May 2006

Editor's letter

Who are the people in your neighbourhood?

By H. Ednie

Happy centennial celebrations to Teck Cominco, who celebrates 100 years of Cominco history this year. One hundred years of continuous operation is certainly something to take pride in.

When working on the article covering the Trail Operations, it was made abundantly clear that the minerals company and the community are inextricably linked. In fact, I was contacted by representatives of the regional district, who wanted to express their appreciation of the role the company has played in building, maintaining, and improving the town and surrounding communities. It's not too often that you find the public knocking on your door to express their appreciation for the industry.

The thing is, Teck Cominco is a company that has helped drive sustainable practices. In the various communities in which it operates, Teck Cominco proactively engages the community and becomes a participant in the local economy.

That would be a tall claim to base on the story of Trail – just a single example of Teck Cominco's history and current activities. However, flip to the article on the reclamation and closure of the Sullivan Mine. Here, too, is a story of community participation. I read numbers of magazine and newspaper articles discussing the benefits reaped by the City of Kimberley from its partnership-like relationship with the primary industry in town: Teck Cominco's Sullivan Mine.

Now, though Teck Cominco can be noted for doing exceptional work with the communities in which it operates, this one company doesn't stand alone. No, that would be too dismal. Rather, a number of mining companies, not to mention the suppliers, contractors, and consultants of the industry, are also serious about their responsibility to the communities with which they engage. If all these stories – from donations programs to long-term planning, greening programs to infrastructure development, economic support, and education – if these stories could reach the public, one after another, the minerals industry could become the "friendly neighbour" the public greets with a smile.

Heather Ednie, Editor-in-chief

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