Survival of the fattest
The dictionary defines “anniversary” as the annual reoccurrence of a date marking a notable event. On the celebratory side we observe anniversaries for birthdays, weddings, a major event in history, or a national holiday like Canada Day. On the sad side, anniversaries can be a time to reflect on the death of a loved one, a disaster, or the start or end of a war.
On certain occasions, perhaps, the word “milestone” is a better way of marking certain dates and times because, quite often, reaching those certain moments requires far more than simply counting off another 365 days.
For instance, marking an “anniversary” of, say, 10 years on the job is certainly worth celebrating because it has taken a decade of hard work, and a little luck, to still be employed or employable. Also worthy of celebration is the anniversary date of stopping smoking, drinking, or a bad habit.
Not all milestones are worthy of celebration, because they’re simply things we have to do to survive in today’s competitive and stressful world. Times are tough, and in mining they go from tough to tougher on a cyclical basis; and if history repeats its four-year cycle, 2012 won’t be anything to celebrate.
The mining industry has been there before, and mining people know that only the fit survive, and that goes far beyond waist lines.
“Survival of the fittest” was once the battle cry of business, but nowadays it’s more like “Survival of the fattest,” and I mean that in reference to bank accounts, not waist sizes.
We know that mining can get nasty, and it’s never uglier than when it comes down to generating money, but that’s (in part) what makes mining still one of the most exciting and rewarding professions, and regardless of the ups-and-downs, the word “anniversary” will always have a place in a miner’s vocabulary.
Remembering times and events is something that separates miners from others because, for some reason, certain years, and sometimes individual dates, get embedded in the minds of the industry.
Hardly anyone from yesterday’s generation can forget the Springhill, Nova Scotia, coal disaster, while younger (and still some old) investors are still smarting from the Bre-X gold scandal.
And, most recently, 2009 will long be remembered for the time when finding money to make a bank deposit was the most elusive deposit of all. Forget minerals: cash was and always will be king.
In 2012, at least two members of the Canadian mining fraternity will reach notable milestones and they deserve applause for their achievements.
The Association for Mineral Exploration British Columbia (AME BC) marks its 100th anniversary, and an estimated 7,000 and more prospectors, developers and investors will learn more about this later this month at its annual meeting in Vancouver. AME BC is an organization that has truly done good things for the mining industry in British Columbia, and for that matter, all of Canada, too. And that’s worth celebrating!
The second member of the Canadian mining industry celebrating an anniversary this year is yours truly. Not me, personally, but the Canadian Mining Journal magazine celebrates its 130th year of continuous publishing since 1882, making it the oldest mining publication in Canada.
Like mining, the magazine has gone through good and bad times and it has survived by riding the waves: cutting back when necessary, investing when possible.
Some years have been tough and in the world of “print” publishing, they’re getting tougher every year as electronic media keep nibbling away at us; but those of us on CMJ, and our sister publication (The Northern Miner), are a seasoned bunch who still have faith in the printed word.
As I said earlier, it’s survival of the fattest and we’re confident we’ll be weighing down your mail boxes for many years to come.
And that’s worth celebrating. Happy anniversary to everyone reaching a milestone in 2012.