The Ontario Mining Association is turning 100 years old in 2020. When an organization and the industry it represents has been around for this long, it risks two things: that people stop thinking about it and appreciating the beneﬁts it brings, or that they think of it in outdated terms. We are enormously proud of how far we have some as an industry, as a community and as individuals, and we are eager to both celebrate our past achievements, and even more so, build excitement about our industry’s future.
Mining has always been about discovery. The more we mine the earth’s depths for the elements that drive our modern world, the more we discover what we have become and where we are headed. If you ask anyone in our community, “What is mining?” they will tell you some great stories. Stories that touch on the latest technology; inclusive and increasingly diverse workplaces; stewardship of our planet; a life of adventure; and a legacy of community building in Ontario. To us, mining is all of these things and more. In our centennial year, we are inviting Ontarians – particularly the younger generations – to join us in discovering everything mining in Ontario is, and all it has to offer.
#ThisIsMining, the OMA’s centennial campaign, offers an opportunity to take a fresh look at the role of mining in our lives and in our province. What are the elements that make up our industry? Is it the drilling and the digging, the machinery and extraction of essential minerals and metals from the earth? Or is there something different to be uncovered when one looks beneath the surface? #ThisIsMining aims to surprise and inspire, motivating people to form opinions about our industry based on curiosity, discovery and engagement.
Ontario mining is on the forefront of providing the world with the sustainably-sourced minerals and metals needed to make modern life a reality, and to solve our most pressing environmental problems. Demand will only grow as we transition to a low carbon future. Rich in mineral resources, Ontario is a leader in responsible mining. We have a world-class safety record, clean processes and low carbon emissions compared to other industries and jurisdictions. Furthermore, Ontario miners and suppliers are driving the evolution of the industry, with companies worldwide looking to us for solutions related to mine planning and construction, ventilation, electriﬁcation, tailings management, closure and other aspects of operations. With our commitment to excellence and innovation, we are constantly improving. Our vast reserves of accumulated experience and diverse talent make this improvement possible. At the same time, we are letting our values shape how we interact with our employees, the communities where we operate and the natural world, which sustains us. All of this comes through in the stories we hear through #ThisIsMining.
It is these stories that bring the campaign themes to life and bring a values-driven vision of the future of mining into focus. The mining ambassadors showcasing inclusion include the head chef at a fly-in fly-out northwestern Ontario mining operation, who cooks locally-sourced, home-style food inspired by his Lac Seul First Nations heritage for around 500 people each day. Thanks to #ThisIsMining, visitors to the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) got to sample Marcel Boucher’s modern twist on bannock, a traditional Indigenous bread. The residents of Kirkland Lake can always enjoy food prepared by the owner of The Vault, a local family restaurant that feeds the mining families in the area. Another #ThisIsMining ambassador is a Toronto-based fashion designer whose father’s global career in mining shaped her design philosophy of diversity and inclusion. Lesley Hampton is the creator of an extraordinary mining-inspired copper dress that debuted to great acclaim at this year’s Toronto Fashion Week.
Our adventure video series, which is being showcased during the Ontario Hockey League’s 2019-20 season, features a production geologist, who loves the outdoors – ﬁshing, boating, hiking, snowshoeing, 4-wheeling – as well as her career, which takes her 5,000 feet underground to chase veins of gold. We also feature an environmental superintendent, who is passionate about her community, an exploration geologist, who ventures into the bush around Red Lake in search of discovery, and a drilling and blasting engineer, who travels the world. Their stories are resonating with people who want both an unconventional career and a fulﬁlling lifestyle.
Those who are looking for stories of environmental resilience and hope will be uplifted by the video and photo exhibit we are developing to honour the collective successes of Sudbury’s re-greening efforts over the past 40 years and offer inspiration for the future (see page 40-41)
We love seeing the reactions people have to discovering these different elements of mining. We love it even more when people tell us things that are new and surprising. As we uncover more themes and add new voices, we hope that a vibrant and unexpected narrative will continue to emerge. Please help us tell the stories that belong to all Ontarians.
Chris Hogson is the president of the Ontario Mining Association.
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