The mining industry leads the economic sectors in terms of dollar value and size of employment not only in Canada but also in Australia, South Africa, Chile, Brazil, and other countries. The global demand for mineral commodities continues to grow in response to increased decarbonization and electrification. Governments make large investments in support of new projects aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions and expanding mineral processing and metallurgical plants. Clearly, the future of a green world lies in the hands of the minerals industry and its ability to deliver the much-needed supply of strategic and critical minerals.
Despite the good news, there is a talent crisis with the pipeline for talent dwindling. Since 2014, the number of undergraduate students in mining engineering has dropped by over 50%. This drop in enrolment directly affects mining programs who are under pressure from university leadership due to low enrollment. Historically, this has led to closure of programs (Dalhousie is a recent example) or combining mining programs with other departments (e.g., U of Queensland). Industry and academia need to work together to ensure the demand for talent is met. This forum will use a round table discussion between top industry executives and academics to explore how we can attract more students into the minerals industry, provide them with challenging and rewarding careers that keep them in the industry and support the educational programs that provide the talent.
This year’s forum is a round table discussion between top industry executives and educators. It aims to show case industry support to academic institutions and stimulate discussion for ideas and mechanisms for continued support of academic teaching and research for the mutual gain of both industry and academia.
Professor of Mining Engineering at McGill University
Executive Director of the International Minerals Innovation Institute (IMII)
President & Chief Executive Officer, Barrick
Professor & Dean of Engineering and Applied Science, Queen’s University
Chair of the Board of Franco-Nevada Corporation