Gord Morris noted, “Lendsay is on the right path to further enhance Aboriginal participation in the workforce in Canada.”

Engin Özberk’s presentation, “Innovation and Uranium Mining from a Canadian Perspective,” attracted quite a lot of interest, including from our members up north. “Even though almost all our members here are geologists, we found his talk to be very interesting and informative,” said David Watson, CIM Yellowknife Branch chair.

According to Carmen Storey, CIM Red Lake Branch director, lecturer George Kipouros “made a complex topic understandable” with his presentation titled “Materials and Asset Integrity.”

Of course, the knowledge exchange goes both ways. “The program provides an important service to its members, the community at large and the lecturer,” said Steve Scott. “Long may it continue!” Scott’s enthusiasm was matched by Thompson who said, “I was very honoured to have been invited to speak to people who drive the Canadian economy.”

From corporate social responsibility to innovative exploration, the upcoming 2010-2011 CIM Distinguished Lecturers series (see lineup on previous page) promises to keep audiences up to speed on the next wave of industry information and developments.  Be sure to book early and reap the benefits of this truly remarkable opportunity.

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