August 2016

Editor's letter

Ashes, grit and determination

By Ryan Bergen

Ryan Bergen Having revisited the images and videos of walls of flames bearing down on the roads out of Fort McMurray during the evacuation of the town in May, I am amazed that the wildfire that cut through the heart of oil sands country cost so few lives. The fire claimed no one, and the evacuation of some 80,000 people resulted in only two fatalities. I would like to add my voice to the many others celebrating the success of the emergency response to what is now declared the worst natural disaster in Canadian history. There is likely not a community better trained and equipped to respond to the logistical demands of such a disaster. In our cover story, “Damage control,” Chris Windeyer highlights some but by no means all of the efforts mining operations and service and supply companies committed to move people out of harm’s way as they fought against “The Beast.”

Windeyer also relates the hard reality that the recovery will be a long, tough, slow process, the success of which will be much more difficult to capture than that of the evacuation. The task will be to rebuild the town – its homes, schools, churches and workplaces – into a community that once again sustains its members. It will be difficult to measure when the project is complete, but those with the grit and persistence to return the town to that place will deserve just as much acclaim as those who stepped up when the flames were threatening.

In this issue, you’ll also find the results of our reader survey. The overarching message was that you want us to keep our ears to the ground for new and innovative technology, processes and operations strategies, and pass along what we hear. That is a supremely reasonable request and to that end, I would encourage you to have a look at Eavan Moore’s technology piece, “The talking mine.” It is a great example of what the Industrial Internet of Things looks like in practice. Also, keep your eye out for our upcoming issue, in which we will tackle the subject of innovation in mining head on.

Ryan Bergen

The mining connection

TOC-button      Cover Story
    Mine Design
    Survey Results
Post a comment


PDF Version