As I was working down through the strata that covered my desk in preparation for the recent relocation of the CIM national offices, I came across an issue of CIM Magazine from our archives. The cover of the August 2006 edition made one solitary proclamation in a stark, bold font: “Human Resources Crisis.” We were in the process of putting the finishing touches on this current HR-themed issue when I found it, so I could not help but stop what I was doing and take a closer look. For, as we report in the following pages, that crisis has not subsided in the four years since. If anything — the recent economic downturns notwithstanding — it has worsened, and poses an even larger threat to the industry.
As you will read in the feature story, “Future Prospects,” a report due to be released by the Mining Industry Human Resources Council (MiHR) this fall pegs the looming deficit of qualified people for our industry to be in excess of 100,000. Additionally, a staggering 21 per cent of those currently employed in our industry will be eligible to retire in just two years. Writer Marlene Eisner explores some of the creative programs underway aimed at attracting a new pool of qualified people, including students, females, new Canadians and Aboriginals. From MiHR’s progressive web portal and social media initiative to Goldcorp’s creative marketing efforts, many organizations are doing their part so that we are not destined to read an even gloomier headline in 2014.
Also in this issue we offer a special focus on another precious resource — gold. Regular contributor Dan Zlotnikov explores why and how the global economy’s ongoing troubles is spelling good news for the gold sector. From Timmins to Africa, read about expansion plans at Kirkland Lake Gold, IAMGOLD and Goldcorp, as Canadian mining companies from across the spectrum capitalize on gold’s gilded status — albeit with prudence.
In the article “A small window, a big opportunity” on page 36, writer Correy Baldwin gives us a glance inside Agnico-Eagle Mine’s new Meadowbank operation in Nunavut.
Be sure to check out the preliminary program for the upcoming Maintenance Engineering / Mine Operators’ Conference — MEMO 2010 — to be held October 24 to 27 at Laurentian University in Sudbury. With a wide range of field trips, a dynamic technical program, fun-filled social lineup and a sold-out trade show, it promises to be a must-attend event, so if you have not registered already be sure to do so right away.
On a final note, as mentioned earlier, the CIM national office has moved, so please take note of our new mailing address on page 47. In the meantime, our email addresses remain the same, so please keep sending us your thoughts on the articles you have read, or give us a heads up on things you would like to see in future issues. Your ideas are golden.