Paul Rice and Michael Perron on Indigenous Communities and Business | The CSE Podcast Ep28-S2

The CSE’s Barrington Miller is joined by President and CEO of Dable Advisory and Consulting Services Paul Rice, and CFO, Transaction Advisory, Corporate Development, and Corporate Strategy of Kinza Consulting Michael Perron in this special edition podcast to discuss the history of business for Indigenous communities, how steps for reconciliation can be taken, and hopes for the future.

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Blockchain Venture Capital Inc. (CSE:BVCI) Joins the CSE for a Virtual Market Open

The CSE warmly welcomed Blockchain Venture Capital Inc. (CSE:BVCI) for a virtual Market Open on August 18, 2022. 

Blockchain Venture Capital is a financial services company providing an innovative technology infrastructure to participants in the emerging blockchain and distributed ledger technology industry. They’ve developed BVC-Chain, a public, decentralized blockchain built on open blockchain technologies; BvcPay, a mobile app developed on BVC-Chain that functions as a digital asset wallet; and CADT, a digital asset that is 100 percent backed by the Canadian dollar.

CEO Richard Zhou and other members of the Blockchain Venture Capita team kicked off the day’s trading, and Director Justin Poy shared more about the company’s vision and mission. 

For more details about the CSE, including information on other Market Opens, please visit the CSE website or follow us on social media.

Relevant Gold Corp. (CSE:RGC) Joins the CSE for a Virtual Market Open

The CSE warmly welcomed Relevant Gold Corp. (CSE:RGC) for a virtual Market Open on August 11, 2022. 

Relevant Gold is a North American gold exploration company founded by exploration geologists with a focus on the acquisition, exploration, discovery and development of district-scale gold projects in the US state of Wyoming. 

CEO Robert Bergmann and other members of the Relevant Gold team kicked off the day’s trading with their “Wyoming-style” virtual Market Open. 

For more details about the CSE, including information on other Market Opens, please visit the CSE website or follow us on social media.

Spotlight on Darcy Krohman

Your education and experience are at a unique intersection of finance and mining. What made you decide to pursue this career trajectory?

During my undergrad, I completed several business courses which set me on a path to pursue the Chartered Accountant program, articling with KPMG. My intent was always to integrate finance and mining, as, from my perspective, the subject matter and information derived from these two disciplines provide the “nuts and bolts” of the operations of any mining or mineral exploration company.

Where did your career in mining start?

My first jobs in the mining space were with the UBC working for a PhD student and mapping a large region near the Mascot Gold Mine in the Similkameen Valley of southern BC, followed by summers working for BHP-Utah Mines in the Coastal Mountains of BC and on Vancouver Island at their Island Copper Mine.

What’s the most important thing you’ve learned during your time at the CSE?

The importance of patience and flexibility while working with issuers to achieve their objectives. Many junior companies do not have the in-house expertise or resources to address many of the complex issues to get their companies and mineral projects past the exchange listing “finish line.” EThe services the CSE provides for listing and ongoing continuous disclosure processes are integral to obtaining a positive outcome for the company, investors and the CSE.

What is the most important thing mining companies need to consider when going public?

The single most important aspect of any company, public or private, is having the right people doing the right functions. The mining industry is littered with examples of good projects significantly impaired by management with the wrong skill sets. Mining companies, like all companies who decide to go public, must also realize that the rules of the game change once you decide to go public. The assets of the company are no longer solely for the benefit of the directors, officers, management and insiders, and there is an ongoing obligation to account for those assets.

From your perspective, what are some challenges that public mining companies are currently facing?

In a complex industry like mining, there are numerous challenges faced by public companies. Some of these include identifying resources, dealing with longer lead times, developing new technology, finding qualified labour, working in remote and complicated jurisdictions, and complying with corporate social responsibility to stakeholders, Indigenous peoples, and the environment.

What are some misconceptions about mining you think people should know?

Probably the amount of environmental damage a mine will have if developed responsibly. To maintain our current standard of living, metals have to be produced, and environmental impact and surface disturbance will, unfortunately, occur. However, that impact can be mitigated by using evolving technologies, completing a cost-benefit analysis at each stage, and complying with professional and industry standards. Canada has high environmental standards, and I believe the export of these standards will help improve the acceptance of mining as a sustainable industry worldwide.

This story was featured in the Canadian Securities Exchange magazine.

Québec Nickel: High grade at the core of a business plan to supply vital metals to the clean energy sector

Experienced executive David Patterson wanted to be ahead of the nickel curve when he formed a new Québec-focused company in September 2020, foreseeing growing demand for metal in the clean energy sector.

