Sept/Oct 2011

Editor's letter

Hardwired to be plugged in

By A. Hamlyn

Angela Hamlyn
The extent of our dependence on energy is most apparent when we are forced to do without it. All of us have attempted to turn on the lights in the depths of a power outage, admonished ourselves, then repeated the steps a short while later.

Ironically, this energy-themed issue was laid out during a massive power outage, compliments of Hurricane Irene. A perpetually tight production schedule, summer holidays and the Labour Day long weekend left a very narrow window for producing the issue, so the folks at our terrific production company, Clò Communications, hooked up a gas-powered generator to help us make our deadlines. We were, of course, fortunate to have access to a “Plan B” — a luxury that may be harder to come by for many as the ravenous global appetite for energy resources becomes more and more difficult to satisfy.

In what is surely CIM Magazine’s most expansive look at the Canadian energy resource sector to date, our feature, “Plugging in,” is comprised of three complete articles. In “The energy exchange,” Dan Zlotnikov takes a broad look at the logistical challenges faced by the energy sector as it attempts to effectively move enormous amounts of material every day to hungry markets south of the border and overseas. In “A question of balance,” Eavan Moore provides us with an overview of the economic, social and regulatory backdrop against which Canada’s oil sands producers are attempting to develop and expand their operations. Finally, the metallurgical coal sector’s attempt to keep pace with a global infrastructure boom and its enormous demand for steel is front and centre in Alexandra Lopez-Pacheco’s article, “Industrial strength.”

On the heels of Caterpillar’s US$8.8 billion acquisition of Bucyrus International, the timing was ideal to chat with Christopher Curfman, Caterpillar Inc.’s vice-president of sales and marketing, Global Mining Division, for our Q&A on page 40. Curfman discusses how this global leader is expanding its capacity to keep pace with the growing worldwide marketplace.

This issue also contains vital details about a number of important conferences being hosted and co-hosted by CIM. The preliminary program for the Symposium 2011 on Mines and the Environment, to be held from November 6 to 9 in Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec, can be found on page 100. The list of plenary speakers and their topics for the joint CIM/SME Safety and Reliability Conference, to be held from October 11 to 13 in Calgary, Alberta, are available on page 75.

Finally, be sure not to miss CIM president Chuck Edwards’ exciting announcement about a significant development for one of the Institute’s societies in the “President’s notes” on page 10.

In closing, just a reminder that the suggestions and feedback we receive from you are an important fuel that powers CIM Magazine, so keep the emails coming!

Angela Hamlyn,

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