Nation builders: The current generation of mine builders – by Stan Sudol (Canadian Mining Journal – September 13, 2017)

In the February/March 2017 issue of CMJ, I highlighted the top 10 mine builders in Canadian history and lamented that we recently passed the tenth anniversary of the takeover of historic Canadian companies Inco, Noranda and Falconbridge. These companies played a key role in opening up isolated northern regions and trained generations of world-class mine finders and builders.

Notwithstanding an enormous amount of national angst about a “hollowing out” of the Canadian resource sector, the following list of current mine builders – who may end up on some future “Top 10” list – clearly indicates that we still have an enormous talent pool of visionaries who will continue to build and find mines and create the next generation of homegrown corporations.

This list is in no particular order and is a very wide cross-section of industry players that range from junior mine builders to seasoned CEOs of multi-billion dollar corporations and represents a very small selection of Canada’s mining talent.

Robert McEwen

Robert McEwen founded Goldcorp, with the takeover of the aging and cash-starved Dickinson mine in Red Lake, Ont. The controversial out-of-the-box thinker is widely credited for renewing the Red Lake gold mining camp with his Goldcorp Challenge, which put historic and then current geological data from the mine online and solicited the best geologists around the world to identify new drill targets.

The resulting success turned a 50,000 oz. producer in 1997 into a 500,000 oz. producer in 2001 and lowered cash costs from US$360 per oz. to US$60. McEwen successfully initiated Goldcorp’s merger with Ian Telfer’s Wheaton River Minerals in 2005 and stepped down from his subsequent chairman position by the end of that year. He went on to establish McEwen Mining, which has producing gold/ silver mines in Argentina and Mexico and recently struck a deal to buy Primero Mining’s Black Fox mine in Ontario.

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