June/July 2012

Editor's letter

Leadership and loss

By Ryan Bergen

After spending nearly a week in Edmonton at the recent 2012 CIM Convention, I returned to the office charged up by the quantity and the quality of the exchanges I had. I think other members of the editorial team who had the good fortune to be there would agree: the event was a great opportunity to sound out ideas and rich terrain for developing new ones. The conversations we had will help seed editorial for the magazine for the rest of the year.

An exchange I overheard at the convention helped confirm that this leadership-focused issue is as relevant as ever. A couple of fellows were getting acquainted and one, a geologist, said he worked at the Hemlo mine. “Oh, I didn’t realize that was still open,” was the response.

The story of Barrick’s Hemlo Mine is one that needs to be told. It is this issue’s project profile, and not only continues to produce but has also earned the Mining Association of Canada’s Towards Sustainable Mining Leadership Award. The work its operators do has reduced the environmental impact of the mine and enhanced its social and economic benefits for the neighbouring communities. Those who make the news in open pits and underground shafts may not always be the most inclined to go tell it on the mountain – that job falls to us at CIM Magazine.

Our aim for this issue has been to tell success stories and help recognize those who are making a difference. When we began planning these stories, we focused on leadership, both the principle and its practice, in the form of innovative and award-winning projects, programs, people and initiatives.

For example, the Upfront story “Reliability retool,” by Krystyna Lagowski chronicles the now two-year-old maintenance overhaul underway at Teck Resources’ coal operations. In “Efficiencies of (small) scale,” Eavan Moore drills down to find out what has earned New Brunswick top billing among mining jurisdictions.

Our feature, “Lodestars – the guiding lights for the next generation of women in mining,” aims to help raise the profile of one of our industry’s most underdeveloped and valuable commodities. Women still represent a dismal 14.4 per cent of the minerals industry workforce, and so we hope that the stories of the female leaders profiled serve as inspiration for young women who are exploring their own career options.

Professional inspiration is also a theme that Julia Martin develops further in her guest column. Careers, she argues, are best evaluated from the perspective of a person’s 90-year-old self.

Despite our planning, however, life often strays from the course we would choose. All of us at CIM want to add our voices to MAC president Pierre Gratton’s in expressing our condolences to the family and friends who are mourning the death of Paul Stothart. Paul was MAC’s vice-president of economic affairs, a regular and well-loved contributor to this publication and one of this industry’s consummate leaders.

Ryan Bergen, senior editor

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