March/April 2009

Bubbling up for mineral processing

The writer of an award-winning essay shares enthusiastic insights

By R. Pillo


Alison Cummings receives her scholarship prize from Stuart McTavish, chair of the Canadian Minerals Processors Society Toronto Branch.

Alison Cummings, from Queen’s University, was awarded the CIM Canadian Mineral Processors Society Toronto Branch scholarship for her short essay, “Role of a Mineral Processor,” which tackles the environmental and social challenges a mineral processor faces today.

When Cummings heard about mineral processing through her orientation leader, she was hooked. “I saw it as the perfect combination of chemistry and geology. So far, I like everything about it and I am excited to learn more about the field,” she said enthusiastically.

Her passion doesn’t stop there. Now in her second year of a dual degree in mineral processing and economics, Cummings’s heavy course load does not deter her from aiming to graduate with Dean’s Honours. Nor will this bubbly and energetic student relax during her summer breaks. She will be spending her days “applying what I have learned at Queen’s by getting practical work experience.”

But it’s not all work and no play for Cummings. When she is not “reading and hanging out with friends and family,” she may be found zipping through the summer weekends on water-skis, or in the winter, with the help of her teammates, making a clean sweep of varsity curling tournaments.

Winning the CIM Canadian Minerals Processors Society Toronto Branch scholarship has lifted her already naturally high spirits. “I'm excited and I'm proud of myself! It feels great to know that I am actually soaking in all that I am learning at Queen's and that people in the industry think so too.”

Now in its second year, the $2,500 scholarship prize is granted to students from the Greater Toronto Area entering their second year of mineral processing engineering. The funds were raised through the Canadian Mineral Processors Society Toronto Branch annual meeting held on September 9, 2008.

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