New initiatives from the OMA
OMA’s website puts on a new face
In 2005, the Ontario Mining Association’s website went through a makeover–perhaps some would say an extreme makeover. The association believed it needed to put on a new face to the cyber world.
In order to communicate more effectively with its wide and varied audience–politicians, public servants, media, academics, educators, students and the public as well as the 57 OMA members–the association’s website www.oma.on.ca is now a better information source. “Our goal was to have our key audiences start viewing our website more as a source of reliable and valuable statistics about mining,” said OMA president Chris Hodgson. “We needed to improve the look and content, and make the website more newsy and more up-to-date.”
The OMA started on a new path by relocating to a new office early in 2005. Then it developed a new logo–not that the old logo was bad, but it was time for a fresher, more colourful and more symbolic design.
The new website was officially launched in late May of 2005. Since that time, there has been a steady increase in visits to the site. The industry’s safety performance is featured on the home page along with information on the OMA, and it has numerous links. The website has a drop-down section on Economics where financial, production, employment, safety and other data are available from editions of “The Economic and Fiscal Contribution of the Mining Industry in Ontario,” commissioned biennially by the OMA. The Environment section features the progress report “Towards Greener Footprints” and notable environmental achievements of the industry.
An Education panel links with the OMA First Nations video “Mining New Opportunities,” which is available in English, French, Cree, Oji-Cree and Ojibway. This section has classroom activities for teachers, career information for students and other helpful information. The News & Events section is updated regularly with association and industry news and OMA activities.
“We think the OMA website has come a long way in meeting our initial goals,” said Hodgson. “I think we are on the right track from the feedback we are getting from our key audiences and the statistics from traffic reports, but we have to keep working to keep the site relevant and timely.”
Web resources for teachers
Over the ages, many philosophers have expressed the sentiment that the purpose of education is to replace an empty mind with an open one. Others would say education is learning what you didn’t even know you didn’t know. Whatever one’s perspective, education is vital. In our fast-paced, ever-changing society, it should be the lifelong experience of us all to be, at different times and under different circumstances, both teachers and students.
As part of its outreach efforts, the OMA is putting helpful educational resources about the realities of modern mining and earth science into the hands of classroom teachers. From the Education section of the OMA website, teachers and students can view the First Nations video “Mining New Opportunities.” Teachers and principals from across the province as well as outside Ontario have provided feedback and appreciation that this teaching tool is available in Cree, Oji-Cree and Ojibway as well as in French and English.
A “Teacher’s Resource and Speaker’s Guide” accompanies the video. A creative educator has helped develop 13 learning activities for junior, intermediate and senior grade levels related to the video. These activities range from the imaginative to the practical–from exploring the mining process to being an entrepreneur and running your own mining company, as well as writing a rsum and applying for jobs in the industry.
In another effort to better inform high school students about opportunities in the industry, the OMA is helping to dish up modern career information with pizzazz. The association has cosponsored the magazine “Rock ON: Career opportunities in Ontario’s mining industry”. The magazine and its companion website (www.rock-on.ca) feature 20 ambassadors of the industry. They are bright, passionate and successful, and they love their jobs. These industry stars are eager to share their experiences with high school students. The prospectors and geologists and miners, mechanics and engineers offer intimate, first-hand impressions of an industry that young people need to know more about.
Rock ON is intended as a classroom resource particularly for Ontario’s Grade 10 students who are taking a careers course. Students can learn from young employees in the industry about how “video game technology promotes mine safety;” how “mechanics keep big machines purring;” how “First Nations go for gold;” how prospectors have “a passion for the great outdoors;” why “geology is a lot like detective work;” how scientists “keep the environment clean and green” and many other stories.
The OMA will continue to work with educators, students and other associations to make helpful, curriculum-related materials available for use the classroom.
How to be a better partner in society
Sudbury proved to be a great venue for the Ontario Mining Association‘s “Mining: A Responsible Partner in Society” conference held in late September 2005. This event, which the association organizes in alternating years, brings together OMA directors, mine managers, OMA committee participants, senior industry executives, leaders from related mining organizations and government representatives.
A full, perhaps overly ambitious agenda attracted more than 80 participants including the Minister of Northern Development & Mines, the Hon. Rick Bartolucci. In fact, the minister chose this OMA event as the place to publicly announce the release of his ministry’s consultation paper, “A Mineral Development Strategy for Ontario,” which provides a framework for the future of mining in this province (see “Unlocking the food chain” on p. 12). Also at the conference, the chief energy conservation officer Peter Love of the Ontario Power Authority presented a Certificate of Recognit-ion to Inco Limited for the successful energy management and conservation results from its Power Play program.
The goals of the conference were varied. They included:
* furthering the OMA’s mandate of improving the global competitiveness of the mining industry in Ontario;
* providing members with an opportunity to learn about the government, and current government directions;
* alerting members to trends and influences that could impact the mining business;
* developing specific short-term action plans and longer-term targets for the association;
* and making contacts and having some fun.
The main areas of interest–and concern–that were handled with panel discussions and speakers included safety, First Nations relations and human resources, government relations, energy and environment.
Safetyperformance is always high on the list of any mining agenda. The OMA conference had workers’ compensation expert Les Liversidge speak about “Workplace safety and insurance: A system on the precipice of change – Critical issues and critical times.” This was followed by a presentation from Ric deMeulles, general manager of the Mines & Aggregates Safety and Health Association, on “New developments at MASHA and getting to zero”–the ultimate goal of the industry’s overall safety performance efforts.
