August 2012

Leading by example

CIM-Bedford Canadian Young Mining Leader Award winners help take industry above and beyond

By Correy Baldwin and Alexandra Lopez-Pacheco

The CIM-Bedford Canadian Young Mining Leaders Awards recognize outstanding young Canadians who have built careers by advancing the industry. The awards, sponsored by CIM and the Bedford Consulting Group, aim to set an example for the future generation of mining leaders by rewarding professionals who have demonstrated potential for future growth.

Sean Samson

Sean Samson | Vice-president, corporate development and acting vice-president operations, First Nickel Incorporated  

Before joining the senior team at Kinross Gold in 2006, Sean Samson was involved in capital markets and management consulting. “But it wasn't until I got into mining that I really saw the opportunity to build a company,” he says.

Kinross Gold was becoming one of the world’s fastest growing gold miners. “It was an exciting time with a very small group of us piecing parts of the portfolio together and making a modern company,” he says. When he left Kinross Gold for First Nickel in 2011, he was managing a team of over 300, across eight countries and 13 time zones.

It was a period of great learning for Samson. “I needed to juggle two jobs for the first six months because immediately after I joined the company our COO left, so I also ran the operations.”

Samson is keenly aware the industry needs to expand its talent pool. “There are especially good opportunities for young, commercially savvy people,” he notes. While the industry is good at recruiting engineers, geologists and investment bankers, explains Samson, “there are too few good people to do the commercial work of building the business. We just aren't on the radars of the best, young business minds as they set off on to their careers.”

He concludes, “Mining is a great place for ambitious young professionals to work. There is fantastic opportunity for growth.”


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