When the Sudbury CIM branch was selected to host the 2010 MEMO conference, one of the first people branch executives approached to serve as co-chair was Roy Slack, president of Cementation Canada and past chair of the Northern Gateway CIM branch in North Bay, 130 kilometres due east.
“We had talked about the possibility of the two branches coming together to put on some kind of conference, but when he heard about MEMO coming to Sudbury, we thought it would be a perfect opportunity to work together,” said Slack.
Slack is sharing the duties as chair with Sudbury-based Allan Akerman, program director at the Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation, while similar pairings from the two branches work in the trenches to ensure the success of the event. As an example, Oliver Koski of Sandvik Mining and Construction in Sudbury has teamed up with Marcel Gravelle of the Redpath Group in North Bay to hustle sponsorships.
“By working together, we cast a wider net and get more people involved in the conference,” said Slack.
Collaboration is part of the CIM’s DNA.
“If you look at any CIM branch, you’ll have companies that compete against each other during the normal course of business, but they work together in the CIM because they believe in the industry. Inco and Falconbridge competed against each other for years, but worked well together in the CIM. We have competitors we bid against, but we work closely with them too, so the CIM is all about collaboration. You can’t run the CIM by being self-serving. It’s as simple as that.”
Between 500 and 600 people from across Canada and around the world are expected to converge on Sudbury for the 2010 MEMO conference.
Approximately 80 technical papers and presentations on maintenance, planning and operations highlighting best practices will ensure a strong technical session.
The conference kicks off on Sunday, October 24 with a reception at Science North and continues the following morning with a panel of mining industry leaders debating the impact of the recent global recession and where the industry is headed.
A Mining in Society program aimed at Sudbury youth will bring busloads of school children to a hall filled with displays and demonstrations.
“The media is often not very forgiving about the mining industry, so we look for ways to get the real message out as to what is happening in the industry,” said Slack. “If we get kids interested enough that they want to do a social studies project on mining, that’s more people who understand our industry.”
A trade show with indoor booths and a display area outdoors for big equipment is already sold out, but proposals for papers and presentations are still being accepted.
Further information about the conference is available from the CIM’s MEMO website.