Rocks and Stocks 2024


Canada's Mining Momentum

Rocks and Stocks Shines Light on Sustainable Collaboration 

Rosemary Mantini - 19 January 2024

Left to Right: Panel Moderator Gordana Slepcev, COO, Lomiko Metals; Andrew McHardy, Energy Transition and ESG Transformation, KPMG; Monica Ospina, CEO, O Trade; Ed Ho, Independent Consultant

CIM Toronto Branch, in collaboration with the CIM Management and Economics Society, hosted the 10th annual Rocks and Stocks on Wednesday, January 17 in Toronto. The event brought together more than 80 people from the mining and financial sectors for a full day of discussion and networking. 

This year’s theme, Mining and the Energy Transition: Our Role in the Green Economy, featured nine speakers commenting on market outlook, policy and investment landscapes, and stakeholder and value chain perspectives and opportunities. 

Rocks & Stocks Chair 2024 Claudia Mueller explained, “We hope to provide insights into this topic by including perspectives representing the entire ecosystem of the energy transition: from policymakers to investors, and from First Nations to strategic partners, along the metals and minerals value chains.” 

Canada Poised to be a Global Player 

One of the key themes that resonated throughout the event was the conviction that Canada has the potential to emerge as a major player on the international stage in the mining and resource industry. Although there exists a pervasive confidence in Canada's vast resource wealth, many within the industry believe it hasn’t yet been fully leveraged. “Canada has all the pieces to lead the energy transition,” explains Sean DeVries, Executive Director, Battery Metals Association of Canada. DeVries opened Session 1 by examining the opportunities that come with “mapping the flows” from materials extraction to production-ready materials.  

Collaboration as the Bridge to Industry Challenges 

The need for collaboration and communication emerged as crucial elements to overcoming current and future challenges. Fostering partnerships among industry players, government bodies, and local communities is key to ensuring the just transition that Independent Consultant Ed Ho described in his talk on stakeholder perspectives. “Projects must include all stakeholders,” he said, from the early planning stages through to the end of the mine lifecycle. 

Efficient Project Development 

Perhaps the most important take-away — and certainly one of the most championed in the room — revolved around the idea that the mining industry can build projects sustainably and efficiently without lengthy timelines or community disruption. There are opportunities for business to take the lead by streamlining processes, querying markets about their needs, and embedding ESG principles into every layer and level of operation. 

While many speakers drew comparisons to electric vehicle development in Norway and California or the advanced state of processing in China, Cheryl Hart, CEO of ONTASK Strategies asked, “What are we doing to make sure that Canada is still the super-region in leading mining innovation?” While no one could offer a definitive answer, many identified gaps and opportunities that could lead Canada to that key state. 

By day's end, participants agreed that Canada, with strategic collaboration, efficient project development, strong ESG principles, and supportive policies, is poised to lead the global mining and resource sector.   

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