Patterson moved quickly, approaching Glenn Mullan, Chief Executive Officer of Val-d’Or Mining, ultimately leading to then-private Québec Nickel buying what is now the company’s 15,000-plus hectare Ducros nickel, copper and PGE project from Val-d’Or Mining for 3,589,341 special warrants.

In July 2021, Québec Nickel (CSE:QNI) listed its shares on the Canadian Securities Exchange, and in November of the same year raised approximately $7.5 million. 

At Ducros, the company is embarking on an extensive exploration program pursuing high-grade mineralization. Currently underway are airborne and ground surveys as well as an aggressive 20,000 metre, multi-phase drill program encompassing the 2022 exploration season. 

Canadian Securities Exchange Magazine caught up with Patterson, Québec Nickel’s Chief Executive Officer, recently to learn more about the company’s plans.

Québec Nickel is exploring for high-grade nickel in the Abitibi, yet the area is better known for its many gold and VMS deposits, with only low-grade nickel occurrences. Talk to us more about your vision.

We believe that our Ducros property has all the necessary features to produce a high-grade nickel deposit. On our property we see geologic structures in an area with high volumes of mafic and ultramafic rocks. This unique combination of geological setting and geology give the Ducros the potential to host an economic nickel ore body. 

In a broader sense, what’s the difference between higher and lower grades in nickel?

All things being equal, a high-grade deposit will have a smaller ecological footprint and can better withstand volatile metal prices. A low-grade deposit may be economic at the current metal price, but could not sustain an operation if prices drop significantly.

How is your current drilling and exploration program going? What have you discovered so far, and what do you hope to achieve?

The COVID variant Omicron slowed our exploration activity at the start of 2022. However, in early February we were able to begin both our airborne VTEM survey as well as Phase I drilling on the Ducros. Our most recent press release has a detailed description of the rock types we have encountered. We will need to wait for assays for the current holes, and we anticipate having them in the next month or so.

Can you tell me more about the Ducros project and why you are excited by it?

We believe we have a large project area that has seen very limited exploration activity. Previous work by other independent operators on small portions of the property has provided our technical team with evidence that the area has a significant volume of mafic and ultramafic rocks. This is a similar geological setting for most of the magmatic sulphide nickel discoveries in the last 100 years.  

In addition, limited drill programs conducted in 1987 and 2008 show that there are nickel occurrences in these rock types. Our 2020-2021 exploration program of geological mapping, geochemical sampling and geophysical surveys has given us confidence that we are in the right geological setting. Our 43-101 Technical Report from 2021 discloses channel and grab samples from the Fortin showing outcrops that contain over 2% copper and 0.5% nickel with elevated platinum and palladium values.

Can you say more about your executive team, their background, and what you bring to the company as CEO? 

On our board of directors, we have people with tremendous nickel exploration experience as well as expertise in finance and accounting.

Our technical team has considerable experience in nickel exploration, with both brownfield and greenfield discoveries that have gone into production.  

As for me, I have helped finance large nickel exploration projects in Canada over the last 25 years. I believe the team that we have brought to Québec Nickel can find an economic ore body and has the experience to be able to develop the project through to production. 

How would you sum up the company’s opportunity to a potential investor?

I believe that we are in the early stages of a metal super cycle, that we have chosen the right metal given this super cycle and we have the right people to guide the successful development of the company.

This story was featured in the Canadian Securities Exchange magazine.

Learn more about Québec Nickel at https://quebecnickel.com/.

International Battery Metals: Technology to support clean, consistent lithium supply takes a big leap forward

Technological breakthroughs are where the big money is often made in the stock market, and International Battery Metals (CSE:IBAT) is a perfect example. As it entered the fourth quarter of 2020, the company’s shares could be picked up for around $0.10. More recently, those same shares have changed hands as high as $7.40.

It is a success story based on solutions in an industry crying out for them, one where inefficiency is clashing with a generational shift in consumption to create high prices and serious concerns about future supply shortages. Given the move toward greener economies, not to mention regional resource security, it might not come as a surprise that lithium is the prized product we are talking about.

International Battery Metals Chief Executive Officer Dr. John Burba can truly be described as a technology pioneer in the lithium extraction industry. Now at the helm of his own company, the pace of his achievements is only picking up momentum.

Dr. Burba spoke with Canadian Securities Exchange Magazine in late March about the company’s technology and how he sees it contributing to a better macro climate for the lithium industry, and the global environment, in the years ahead.

