In memoriam: Don MacLean


CIM remembers Don MacLean

19 January 2024

Don MacLean, a lifelong member of CIM and an avid supporter of education and safety in mining, passed away on January 11, 2024.

In 2008, he made a generous $100,000 contribution toward the development of Science North's mining and geology centre. Most recently, that dedication extended to sponsoring the innovative Mine Evolution video game, a partnership between CIM and Science North. Don consistently demonstrated his commitment to advancing the understanding and appreciation of mining.  

Don's journey began in the mining towns of the Abitibi region in northern Quebec, where his connection to the mining industry was forged from a young age. 

He graduated from Acadia University and McGill University with a degree in Mining Engineering, laying the foundation for a remarkable career dedicated to revolutionizing safety in the mining sector. His early experiences working underground for International Nickel (INCO) during the transition from rail-based to mobile equipment ignited a passion for creating safer working environments for miners. 

After working for Ingersol Rand in Montreal, Don settled in Thornbury and joined JMG Engineering. In 1973, he founded MacLean Engineering, a company committed to developing innovative mobile equipment solutions to address mining challenges and enhance worker safety. Over the years, MacLean Engineering became a global leader in the manufacturing of underground equipment. 

Don MacLean's visionary contributions to the mining industry were exemplified through groundbreaking innovations such as the Blockholer, Scissor Bolter, and more recently, battery-operated bolters and equipment. His commitment to safety and technological advancements has left an indelible mark on his company and the industry as a whole. 

In recognition of his outstanding contributions to mining safety leadership, Don was awarded the CIM Mining Safety Leadership Medal in 2023. He will be fondly remembered for his enduring impact on safety, innovation, and education in the field.