As the year 2008 comes to a close, what else can I say but “wow” — what a year it has been! Looking back, I am amazed by how dynamic and unpredictable a time it has been for our industry.
The year started with exploration in Canada hitting record highs. Development in our oil sands was booming, mining projects were advancing in almost every province and territory, and many new mines came on-stream (including our two from De Beers Canada — Snap Lake and Victor). Although prices of our mined commodities had cooled off from record levels, in general, the demand was still pretty good.
Then the financial meltdown in the United States occurred and the repercussions were quickly felt around the globe. As I write this note, mine and/or smelter production is being curtailed or shut down, capital and exploration expenditure is being slashed, projects are being suspended, and our industry is once again going into survival mode as the world heads into global recession.
More than ever, CIM’s role as a facilitator and coordinator will be critical to our industry’s future. Through its network of members, branches and societies, CIM will enable us to share the knowledge to help one another survive this economic downturn.
Corporate members, I encourage you to support our organization and the CIM Foundation. Members, help make our branches and societies work for you, providing a platform for the exchange of ideas that can help find ways to manage this recession and power our industry into the future. Meanwhile, in 2009 CIM will be showcasing its global leadership in mining at our annual Conference and Exhibition to be held in Canada’s financial hub, Toronto, from May 10 to 13.
I am confident that our Canadian mining industry will
triumph. Yes, there will likely be some operations that will have to close for a period, but as a group we will come out stronger in the end.
I want to wish all our members a Merry Christmas. May we all help one another take on this global challenge and succeed!
Jim Gowans, CIM President