March-April 2016

President's notes

Our better selves

By Garth Kirkham

Garth Kirkham

“It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble, it’s what you know for sure that ain’t so.”

– Mark Twain

In the last year or so, we as an industry have been tested and in some cases we have been found wanting. Tailings failures, divergent resource estimations and write-downs have come at a time of hardship in an industry that is already reeling from low commodity prices and higher costs. We are finding that many are looking to CIM for guidance and leadership, and rightly so.

Our primary focus is not advocacy; there are other organizations to fill that role. Our position in the mining world is that of standards definition and best practices development, knowledge sharing, intellectual exchange and expert opinion.

Many of us do not realise all the work CIM staff and volunteers do behind the scenes to ensure that we have, and adhere to, best practices. These efforts include our CIM committees such as the Committee on Mineral Reserve and Mineral Resource headed by Paul Bankes; the Best Practice Committee that I chair; the work at the Committee for Mineral Reserves International Reporting Standards headed by Deb McCombe; the Global Mining Standards and Guidelines Group with Heather Ednie; and our ISO work which Tim Skinner is ably leading. I should add that when we use the term “best practice,” we must keep Twain in mind. “Best” is not absolute, and we should have the expectation that practices will improve with time and work. And as CIM members, we are experts in our fields and have both the knowledge and the opportunity to improve on what we mean by “best practices.”

I want to thank those who have already committed their time and talents to this ongoing project and encourage the many of you with contributions to make to join in.

Garth Kirkham
CIM President

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