The world is changing and the mining industry, particularly in Canada, is at the forefront of this change. Integral to this evolution, of course, is the concept of sustainability.
More than ever, our industry must take into consideration the environment and the communities in and around where we operate. Not that we did this poorly before. Many of us grew up in communities founded by the mining activity in our area. However, the issues are more complex now, and our industry is certainly working hard to meet those challenges.
Through its Toward Sustainable Mining initiative, the Mining Association of Canada has helped guide the way by setting accountable standards of performance for its membership. Our industry is the single largest employer of aboriginal people in Canada, and has signed more Impact and Benefit Agreements than all other industries combined.
So, where does CIM fit in all of this? Well, for starters, we are the vanguards of our industry. Our membership must continue to exhibit this leadership as we demonstrate our values for knowledge sharing and networking.
One of the ways in which CIM has accomplished this is through its dynamic and interactive Mining in Society program, which was initiated four years ago. Aimed at educating the public — and school-aged children, in particular — about the vital role that mining plays in our everyday lives, it helps to demonstrate the positive ways in which mining impacts the world around us.
Going forward, CIM — through its various initiatives, conferences, publications and copious members’ activities — is at the heart of communicating this message of sustainability, which will represent an important mandate for the organization and the industry as a whole.
Jim Gowans, CIM President