We will explore your technology and the company’s success in a moment, but can you begin with your view on the state of lithium supply and demand and how it shapes your strategy?

I’ll start off by saying that I think the lithium industry today is where the oil and gas industry was in about 1910. There are strong analogies.

If you go back to what was happening in the early 20th century, people did not really know much about how to get oil and gas out of the ground successfully. The process was very dirty. Pollution was ignored. It was just a nasty process. Of course, that has improved in the decades since.

The lithium industry is not that different. There are two major supplies of lithium today. There is hard rock mining, which is spodumene. Basically, companies are mining this in a variety of places and sending it to China for processing.

Then there is lithium extraction from brines, and you either have solar evaporation, which is very damaging, or you have FMC’s process, which I invented when I worked for FMC. That approach is better but still has drawbacks.

The industry has old processes that are not as efficient as they need to be, and significant issues on top of that with environmental damage. That is the backdrop to where we are. We have a tremendous shortage looming over us, and that is why prices are so high for lithium right now.

If the world continues producing lithium the way it does, the shortages are going to get worse. It will negatively impact the number of vehicles that can be produced and the number of batteries that can be produced. People will start using less efficient batteries and that is not going to be good for the transition we hope to see.

Can you quantify industry efficiency for us?

To give you a few examples, recovery rates for these processes are not very high. If you look at solar evaporation in Chile, they only recover about 20% to 30% of the lithium and the rest is wasted on the desert floor. FMC’s process recovers around 40% to 45% of the lithium.

Lithium is the only industry I’m aware of that tolerates such abysmal recovery rates. Most industries would be going crazy if they were wasting over 50% of their desired product.

So, these are the burdens that this industry is bearing right now. And the answer is not going to come from big established companies. They are simply not capable of, or not interested in, radically changing the industry so that it becomes efficient and responsive to the needs of the world.

In a recent press release, Universidad de Santiago de Chile stated that your technology is the “only one capable of separating lithium without leaving a significant impact on the environment.” Walk us through what differentiates your approach.

When you look at lithium extraction, one hears a lot about direct lithium extraction (DLE), and many start-up companies preach that as if it’s some new thing. The DLE concept actually began at Dow Chemical in the late 1970s and the 1980s, so that idea has been around for a long time.

Basically, it is about having a technology that can selectively pull lithium from the brine and let everything else go by. We are using a proven form of direct lithium extraction that is based on an absorbent that a friend of mine and I invented back in the 1990s. We have improved it since then, but it was groundbreaking at the time.

This material will selectively recover lithium from a saturated brine. And the selectivity is astronomically high.

The reason that matters is because there is not that much lithium in even the best resources. In that Atacama brine that everybody loves, you have about 2,000 parts per million lithium. If you look at Alberta, you are talking about 50 to 80 parts per million.

The lithium concentrations are low and you have to have something that will pick up the lithium and leave behind everything else.

We have improved our process so that – and we still have to prove this – but we are expecting to see recovery rates substantially higher than 60%. And we are hoping for recovery rates in the range of 90% to 95%.

The second thing is we intend to inject the brine back into the formation rather than putting it onto the ground and letting it evaporate. The problem with letting it evaporate is that you create salt flats all over the place, and salt is very detrimental to ecology.

The third thing, and perhaps the most important for jurisdictions such as Chile, is that our technology enables us to recover vast amounts of water. We will be recycling about 98% of our process water. In the Atacama, for example, they don’t recycle any water with solar evaporation.

What about the equipment itself? Are there positive environmental aspects to your physical footprint at a project?

We have been able to shrink the size of the processing equipment and that has allowed us to modularize and develop a mobile plant concept. We can put modular equipment in place, assemble it, turn it on and begin processing lithium in a short period of time.

When we are done, we pick up the equipment and eventually you won’t be able to tell that we were ever there. We can build one of these plants in months, rather than years.  

I will add that our omnibus patent for this mobile and modular process has been issued.

What is the status in terms of commercialization? And what is the commercialization plan?

I’m glad you brought that up, because if we can’t make money, we can’t do a good job on the environment. We have two contracts with a company called Scorcia Minerals. They have substantial resources and we have a contract with them in Chile and Argentina providing exclusive rights to use our equipment there.

Our arrangement sees us receive a royalty on final sale of the product. They buy the equipment from us on a cost-plus basis, we operate on a cost-plus basis, and we own 10% of each project.

