Starting something new can be both exhilarating and scary, but I’m pleased to say that as the new editor of Canadian Mining Journal, all I feel right now is enthusiasm.
Part of that is because I feel ready to grow into this new, challenging role. But it’s also exciting because of recent changes in the mining industry.
CMJ editor Alisha Hiyate
For the past 11 years, I worked at CMJ’s sister publication, The Northern Miner (incidentally, sometimes at the desk right next to the editor of CMJ). I edited several publications while at the Miner, visited exploration projects and mines in Canada and abroad, met and interviewed colourful personalities and accomplished professionals (sometimes both in one package), and covered stories ranging from exploration results to new mining technology, government expropriations of projects and First Nations relations.
During that time, I also witnessed the supercycle-stoked buildup of commodity prices, the junior mining bubble, and the M&A frenzy among the majors that resulted in mounting debt, and then writedowns.
Then came the downturn of the last five years. The retrenchment of the past few years has been painful, but there was a positive side to the bust: It forced the sector to do some hard thinking.
Finally, because of the prolonged slump, the slide of commodity prices, and social and environmental pressures all coming to bear at once, the sector as a whole is seriously thinking about innovation. A new openness to doing things differently has begun to take hold. As a result, it feels like mining is on the cusp of answering some big, fundamental questions that have been a long time coming around social licence, environmental sustainability, new technology, and the industry’s fundamental business model.
Of course, it’s an open question whether innovation can truly become the mining sector’s mantra, especially now that it seems we are finally beginning a recovery in the sector.
Nonetheless, it’s exciting to take over CMJ at such a time, and I truly believe we’ll be covering some fascinating and transformative developments in the industry in future issues.
For now, I owe a special acknowledgement and thank you to Interim Editor Marilyn Scales (now news editor), who has been very generous with her time and knowledge acclimatizing me to my new role.
Lastly, I’d like to invite CMJ readers to get in touch with me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter at @CdnMiningJrnl. Let me know what you’d like to see in the magazine and I’ll do my best to make it happen.
Or if you’re at the CIM convention Apr. 30-May 3, come by booth 1220 and say hello. I would love to meet you in person.
ERRATA: The Geological Survey of Canada was created in 1842, as more than one sharp-eyed reader pointed out. The date was erroneously given as 1877 in the February 2017 print issue.