Aug '13

Editor's letter

Character study

By Ryan Bergen

Names to know” is our latest of the “Who’s Who” series we began in 2011. And with this feature, rather than simply compile a list of the biggest companies, or the most richly rewarded CEOs, we made a point of profiling people – some well known and others not – whose work or influence are emblematic of the trends that define and continue to shape the industry. That is why you will find Anglo American CEO Mark Cutifani sharing space with Sergio Campusano, a community leader in Chile’s Huasco Valley.

Cutifani stands in for the latest class of CEOs: one which must calm shareholders angered by slumping share prices, and map out a different, more conservative course for some of the world’s biggest mining companies. Campusano, a member of the indigenous Diaguitas, has been a thorn in the side of such majors by sparking opposition to mining and frustrating the development of projects in the mountains of northern Chile. He is one example of the on-the-ground leaders whose resistance has played a part in the head office upheavals. Together the 14 figures on our watch list reveal the character and complexity of the industry at this moment.

A theme that surfaces throughout this issue, beginning with Bob Schafer’s “President’s notes,” is diversity in the workforce. No one can deny that the industry has been explicit in stating its intentions to be more inclusive, but the project has proven hard to execute. Both mining veterans, such as former Xstrata Nickel chief Ian Pearce, and those with a more removed perspective, like our Q&A subject Joshua Collins, take the industry to task for old habits and a certain lack of self-reflection, which tend to frustrate the best intentions to change. They, as well as Dean Laplonge in his column, “Seeing gender differently,” lay out the problems that must be confronted and offer the requisite first steps to making the workplace more inclusive.

Most of you will have also received the latest edition of the CIM Journal. The eight papers that comprise the special issue on gold provide a great survey of current practices in processing and mineralogy, as well as more concentrated coverage of specific projects. In sum, it is a fine collection of end-of-summer reading. Enjoy.

Ryan Bergen


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