May 2013

Editor's letter

A teachable moment

By Ryan Bergen

Investors’ faith in mining operations is not what it was even a year ago. Nor is their willingness to forgive ill-conceived projects, production delays and cost escalation. The “production at any cost” mentality of a few years back now haunts operators, as mines and plants, rushed through the planning stage, have oversights and missed opportunities built into them. But the bright side of this is that many lessons have been learned and are now being applied.

In “No Illusions,” the feature for this issue, Ian Ewing details some of these instances – both for projects that have already been built and those that are still in the planning stage. Careful scoping and definition, and an unwavering focus on cash flow, he reports, must be the foundation if a project or a series of them is to pay off.

With these ideas in mind, it is a nice coincidence to be able to report in No detours for Detour that Detour Gold recently poured its first gold bars and brought its second production line into operation. The thorough, measured approach the company described to CIM Magazine in an article last August seems to be proving itself for the new producer.

This issue also corresponds with a changing of the guard as Robert (Bob) Schafer assumes the mantle of CIM president from Terence Bowles at the annual convention in Toronto. I would like to thank Terry for his thoughtful contributions to CIM Magazine ’s “President’s notes,” as well as for the vision, leadership and engagement he has brought to CIM.

For those of you who may not have crossed paths with Bob – an energetic volunteer in the industry who has worked alongside hall of fame miners and made some storied finds himself – I would encourage you to read our profile of him, “Exploring a world of new opportunities”.

As I write this, the CIM National Office is vibrating with activity in the lead-up to our annual convention. And beyond this office tower, many of you have been volunteering your own time, expertise and energy to organize and contribute to our flagship event, not to mention the many other events, activities and outreach that take place on behalf of CIM. Enormous thanks are due to all of you, as well.

Ryan Bergen

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