We are focused on North America right now and I would say that in the next two years we intend to have one of our units extracting lithium in the United States. We also intend to build a lithium carbonate hydroxide facility in the United States so that we have a North American base for significant lithium production.

Once we are established in North America, we are also open to Africa, Europe and other places where they have good resources.

Give us a look at your future and where the industry is going. How big do you think you can get and how does your company maintain a leadership position?

We have passed a tipping point from the standpoint of transportation and electrification. In the first question, I made the analogy to the oil industry a hundred years ago. I think lithium is going to see a lot of the same drive that oil did.

Some people will ask why not sodium, or why not potassium? It comes down to basic chemistry. Lithium is the best. Its transport numbers are the fastest, which means it will zip across a cell very rapidly, and go into crystals very rapidly, and it has a very high half-cell potential. So, when you look at this, all of it bodes well for powerful, high-capacity batteries. It is not likely we are going to find a battery chemistry that works better than lithium.

And then how do we remain relevant? We have to do every one of our projects in a credible and honest way and we have to be successful in everything that we say. We are not into predicting. We want to do it and then explain what we’ve done. Our accomplishments need to be real and measurable. That is the kind of thing that serious investors like.

Anything we have missed?

Right now, the biggest driver of success in the industry is time to market. We have exceedingly high prices. If I can start today and have a plant operating in 18 months, as opposed to six years, I have already won the game. That is where the mobile and modular extraction comes into play. We can get in rapidly, and we can expand a facility rapidly. It is like LEGO – you just plug it in.

I’d also point out that high recovery rates and things of that nature flow through to low operating costs. And something we have not talked about is that capital costs for our modular system are substantially lower than for traditional plants. We don’t have to put in foundations or construct big buildings. We don’t have a cast of thousands to support 24 hours a day. This makes it much easier to finance a plant and that makes it easier for us to expand. These are the reasons I am very optimistic about our future.

This story was featured in the Canadian Securities Exchange magazine.

Learn more about International Battery Metals at https://www.ibatterymetals.com/.

Vaughn DiMarco & Daniel Drouet on Investing in AI | The CSE Podcast Ep27-S2

The CSE’s Barrington Miller and Scott Pritchard are joined by X Machina Co-Founder & VP of Growth and Value Creation Vaughn DiMarco and Co-Founder, CTO, & CPO Daniel Drouet to discuss the funding gap in the market for early-stage tech companies and how X Machina aims to bridge that gap. The conversation also addresses the potential uses of AI for industrial applications and why Montreal is a growing hub for the technology sector.

Here’s an overview of the discussion in this edition of the “Exchange for Entrepreneurs” podcast:

00:00 – Introduction
04:02 – What does X Machina do?
07:25 – How does X Machina choose AI companies?
09:55 – What is the difference between artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning?
14:48 – What is Startupfest and how does X Machina choose companies? Where do you see the best opportunities?
18:43 – How does X Machina provide value to potential companies?
21:59 – Why is Montreal an AI and tech hub?
29:21 – What are SR&ED credits?
36:05 – How many companies has X Machina looked at in 2022?
38:20 – What types of companies/industries are emerging?
39:38 – Are there any companies coming from outside of North America into Montreal?

About Vaughn DiMarco

Vaughn is an investor, entrepreneur, and engineer applying AI best practices across industries. As Investment Director at IVADO LABS, he was part of a small team managing INVEST-AI, a $35M Quebec fund. He led due diligence on hundreds of companies, managed a large portfolio, and funding dozens of successful initiatives including but not limited to manufacturing, construction, finance, media, entertainment, medical devices, and tech. 

About Daniel Drouet

Daniel has been deeply involved in tech for over twenty years as an engineer, entrepreneur, investor, and mentor. He has expertise in product management, engineering, and venture financing.  He has conceived and overseen the delivery of numerous software products and IT services and founded several tech companies. He was a founding partner of Real Ventures, Canada’s most active early-stage venture capital fund, and helped grow Anges Quebec into one of the largest angel investor networks in the country.

Learn more about X Machina at https://machina-ai.com/.

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Element79 Gold

Mineral exploration companies rarely talk about the potential for generating cash flow because it simply is not part of the vision. For Element79 Gold (CSE:ELEM), however, it is a key aspect of the path to success, and the company is currently putting the finishing touches on a portfolio designed to achieve it in the near term.

Element79’s flagship is the Maverick Springs Project in Nevada and it has a number of other properties along the state’s Battle Mountain trend as well. It also has projects in British Columbia and Ontario, and recently moved to acquire two high-grade Peruvian gold projects. 

