March/April 2007

Canadian Mining and Metallurgical Foundation

Poised to promote education for industry

The Canadian Mining and Metallurgical Foundation (CMMF) has surpassed its original goal of $1 million, and today the board is laying plans for a campaign to greatly increase its reserve. A larger fund will result in increased opportunities to support and promote educational initiatives for the Canadian minerals industry - and the CMMF is one of the prime venues to ensure tomorrow’s industry remains replete with leading people.

The CMMF is a separate legal entity from CIM, though it is CIM members that have built it up and sit on its board. Funds come from CIM members - life members primarily - and many have been very generous.

A board of nine trustees administer the CMMF, many of them past presidents of CIM. By law, the CMMF has to dispense at least 4.5 per cent of its fund each year, and that money goes to educational initiatives across the country.

After years of work to grow the fund, its healthy status today is due in great part to the generosity of Donald Hurd, who died on June 11, 2003, and included the CIM Foundation in his will. Currently, the CMMF has reached a total of $1.4 million.

“As one of the original founders of the Foundation, I am of course pleased with its progression over the years,” said René Dufour, CIM past president and CMMF trustee. “We have a strong, dedicated board and an active president, Glen Clark, who is investing a lot of time in getting all of us trustees involved in promoting the objectives of the Foundation.”

Today, confronted with a changing world and the looming HR crisis, much work is required to attract young people to our industry, and to enable continuous learning for industry’s professionals. The CMMF is a tool to enable necessary initiatives to keep industry strong.

“The task ahead of us is tremendous and the Foundation has an active role to play on behalf of CIM,” Dufour said. “Several American universities have abandoned mining and geology programs, due to low enrolment; the situation is becoming alarming in our country. The Foundation’s role is to support CIM’s educational activities.”

The Foundation board is laying plans to launch a major campaign, with the goal of raising the assets of its endowment fund to $10 million. This would permit spending over $400,000 a year to support various activities to reverse the current trend of disaffection towards our industry, and to increase the transfer of knowledge and increase mineral education, both within industry and in the communities.

Such fund growth will require great commitment from CIM members, industry personalities, even the major industry companies. With everyone on board, the goal is within reach - promising major long-term  improvements for the minerals industry as a whole.

The CMMF today - Investing in educational initiatives

Today, the CMMF supports a number of educational programs that support the minerals industry. Some of the CMMF-sponsored programs include:

Scholarships - the CMMF awards three scholarships to university students annually: the Caterpillar Inc. and its Canadian Dealers scholarship for mining engineering; the Scotia Bank scholarship for earth sciences; and the Arthur Foley scholarship for mining engineering at École Polytechnique.

CIM Distinguished Lecturer Program - bringing leading knowledge to local CIM branches, the CMMF joins Atlas Copco in enabling this program that brings top lecturers to local halls around the country.

MABC Educational Program and the PDAC Mining Matters Program - two leading programs, bringing education about the minerals industry to the classroom, benefit from financial support from the CMMF.

Mining in Society - the interactive exhibition at the CIM Conference and Exhibition that is open to the public as outreach, to encourage more people to embrace the minerals industry as a career destination. The CMMF provides financial support to ensure its success.

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