CIM was formed only 31 years after Canada was founded – the result of individuals in the mining industry seeking a vehicle for lobbying for safety laws and workers' protection, as well as a method of ensuring the communication of ideas. Led by a very capable group of dedicated members, CIM soon came to attract new members from all across Canada.
The Institute was incorporated in 1898 by an Act of the Parliament of Canada as the Canadian Mining Institute. In 1920, it became the Canadian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, and in 1990, the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum.
In 2018, CIM marked its 120th anniversary, celebrating its growth from a small association to Canada's leading professional association for the minerals related industries, with technical Societies and local Branches across Canada and overseas.