March/April 2011

Editor's letter

Refining the route from mineral resource to marketplace

By Angela Hamlyn

Angela Hamlyn
Everywhere is walking distance … if you have enough time. ~ Steven Wright

At a recent industry workshop, the president and CEO of a junior exploration company proclaimed himself and his like to be treasure hunters. Considering the mission of these modern-day swashbucklers, the logic behind his assertion makes sense: the incredible odds of finding their bounty, the remote and harsh locales they must travel to, and the cryptic maps and signs they have to decipher. Mother Nature hides her bounty well.

And once the valuable cache has been discovered the hard part begins, for there are no express highways deep into the jungles of Surinam or bridges spanning the expansive ice flows north of sixty. If the junior explorers are treasure hunters, then those responsible for determining viable ways of extracting and transporting those treasures are orchestra conductors.

In the March/April issue, we take a look at some of the logistical challenges facing the Canadian mining industry as it tries to satisfy the global hunger for the commodities we are so skilled at recovering and delivering. In the feature, “Moving Millions,” writer Dan Zlotnikov explores how mine operators, railway and shipping companies, and storage facilities are addressing issues of limited capacity and extreme conditions in Canada’s vast and incredibly complex transportation system.

The story behind the cover photo can be found in the Upfront section’s Engineering Exchange, where you’ll read about the design and incredible journey of the world’s largest autoclaves, engineered and constructed by the Hatch Autoclave Technology Group for the Pueblo Viejo gold operation, a joint venture between Barrick Gold Corporation and Goldcorp Inc. located in the Dominican Republic.

Iron ore gets a special focus in both this issue’s project profile – Labrador Iron Mine’s (LIM) Schefferville Projects – as well as in our commodity focus. Following the adage that “the best place to look for a new mine is beside an old mine,” LIM is capitalizing on the solid legacy and infrastructure created by the Iron Ore Company of Canada during its 25 years of operation, including a mine site, company town, rail line and shipping terminal.

Also, be sure to read this issue’s safety column, which explores the psychology of trauma and how mining companies are addressing issues of post-traumatic stress among workers and their families in the wake of distressing incidents.

You will also find a new addition that helps us share some of the feedback we’ve been getting about CIM Magazine topics on the CIM LinkedIn page. If you haven’t already joined the CIM LinkedIn group, check it out. You’ll find pertinent information as well as the provocative dialogue between a plethora of contributors from all walks of the mining industry.

I’d like to sign off with an acknowledgment of CIM Magazine’s own team of desktop explorers. Although the voyage from the raw material to the polished product is not always smooth sailing, it is incredibly rewarding and I am so honoured to be part of this crew.

Angela Hamlyn,

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