CIM is excited to announce its incoming president-elect, James Popowich, president and CEO, Elk Valley Coal Corporation, and president, Fording Canadian Coal Trust. He has been a long-time supporter of CIM, and a verifiable leader in the mining industry, and the coal industry in particular.
Elk Valley is known for its commitment to innovation and continuous improvement, and it will be this energy that Popwich brings to the CIM table. Joining CIM’s executive at such a time, when a new Strategic Plan approaches completion and Council and constituents are gearing up for momentous change to ensure an enduring future for the Institute, his experience will be a true asset.
Popowich joined Elk Valley Coal (then Fording Coal Limited) in 1974, as a planning engineer, and over the decades he worked his way through many positions, leaving his stamp on the company as he went. In 2001, he became executive vice president, until taking over his current position in early 2004. A mining engineer by profession, he received both his Bachelor of Science and Master’s of Science, both in mining, from the University of Saskatchewan, in 1966 and 1969, respectively.
Prior to joining Elk Valley Coal, Popowich worked for Cominco, as a planning engineer and shift supervisor in underground operations at Cominco Potash, then as planning engineer and drilling and blasting engineer at Pine Point Mines in the Northwest Territories, and finally as assistant to the manager, outside mines, for Cominco Limited in Trail, BC. He has experience in virtually every area of the mine operation.
His exceptional industry experience is a match for his active participation in a number of associations, including: CIM; Association of Professional Engineers, Geologists, and Geophysicists of Alberta; past chairman and past vice chairman, the Coal Association of Canada; director, Climate Change Central; past director and president, Alberta Chamber of Resources; past member, Alberta Economic Development Authority; and member, the Mining Industry Advisory Committee to the School of Mining and Petroleum Engineering, University of Alberta. He has also received awards, including the Alberta Centennial Medal, in recognition of outstanding service to the people and province of Alberta, and a CIM Fellowship Award for outstanding contribution to the coal industry in Canada.
Popowich steps into his new role at the CIM Conference and Exhibition 2006 in Vancouver, May 14 to 17, and will work with incoming CIM President Francois Pelletier, to see a new CIM unfold throughout the coming year.
Pelletier as president
As of May 17, at the CIM Conference and Exhibition, Francois Pelletier, vice president, operations management, Quebec Cartier Mining, will become CIM’s new president. Pelletier is known for bringing keen business sense to the mine operation, and will be sharing his knowledge with CIM Council over the coming year.
With a Master’s in management sciences and a Bachelor’s degree in computer sciences, Pelletier has played a pivotal role in keeping QCM afloat during the depressed markets of the iron ore industry over the past decade. Today, he works with the QCM team to make the most of the high prices and buoyant market driving a renewal of the industry.
Throughout the past year, as CIM president-elect, Pelletier took on a leadership role in the development of the new CIM Strategic Plan, and is already actively engaged in the plans for the CIM Conference and Exhibition 2007, to be held in Montreal.
CIM is in good hands for 2006-2007, and with Pelletier at the helm, the Institute is likely to be stronger than ever.
Hallbauer leaves a legacy
Russell Hallbauer has demonstrated his leadership and no-nonsense approach during his past year as CIM president, and the Institute has benefited from his patronage. Under his advisory, CIM has seen membership rise, the financial reports grow more healthy, and a renewal of the true community spirit that is the backbone of the industry, and the Institute.
Last July, Hallbauer left his long career with Teck Cominco, where he was general manager of base metal joint ventures, to become president and CEO of Taseko Mines Ltd. It has been a hectic year, but he has made the time to set CIM up for further growth in the future.
Hallbauer will continue to sit on the CIM Executive Committee this year as the CIM past president, and will further the work he has accomplished with the CIM Strategic Plan and in reaching out to CIM branches and societies to find a common ground and help the organization prosper.
CIM extends a heart-felt expression of appreciation for Russ Hallbauer’s dedication and guidance, and wishes him an exciting future.