Mining education continues to advance in Ontario

This article was provided by the Ontario Mining Association (OMA), an organization that was established in 1920 to represent the mining industry of the province.

The Certificate in Mining Management that is being offered by Ryerson University’s G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education is another indicator that mining education in business is continuing to evolve in Ontario. It is moving forward in recognition of development within the industry and changes in society, in which mining must operate.

This new program at Ryerson University in Toronto is designed for people with a degree and/or at least five years of experience working within the sector. “The Certificate in Mining Management has been developed in close consultation with industry experts to ensure employment relevance and to meet the urgent need in the mining industry for employees who have practical as well as theoretical skills and who understand and have been exposed to real-world cases and simulations,” says Ryerson University.

“As mining has evolved, so has mining education evolved,” said Philip Walsh, a geologist, Academic Coordinator for the program and an Associate Professor in the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson. “The impetus for this program came from mining executives. It is about sustainability in mining; that is doing things right from the business perspective, the environmental perspective and the community perspective.”

The first class starts in January 2013. Dr. Walsh says there has been a great deal of interest both from companies seeking employees with expertise in corporate social responsibility and from non-governmental groups. “The world is changing and so is mining and the type of skills needed to develop and manage mining operations and companies,” he added.

Last month, York University’s Schulich School of Business launched its first class for its Master of Business Administration specializing in Global Mining Management. The goal of this program is to develop and mentor the next generation of business leaders in the mining sector.

“Graduates of this new MBA mining specialization will see incredible opportunities in the global mining sector due to the looming shortage of knowledge workers,” said Richard Ross, Executive-in-Residence for York’s mining MBA, to the OMA. “Businesses that support the mining industry, such as financial institutions, engineering companies, consultants and accounting and legal firms, will also have a strong interest in recruiting our graduates.”

Mr. Ross, former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Inmet Mining, is a chartered accountant with a long and successful career in the industry. He is on the board of directors of mining companies currently and in the past he served as Chairman of the Mining Association of Canada.

“It is a very challenging time in the history of the mining sector due to the increasingly complex social, environmental and political climates worldwide,” added Mr. Ross. “A large focus of this specialization is to teach future managers and leaders the critical role they can play as responsible stewards of the world’s resources.”

Dr. Walsh said Ryerson is in the process of developing a mining specialization in its MBA program, to start in the Fall of 2013 and like Ryerson’s certificate program, with a recurring theme of sustainable mining. Ryerson, which already has an Aboriginal Studies Program, will be including a First Nations component into both programs. Representatives of industry have acted in an advisory role with the development of both programs and will be in the classroom when the programs start.

Other universities in Canada are following the lead of Ryerson and York in offering more advanced graduate programs in mining education and management. Graduates of these programs may very well be the leaders of Canada’s expanding and internationally renowned mining sector.

Canada’s mining sector is one of the largest in the world and it is a global leader in all aspects of the industry. There are about 1,644 mining companies listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and the TSX Venture Exchange. Canadian listed mining enterprises account for 58% of the world’s public mining companies and 90% of global mining equity financings were completed on the TSX and TSXV in 2011. Initiatives by Canada’s post-secondary institutions such as Ryerson and York will also ensure, this country is the centre of mining education.