Under the general topic of First Nations relations, Kelly Lendsay, president of the Aboriginal Human Resource Development Council of Canada, provided an enlightening and entertaining lunchtime address on “Common groun
d: Mining and aboriginal economic and entrepreneurial development.” Philip Bousquet, director of sustainability at the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada, provided an update on the activities of the PDAC Aboriginal Affairs Committee.
Also, on the human resources front, Patricia Dillon, manager corporate relations for Teck Cominco, and Paul Hbert, executive director of the Mining Industry Training and Adjustment Council (MITAC), made an excellent team presentation of “Prospecting the future: Meeting human resource challenges in the Canadian minerals and metals industry.” A recent study by MITAC indicates that the mining industry needs to fill 81,000 high-paying, highly skilled new positions over the next 10 years.
Next to labour, energy represents the largest input cost of mining production. The industry in Ontario has a collective electricity bill of more than $300 million annually. Because of that economic reality, energy was a main component of the conference program. Speakers on this subject included Adam White, president of the Association of Major Power Consumers in Ontario (“Electricity futures: What sources, what prices?”), Mary EllenRichardson, vice-president corporate affairs for the Ontario Power Authority (“Electricity for the future“) and Stephanie Oatway, Inco energy engineer (“Inco’s energy efficiency initiatives”).
In the environmental area, Michael Williams, assistant deputy minister for the Ministry of Environment, provided an extremely informative presentation–with lots of questions–on “New directions and priorities of MOE’s operations division.” Adele Faubert, sustainability manager for Placer Dome Canada‘s Musselwhite mine, provided an industry perspective on environmental partnerships and the role of First Nations residents. Also, Gordon Peeling, president of the Mining Association of Canada, provided an update on the MAC’s Towards Sustainable Mining Initiative.
OMA president Chris Hodgson and Cheryl Brownlee, OMA manager of stakeholder relations, provided a presentation on government relations. They addressed some ideas on how to better communicate with various levels and components of government, which generated a great deal of discussion.
Other key addresses were made by Paul Dunn of MIRARCO and Mark Cutifani of Inco on the Centre for Excellence in Mining Engineering, and Dennis Shannon, NORCAT mine manager and manager of occupational health and safety training, with an update of the programs and services offered by NORCAT. Northern Ontario Business president Michael Atkins reminded the audience in a dinner speech about “Being a responsible community partner.”
While the program was full, varied and interesting, it was not all work and no play for the participants. The conference opened with a golf tournament using a team scramble format, and “scramble” turned out to be the operative word for the golfers testing themselves on the links. Also, the opening dinner of the conference featured comedian and Timmins native Derek Edwards as entertainer. He put on a special show with a mining orientation, which was well appreciated by the audience.
While the quality–and number–of speakers was high over the three-day conference, the discussion generated from their presentations was perhaps the most important aspect of the sessions.
OMA Members List
Agnico-Eagle Mines Limitedwww.agnico-eagle.com
AMEC Earth & Environmentwww.amec.com
ASI Group Ltd.www.asi-group.com
Barrick Gold Corporationwww.barrick.com
Blue Heron – Solutions for www.blueheronenv.com
Environment Management Inc.
Boart Longyear Inc.www.boartlongyear.com
Breakwater Resources Ltd.www.breakwater.ca
Canada Talc Limited
Canadian Gypsum Company Inc.www.cgcinc.com
Cementation Canada Inc.www.cementation.ca
Church & Trought Inc.www.churchandtrought.com
De Beers Canada Inc.www.debeerscanada.com
Denison Mines Inc.www.denisonmines.com
Desert Sun Mining Corp.www.desertsunmining.com
Earth Tech Canada Inc.www.earthtech.com
Falconbridge Limitedwww.noranda.com, www.falconbridge.com
FNX Mining Company Inc.www.fnxmining.com
Gartner Lee Limitedwww.gartnerlee.com
Georgia – Pacific Canada Inc.www.gp.com
Golder Associates Ltd.www.golder.com
Group 4 Falck (Canada) Inc.www.group4.ca
Hatch Associates Limitedwww.hatch.ca
Inmet Mining Corporationwww.inmetmining.com
J.S. Redpath Limitedwww.jsredpath.com
Jacques Whitford EnvironmentLimited www.jacqueswhitford.com
Johnson Matthey Limitedwww.matthey.com
Kinross Gold Corporationwww.kinross.com
Kirkland Lake Gold Inc.www.klgold.com
Knight Piesold Consultingwww.knightpiesold.com
Newmont Canada Limitedwww.newmont.com
North American Palladium Ltd., www.napalladium.com
LAC Des Iles Mines Ltd.
Omya Canada Inc.www.omya-na.com
Placer Dome Canada, Placer Dome North America, Campbell Mine, Musselwhite Mine, Porcupine Joint Venture www.placerdome.com
Process Research ORTECH Inc.www.processortech.com
R.C. Moffatt Supply Limitedwww.moffattsupply.com
Rio Algom Limited
River Gold Mines Ltd.www.rivergoldmines.com
Sandvik Mining andConstruction Canada Inc. www.smc.sandvik.com
SGS Lakefield Research Limitedwww.sgslakefield.com
Sifto Canada Inc.www.siftocanada.com
SNC-Lavalin Engineers & Constructorswww.
Stantec Consulting(formerly ESG International) www.stantec.com
Teck Cominco Limitedwww.teckcominco.com
The Canadian Salt Companywww.windsorsalt.com
Unimin Canada Ltd. www.unimin.com
Wardrop Engineering Inc.www.wardrop.com
Williams Operating Corporationwww.teckcominco.com