CIM, mining and Canada’s 150th


Ken Thomas headshotThis year we celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday, and as we do, we should also commemorate the role mining has played in the great history of this country. In 1898, not long after Confederation in 1867, CIM was founded by an Act of Parliament consolidating various provincial mining associations, the first of which was created 22 years earlier. So CIM and its predecessors date back nearly to the beginning of this country. This reflects how integral mining has been to the development and growth of Canada. In 2015 mining contributed about 3.5 per cent to the Canadian gross domestic product, was the largest private sector employer of Indigenous Peoples and employed about 380,000 people directly and at least twice that number indirectly, which is why CIM is so important. CIM was created by mining individuals seeking both a professional network and a vehicle for the communication of ideas and interests of the industry. Currently, CIM is a thriving organization composed of corporate, individual and student members and has branches across the country as well as societies that specialize in the various technical, financial and social aspects of the industry.

Today, Canada produces over 60 minerals and metals and is among the top five global producers of 13 of those commodities. This could not have been achieved without notable entrepreneurs making a significant contribution for over a century, including Noah Timmins, who created the Hollinger gold mine in the early 1900s, which operated for over 50 years and was one of a number of successful enterprises for him; Thayer Lindsley, who developed the Falconbridge company, for many years an iconic Canadian name; the Keevil father-son duo who built Teck into a diversified coal and base metal producer in the latter half of the 20th century; and Peter Munk and Bob Smith, who led Barrick from a junior in the 1980s to become one of the largest gold mining companies in the world.

So, as we celebrate our 150th anniversary, let’s raise a toast and honour the contribution mining has made to the continued growth of Canada.

- Ken Thomas, CIM President