YMP aims to bridge the mining talent gap with 45 scholarships

When Stephen Stewart first joined the mining world in the early 2000s, he stepped into an industry facing a yawning generational talent […]
Ore Group chairman Stephen Stewart and Vale Base Metals Chairman Mark Cutifani at a recent event. Credit: Stephen Stewart

When Stephen Stewart first joined the mining world in the early 2000s, he stepped into an industry facing a yawning generational talent gap.

Hoping to meet similar-aged peers, Stewart, who’s now chairman of Canadian exploration and development company the Ore Group, realized he might need to start his own organization. His lightbulb moment led him to get involved with the Young Mining Professionals networking group. Originating out of Vancouver, Stewart helped establish it in Toronto in 2015.

"Back in the day, I looked around and realized everyone was either heading to retirement or had stories older than my entire career!” he said in an interview. “So, starting YMP was partly about self-preservation."

In 2017, Stewart and Anthony Moreau, CEO of American Eagle Gold (TSX: AE; US-OTC: AMEGF) co-founded the Young Mining Professionals (YMP) Scholarship Fund. Now in its sixth year, the scholarship attracts 23 sponsors offering 45 scholarships ranging between $1,000 and $10,000, including a $5,000 award by The Northern Miner to an exceptional mining student. Other top-tier opportunities with major miners are available such as a $10,000 award by Agnico Eagle Mines (TSX: AEM; NYSE: AEM), $10,000 by Barrick Gold (TSX: ABX), and several $5,000 awards each by Equinox Gold (TSX: EQX), O3 Mining (TSXV: OIII; US-OTC: OIIIF), Alamos Gold (TSX: AGI; NYSE: AGI), B2Gold (TSX: BTO, NYSE-A: BTG) and Kinross Gold (TSX: K; NYSE: KGC), among others.

Barrick Gold (TSX: ABX; NYSE: GOLD) has been the fund's staunchest supporter since its inception, Stewart noted. Driven by a ‘by the industry for the industry’ mindset, the broad industry backing amplifies the fund’s financial capacity and enhances its ability to connect students with real-world mining opportunities, Stewart noted.

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