August 2012

Editor's letter

Going to extremes

By Angela Hamlyn

Miners are certainly not ones to shy away from a challenge, which is fortunate since Mother Nature holds the upper hand in the game of mineral resource hide-and-seek. Under the best circumstances, the safe and efficient extraction and processing of minerals demand remarkable ingenuity. But what about under the worst of circumstances, such as when deposits are located in regions where in winter skin can freeze in matter of minutes, or at altitudes where the air is so thin that miners are under orders not to work too hard?

In our feature “Mining in the extreme,” writer Dan Zlotnikov looks at some of the innovative solutions being utilized in the face of such extremes of temperature, altitude and depth. From viscosity modifiers for fluids that enable them to perform better in severe cold, to more basic adaptations, such as the coordination of shift transfers that allow for safer and more efficient transport of people to high altitude mining sites, operators and suppliers are rising to the challenges posed by mining in highly demanding environments.

We also take a trek high into the Chilean Andes with CIM Magazine editor Peter Braul to visit Kinross’ Maricunga mine, located 4,500 metres above sea level where temperatures can fluctuate more than 30 degrees on any given day. Despite these difficult conditions and the impacts they have on both workers and equipment, Maricunga is among the company’s lowest cost per ounce ­operations.

We are also pleased to bring you the results from our recent CIM Magazine 2012 Reader Survey. The feedback was very encouraging as it highlights not only that magazines are our readers’ primary source of mining news (more than online news sites and newspapers) but that CIM Magazine, in particular, is perceived as a valuable source of information and kept for future reference.

Finally, I would like to invite everybody to check out the newly launched CIM website at, which itself has undergone a rather extreme makeover. We are still experiencing a few growing pains – which is not surprising given the tremendous overhaul on the back end of our system – and not all sections are fully functional; however, we trust you will be pleased with the more user-friendly and visually appealing environment through which you can engage with CIM and its community of leading industry expertise. We are especially excited about the new interactive online version of CIM Magazine, available in both English and French, which will enable us – and you – to see what your industry peers are saying about the topics we cover.

Angela Hamlyn,

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