The importance of the coal and oil sands industries to Canada’s future prosperity cannot be overstated. Their economic significance can only increase with the decline of the automotive and other manufacturing sectors. Furthermore, industry insiders believe that China’s escalating appetite for iron ore and metallurgical coal will make the kind of coal mined in western Canada a scarce commodity.
While the oil sands hold the promise of energy security for North America, their development is not without its challenges. Innovation will be imperative if we are to tap this vast resource responsibly and efficiently. That’s where I believe CIM and its members can make a big difference. Already, various associations with strong links to CIM are charting the course collaboratively with industry, government and academia. The Surface Mining Association for Research and Technology (SMART), under Gord Winkel’s leadership, should be acknowledged for the work they are doing in sharing best practices and knowledge in large-scale open pit mining. Similarly, the Canada Mining Innovation Council, with its president, Engin Özberk, is working to make our mining industry more competitive and responsible through excellence in mining innovation.
There are several items on CIM’s agenda in the coming months. The revision of our by-laws to comply with pending legislation for non-profit societies is expected to be tabled before the membership later this year. The review of National Instrument 43-101 by the Canadian Securities Administrators is underway, and we are ensuring that CIM provides the appropriate input.
On the corporate social responsibility (CSR) front, multiple stakeholders are rallying around the Government of Canada’s strategy to deliver on the CSR roundtable recommendations. A cornerstone of the strategy is the development of a Centre of Excellence, in which CIM has been asked to play a pivotal role.
On another note, CIM’s past, present and incoming presidents will aim to visit as many CIM branches as possible throughout the year. The branches represent the industry’s grassroots, and we look forward to hearing about your plans and needs. Please inform us about your upcoming meetings so we can plan ahead to be there.
Michael J. Allan, CIM President