May 2012

Industrial strength connections

CIM provides networking opportunities, education and more

By Dinah Zeldin


CIM events provide an opportunity for students to make valuable connections | Photo: Normand Huberdeau, N.H. Photographes Ltée

The Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum unites a group of industry almost-stakeholders as varied as the more than 3,800 minerals found on earth. Despite the spectrum of needs and interests of its members, the Institute caters to all by providing leading-edge education and organizing world-class events.

“CIM is essential in career development for any mining professional, regardless of their job type or level of experience, because it provides members with access to a diverse network of companies, investors, government agen­cies, and individual thought leaders both in Canada and around the world,” says Kris DeGiacomo, regional manager for Eastern Canada, Immersive Technologies. DeGiacomo, whose background has primarily been in the IT sector, joined Immersive Technologies, a supplier of heavy equipment simulation solutions, less than a year ago, and joined CIM as an individual member in July 2011.

“Being relatively new to exclusively working in the mining industry, I wanted to make sure that not only could I accelerate my learning curve with the industry as a whole, but also that I could find an opportunity to work with world-class professionals on an ongoing basis,” he explains. “CIM is a recognized leader globally and provides an unmatched level of networking opportunities, knowledge-sharing, collaboration amongst its membership, and commitment to seeing the mining culture flourish in Canada through its many societies, events, and pro­grams. CIM, and my participation in its various initiatives, has without a doubt been the single greatest contributor to my early success in the business.”

One of CIM’s initiatives is to provide a meeting space for members, where they can share knowledge and build business connections. Roger Marchand, president of Bay6 Solutions Inc., values CIM events because of the relationships he has forged through attending. “Bay6 has been a corporate member for almost two years,” he says. “As a new company we were looking for ways to connect and network, and we found the CIM Conference & Exhibition to be a great venue for that. The calibre of the show is very high, which brings very high-level people. We have participated in a lot of other shows, but this is the one that brings out the decision-makers.”

Knowledge-sharing is also an essential component of CIM’s offering to its members. The Institute organizes leading-edge technical programs, short courses and presentations, and publishes a range of academic journals, as well as Canada’s premier mining magazine, CIM Magazine.

“As a member of CIM, I receive literature and journals that keep me up-to-date on the industry,” says Hamid Mumin, economic geology professor at Brandon University in Manitoba. “CIM’s publications help keep me current on what is happening in my profession. I have also attended several short courses, which have helped my professional development.”

Mumin, who has been a member for more than 20 years, was selected to tour the country as a participant in CIM’s 2011-12 Distinguished Lecturer program. “As a Distinguished Lecturer, I had the opportunity to give talks coast to coast,” he says. “It was a great experience be­cause I met a lot of wonderful people, and the new connections have already resulted in new research and new collaboration.” According to Mumin, the Distinguished Lecturer program put on by CIM makes an important contribution to the industry because it allows small groups like remote CIM branches and student groups to bring in expert speakers they could not otherwise afford.

CIM’s student members agree the Institute’s educational programs are well-executed and valuable. “There are great seminars and speakers that come to McGill through CIM,” says Stephen Coates, a third-year student in mining and engineering at McGill University. “I’ve also been to the CIM Exhibition which was a great learning opportunity. I got to learn about sustainability and the mining industry.”

Coates, who has been a member of CIM for more than two years and has been involved with the CIM student chapter at McGill since it was started last year, says being involved with the Institute has helped him gain contacts and skills he will need in his career, and urges others to take advantage. “Being involved with CIM is a great opportunity to learn project management skills, and the magazine and the publications members receive are a fun way to stay up-to-date on what’s going on in the mining industry.”

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