Each issue of CIM Magazine begins as a blank slate, with only the theme that has been predetermined. As an editor, I derive great satisfaction from witnessing the metamorphosis of what is simply a conceptual direction — a few words on a page — into the final product, which is a compilation of articles and photos that capture that topic and pertinent industry news at that particular point in time. The process is pretty exciting because, even though we subsequently develop a specific lineup for each issue, we can never really anticipate the precise unfolding of each article, and hence the final product (the magazine) as a whole.
This September/October issue serves as a great illustration of this creative process. Already one of the constants on the annual editorial roster, the Coal and Oil Sands issue is also one of our most anticipated. Although the theme may be unwavering, the nature of the content is anything but. In the 12 months since our last Coal and Oil Sands issue, the face of both of these mammoth industries has changed considerably as they have been forced to adapt to the realities of challenging economic times.
What we discovered is that notwithstanding the fact that some projects have been put on hold and economic and operational adjustments have needed to be made, these two giant sectors have certainly not been sleeping.
In spite of economic constraints, both industries have maintained unwavering commitments to R&D, technological innovation and environmental excellence. They have been supported in their efforts by a plethora of suppliers, industry associations and academic institutions. Whether it is research into clean energy sources or improved tailings management, hard economic times did not soften the industry’s resolve in the area of best practices.
We hope that you are as inspired as we were by these articles, as well as by the optimism regarding an anticipated recovery in the coming months that is expressed by many.
Finally, thanks to all of the readers who took the time to send an email in response to the last issue. Your feedback, good wishes and suggestions were greatly appreciated. Once again, I invite you to weigh in, and please keep sending us your story ideas and become part of the creative process that helps to shape the editorial in future issues.