With the close of the World Mining Congress, which CIM hosted in Montreal, my mind turns to Canada’s place in the global scheme. We know that Canadian
companies utilize state-of-the-art operating technologies. We know that our operations personnel set the worldwide standard in productivity, and that we
employ best practices in environmental stewardship. Around the world, Canadian mining companies are recognized as preferred business partners by
governments and communities alike. Canadian financial institutions are top tier in project finance. In short, we are proud that the Canadian mining
industry leads by example.
However, being a leader also brings obligations. Not only should we carry out all of the above at superlative levels, but as an industry, we should be
striving to lift the quality of the global industry by encouraging, even insisting, that our counterparts carry out their day-to-day efforts with similar
expectations of pride in performance.
The global reach of Canadian mining is not based solely on a number of corporations; it also represents a broad collection of skilled individuals who are
valued expatriate employees and international consultants. It is people who export Canadian best operating practices and business behaviours, while
providing advice and training to improve skills and capacity within communities.
When we discuss with community leaders the contributions that a new mining operation can bring, too often we only emphasize the measurable, bottom line
impacts: increased employment, greater tax base and the like. We would do well to also bring attention to other improvements that can be measured
indirectly, or more holistically, such as expanded skills in trades and perhaps raised self-esteem and community pride. These may be the aspects that open
doors for Canadian mining in even more parts of the world.