Upon completing the Peruvian acquisitions, Element79 Gold will have a diversified portfolio of assets including greenfield, advanced 43-101 inferred resource stage, and historic high-grade past-producing mines that have the potential to become producers again.

Canadian Securities Exchange Magazine sat down with Element79 Gold Chief Executive Officer James Tworek in late March to find out more.

Element79 recently completed a 43-101-compliant, pit-constrained mineral resource estimate for the Maverick Springs project in Nevada. What did it tell you?

It gave us an opportunity to gather all the data that had been amassed from previous owners of this property and to take the historical resource and bring it up to modern standards. In doing that, we were able to incorporate an additional 59 drill holes of data, which had been completed after the historical reports.

It also gave us the opportunity to refresh our perspective on the project. As it was previously conceived only as a prospective underground mine, arguably there was a lot that was being missed. By looking at it from the perspective of a pit-constrained model, we can now look at the strip ratio of all of the strata above the hard rock and begin to incorporate those economics.     

Right now, the strip ratio is about 5:1, and going forward our plans include doing some infill drilling to prove up value and to enhance our understanding of the project’s metallurgy, with the intent of getting better yields from higher strata and enhancing overall project economics.

Aside from Maverick Springs, Element79 has a portfolio of 15 properties in Nevada which you are assessing for further exploration, potential sale or spin-out. Which is most likely? 

Because it is such a diverse portfolio, we have stratified them into what we’ll call the “best hits” in terms of what we will likely keep ourselves and focus on to unlock value. I would argue that Element79’s market capitalization is very much weighted on the value provided by our 3.71 million ounces of gold equivalent and the potential of developing Maverick Springs. Little of the rest of the portfolio is being accounted for today.

Some of these are well-explored properties, with 160-plus drill holes on them, but they don’t have any form of modern report. So, this is a great opportunity for us to revisit data, put in some work on the properties and generate modern reports on them with the intent of unlocking the value of the resources onto our balance sheet.

In addition to raising capital for the projects, we have been speaking with potential partners that might want minority joint ventures on specific properties. We are looking at all these aspects, and now that we’ve reached our current strategic M&A plateau we’re confident in where we’re going with developing our portfolio.

Beyond Nevada, you are in the process of acquiring the Snowbird project in British Columbia and have an option on another project in the famous Timmins mining camp in Ontario. What can you tell us about these? 

The Timmins project, called the Dale Property, has proximity to IAMGold’s Cote gold mine, where production is expected by mid-2023. Being on the same greenstone belt, about 60 kilometres away, there is a great opportunity to show there’s something worth pursuing.

That said, Dale is at a very early stage, so we have to balance that exploration requirement with developing our other more advanced projects at the same time.  

With the Snowbird project, where we have already funded about 3,000 metres of drilling, we intend to close the purchase shortly. The catch to the transaction was that the exploration permit ended on December 31, 2021, and the vendors, Plutus Gold, had a contractual commitment to invest $1 million in exploration by June 30, 2022.

Exploration permits are currently taking six months or more to obtain, so having to wait for it could have jeopardized the acquisition in the immediate term. We’ve been told that Plutus is just getting assays trickling in, and a 43-101 report on the project is underway. We should have that information in the first part of the second quarter.

Element79 recently signed a Letter of Intent to acquire some past-producing gold mines in Peru. What do these offer? 

We have an LOI signed and we’re going through a 90-day due diligence process prior to closing. These assets were previously producing but were shuttered due to low prices in the early 2000s. But there was prolific production out of them. The Lucero asset was producing in the range of 19 grams per ton gold equivalent.

The beauty of working in Peru is that mining is deeply rooted in the culture and it’s a cornerstone of the economy. Also, the permitting process is streamlined compared to many jurisdictions.

There are existing permits in place to extract 350 tons per day of ore. And with the Lucero asset, where the two permits are in place, there is regional infrastructure. The closest mill is only running at about 60% capacity and around 20 days a month, so there’s potential for us to start generating cash flow in the near term.

The company has said its portfolio offers a pathway to revenue. What do you think is the timeline?

Post-acquisition of the Peruvian portfolio, which should be closing at the latest by mid-June of this year, we plan to take the time to make sure that we have adequate basic exploration, including an initial 43-101 resource for both former mines to get them operating again. We feel quite confident that within 18 months we should be in production at Lucero.

