Marilyn Spink


CIM Distinguished Lecturers

Marilyn Spink’s engineering career began in mining and pulp & paper and moved into steel-making operations working as a metallurgical engineer in both the United States & Canada. Bitten by the “capital project bug,” she moved into consulting as a process engineer. In succeeding roles, as an engineering manager, she led multi-discipline teams to deliver large capital, complex minerals projects globally. Her goal now is to share lessons learned with project stakeholders, so as to deliver minerals projects better moving forward. As a Professional Engineer, Spink is appointed vice president of Professional Engineers Ontario, a member of the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers and a member of CIM for over 20 years. She is also a member of the Institute of Corporate Directors. 

To read a profile of Marilyn Spink, read "Why are there still so few women in mining?" in CIM Magazine.

Distinguished Lecturer 2018-19

Lecture Abstract


Is Engineering a Commodity?

Marilyn builds a passionate case for taking the time to do the engineering well before putting a shovel in the ground. She walks the audience through several large complex global minerals projects she has been involved with over her 30 year career in the minerals industry and openly shares her lessons learned - the war wounds and the successes. Mine development has the potential to build wealth, but can also destroy capital, if the engineering, particularly process engineering, is not given the due diligence it deserves. Several resources and simple approaches are presented which can help ensure better project outcomes such as slowing down, creating a positive project team culture, “getting the right people on the bus”, rewarding desired behaviour – externally & internally, continuously educating our clients, transferring knowledge from grey hairs and investing in well thought out engineering workflows. What is the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing and expecting different results. Can you imagine the wealth we could build in our industry if all stakeholders shifted their thinking to ensure the engineering phase was set up for success this time around?