The last thing I write before the deadline of every issue is my Editorial. Not because I’m saving my words of observation to the very last minute for research purposes, or anything like that; it’s usually because I often find it challenging to single out any one topic worth talking about.
After all, there are plenty of mining-related things happening between each issue, and each deadline, that I think are worth commenting on, but when it comes time to write about them, something else seems to comes along that’s even more interesting and newsworthy.
Or, more often is the case, they’ve already been covered by other media with a frequency that makes a hot topic old news by the time we publish it in a monthly magazine.
Take the recent fires in Alberta and Saskatchewan, for instance. We all know about what hardships this disaster has had on the provinces, their people, the wildlife, and the mining companies that have projects in the affected areas.
Without question, the fires are the topic of the year insofar as mining (and the entire landscape of northern Alberta and Saskatchewan is concerned) and there’s nothing more I can say here that hasn’t already been said and televised around the world.
Then there’s also the on-going issues involving the pipelines, and most recently, the Canadian high court cancelling of the 1177-km Northern Gateway pipeline project that was proposed to run from Alberta across northern British Columbia to the Kitimat port.
It’s been one thing after another with the pipelines that have made them newsworthy from a mining industry perspective, but quite honestly, they’re also old news now that many people don’t care to hear about them anymore.
Sure, they’re still topics of much concern for the thousands of people relying on them to move forward, but I don’t think too many people outside of the immediately affected routes are interested.
Like all mining-related projects, there are two sides to the stories: one side that wants to get on with it, and the other that says: “Over my dead body.” The latter seems to have won the pipelines’ battle for the moment, but you can bet that it’s not over.
Much like the reality that we’re not over with other newsworthy events that have had a deep impact on the mining industry lately.
Mine closures, and mergers and acquisitions that have resulted in temporary layoffs, or outright “shock and devastation” to entire communities, have been the norm for too many months now and it’s depressing to keep reading about these things.
For me, however, I’ve been around long enough to know that the mining industry is resilient, and moreover, its people tough enough to take a few punches, that there will always be news worthy of talking about, even if it is old in some respects.
And what’s wrong with old anyway? The Canadian mining industry is old, its members are old, or getting there, and what’s best of all, what’s old is new again when it comes to some mines because, as you will read later in this issue, historic mines are getting renewed attention because of the wealth of resources they still contain.
And that’s old news to some, but new to others, and it’s thanks to the imagination, innovation and initiative of those mining companies out there working now to bring old mines back to life that mining in Canada will always be newsworthy.