November 2008

President's notes

Feeling the warmth of Canada’s territories

By J. Gowans

This issue has to be my sentimental favourite, given its two main focuses — the territories and the CMP. Let me explain. I am among the few Canadians who have lived in the territories not once, but twice over their careers. In fact, the opportunity to return there was a strong impetus for my move to De Beers Canada a couple of years ago — especially because I was having a great time working with the Inco team in Indonesia!

To me, the territories represent the last, vast, virtually untapped frontier of Canadian mining. More importantly, besides oil and gas on the Arctic Coast, I believe mining is the economic driver of development in the territories. That said, the challenges are immense. They include the lack of infrastructure, high costs and energy requirements, to say nothing of logistical difficulties. These issues have denied the territories their rightful place as significant contributors to Canada’s economy.

However, I believe that Canadians — and CIM’ers all — are up to the challenge of changing this. The success of diamond mines over the last 10 to 15 years is a testament to our determination and ingenuity. Going forward will require even more innovation in exploration, infrastructure development, and mine design. Resource development in the territories has to be a priority for Canada in this century.

Speaking of innovation, I also think it’s great that this issue provides a preview of the Canadian Mineral Processors Operators’ Conference program. I have been a member of CMP — one of our larger societies — for most of my career. During that time, I have watched as this dedicated group has made advancements in everything from fine grinding and column flotation to hydrometallurgy, keeping Canada at the forefront in the global mining industry. They have helped set the course and we must continue forging ahead on it.

So, enjoy this issue. It offers an exciting opportunity for members to learn about what the territories have to offer. It is my hope that we can then bring that message to the country and the world.

Jim Gowans, CIM President

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