Inkster opens up about her reluctance to take the top job and how she hopes to change the industry’s reputation
Based on the career of Marie Inkster, someone looking for adventure in business might want to consider accounting. Once a CA with Deloitte Canada, Inkster went to work for Geac Computer Corp. in the late 1990s.
When her boss left for Nortel, Inkster smartly decided not to join her. Instead, in 2002, she found herself in the three-person office of LionOre, being lured into a life in mining. Soon she was travelling the world. By 2009 she was CFO at Lundin Mining, a rising mid-tier miner run by the audacious Lukas Lundin, and walking through the Congolese jungle.
She orchestrated Lundin’s 2014 acquisition of the Candelaria Copper Mining Complex in Chile, raising $2.2 billion and nearly doubling the size of the company. In October of last year, Inkster replaced Paul Conibear as CEO.
That puts her in charge of what’s now Canada’s top mid-tier miner and makes her an important voice in an industry increasingly challenged by difficult markets and human rights controversies. We sat down with her in Lundin’s new offices in Toronto’s financial district.
What made you the right choice to lead Lundin Mining?
I knew what it took to make it a success. I had a very big part in building the strategy of the company. People knew that if my predecessor was going to approve an investment in anything, he would have to get my stamp of approval first. When we bought the Candelaria mine, for example, Paul and I together told the board how we were going to do it.