Top Mining Minds: Ian Telfer, Goldcorp Inc. – by Mike Luft (Mining – April 21, 2016)

Those of us who work in the mining sector are probably well-aware of some of the big names in the industry. Names like Eike Batista, Robert Friedland, Lukas Lundin, and Frank Giustra. All mining executives who have not only enjoyed great success in the industry, but who have also seemed to be in the right place at the right time — and then made the most of it.

Chairman of Goldcorp Inc. (NYSE: GG), Ian Telfer, would be another name to add to the list. Ian Telfer has spent more than thirty years in the mining business, building and leading a number of first-rate mining companies, all while experiencing gold’s ebb and flow from bull market to bear to bull again. Perhaps most importantly, Ian, along with his business partner, Frank Giustra, were prescient enough in 2001 to take advantage of the end of a deep gold bear market and the beginning of a gold bull run that lasted the next seven years.

Taking full advantage of this bull market, Ian would go on to form and lead a number of significant mining companies, like Wheaton River Minerals Inc. and Silver Wheaton Corp., and would also lead Goldcorp, first as its President and CEO, then as its Chairman, a role Ian continues to serve to this day.

As we learn when speaking with Ian Telfer, earning this kind of success in a relatively short amount of time takes skill, hard work and a passion for the industry. It also means being in the right place at the right time.

We had the chance to speak with Ian at length about his thoughts on the current gold market and his tips for the younger generation of miners just starting out.

First of all, thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us.

Ian Telfer: Absolutely. It’s my pleasure.

I want to begin by mentioning the current jobless claims in the United States that came out last week. Jobless claims in the United States fell once more in one of the best employment reports to come out in a while. The employment data has reignited talks of interest rates hikes in the United States.

What are your thoughts on this recent economic news? Do you think it will stall a rise in gold prices?

Ian Telfer: Well, certainly positive employment data like this report is great news. More people having the opportunity to work is what counts afterall. However, whether this report will dampen gold prices for the rest of this year — I’m not too sure about that. Putting aside this employment report, I think there’s still plenty of economic uncertainty to go around. That’s not exactly a good thing, but I think that’s one reason why we have seen gold prices rise this year. I don’t see that this employment report has fundamentally changed the amount of uncertainty out there.

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