Mining myth-buster Charles Nyabeze wants the mining industry to tap into new skill sets – by Renee Sylvestre-Williams (CIM Magazine – September 24, 2018)

Charles Nyabeze, vice-president of CEMI, says mining should look to innovation in other industries. Part of our We Are Mining series

There are a lot of myths around mining: it’s dirty, it’s homogenous and it’s unchanging. Charles Nyabeze thinks the industry is in a good position to dispel these myths and take advantage of innovation happening in other industries.

Nyabeze, vice-president of business development for the Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation (CEMI), has been championing economically and environmentally feasible mining activities in Canada and internationally. He advocates for gender, racial and physical diversity in mining because the industry can only move forward when it opens up to more people. Nyabeze spoke with CIM Magazine about how the industry can encourage more people to consider mining as a career and the next steps for the CLEER mining supercluster.

CIM: How did you get into mining? Your sister Theresa also works in the field so it sounds like a bit of a family business.

Nyabeze: My older brother, Peter, was a rock collector and he became a geologist. I also have an older cousin who became a civil engineer, so I had engineering and rocks influencing my aspirations. I wanted to become a civil engineer but switched part way into mining engineering. I was drawn to mining by the fact that mining was happening in my backyard [in Sudbury]. I talk mining and innovation with [my family] all the time.

CIM: You’ve said in the past that you’re looking at ways for somebody who might in a wheelchair to go down into a mine. Why is it really important to consider situations like that?

Nyabeze: I think what it comes down to is accessibility, and I think mining needs to be more accessible. As another example, for a woman with long hair or someone who wears a turban, hard hats of today are not particularly suitable.

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