That can help offset our day-to-day operating costs, and even fund some exploratory work. If we want to move by leaps and bounds, we are speaking to different financing parties, with debt financing a topic. With cash flow, we can justify borrowing to develop both the Peruvian assets as well as our flagship and Nevada portfolio that much faster.  

What should investors in Element79 expect in the medium term? 

We’re ratcheting up very quickly from a lean start-up to a fully functioning operational mining company on a global basis. We’ve just brought on another world-class teammate, Mr. Kim Kirkland as our VP of Global Exploration and are engaging further consultancies and country managers for specific assets.

The pending newsreel includes updates as we close on Snowbird and eventually on the Peruvian assets. We’re also actively raising capital, as well as progressing long-term sustainability initiatives while developing our portfolio. 

Bringing on cash flow is a key driver of our corporate strategy. There are a lot of junior miners that aren’t able to achieve this goal based on their assets or strategy. We intend to be doing that within 18 months of acquiring the Peruvian portfolio.  

My personal goal was to ensure that this company would have access to cash flow within 24 months of our IPO. We seem to be on that trajectory right now, with an amazing team of people and key assets to get us there.

This story was featured in the Canadian Securities Exchange magazine.

Learn more about Element79 Gold at https://www.element79.gold/.

MariMed Inc. (CSE:MRMD) Joins the CSE for a Virtual Market Open

The CSE warmly welcomed MariMed Inc. (CSE:MRMD) for a virtual Market Open on July 12, 2022. 

MariMed, a multi-state cannabis operator, is dedicated to improving lives every day through its high-quality products, actions, and values. They develop, own, and manage seed to sale state-licensed cannabis facilities which focus on leading horticultural principles, cannabis cultivation techniques, cannabis-infused products, and dispensary operations. 

“Many people have been calling MariMed the best kept secret in cannabis over the years,” noted CAO Jon Levine, stating, “We believe that listing on the CSE will help us get the word out about our company, increase our liquidity and secure more analyst coverage as well.” 

James Black, VP of Listings Development at the CSE, added, “We are thrilled to welcome MariMed to the Canadian public markets! The company has a deep history in the sector and is a welcome addition amongst its industry peers on the Exchange.”

For more details about the CSE, including information on other Market Opens, please visit the CSE website or follow us on social media.

Spotlight on Theresa Nyabeze

Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM) Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee Co-Chair Theresa Nyabeze talks about advocating for diversity and inclusion (D&I) in the mining industry and beyond.

What initially drew you to STEM?

A curiosity about how things worked. I grew up with very curious siblings who were always experimenting with multiple endeavours growing up, like raising silkworms, beekeeping and so on.

How did your career in mining begin?

By accident! In school, I learned that while I enjoyed math and sciences, I hated biology. I needed a program free from human anatomy, and as a younger-than-usual first-year student, I was hesitant to leave my home of Sudbury, Ontario where I lived since I was 12 – so, the mining program at Laurentian University it was! 

Speaking personally, why do you believe diversity and inclusion are important?

I just think it’s the absolute most common-sense lever in everything I do. When I have volunteered in groups or worked in teams, the more people felt understood and included, the more creative they became and the more they seemed to thrive within and outside my engagement with them. From that point of view, I think it’s critical.

As Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committe Co-Chair at CIM, what are some of the challenges you’ve seen or encountered when it comes to D&I in the mining industry?

I think connecting our stories and learning, growing and collaborating continues to be a challenge. I see so many well-intentioned initiatives and driven individuals. We need to break out of tackling challenges in silos.

In your opinion, what is the current state of diversity and inclusion in mining? How does it differ from when you began your career?

The mining industry is on an impressive growth curve, and we are making large strides in embracing D&I. Why I say that is because we are leaders in safety; taking care of the whole ecosystem is something that comes naturally. As we harness this similarity, we are making progress. Look around at mining companies: You will see a major effort to really embrace the learnings from society. There are signs and symbols that progress is underway to diversify workforces, as well as increased training and awareness-raising of key topics.

What efforts can people make to better foster inclusivity?

Investy time in the concept of “unlearning,” and become curious about your teammates and what belonging means to them. This is at a personal, team, and company level.

What do you feel is most important for people to know about diversity and inclusion?

We all need it – regardless of our appearance. Think about your experiences when you were in school until this day; we all thrive when we have a friendship group or people who “get” us. The same sense of belonging you need is what everyone else seeks. There is room for everyone to participate in this movement. Consider this your invitation if you need one! 

What is your greatest accomplishment?

Living out my values and being recognized for my radical authenticity.

This story was featured in the Canadian Securities Exchange magazine.