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May 12-15, 2024

Vancouver, BC


May 12-15, 2024


Vancouver, BC

What is CIM Connect 2024?

CIM Connect 2024 promises three full days of immersive learning and knowledge exchange, complemented by professional development courses leading up to the convention. Our expansive trade show will feature companies showcasing cutting-edge products and services, providing a unique opportunity for networking and discovery. Adding greater scope and depth to the proceedings, this year’s event will also include the 14th International Symposium on Mining with Backfill.

The rebranded CIM Connect truly embodies our mission – connecting members, potential members, students, and corporations. It’s about uniting people to connect, exchange ideas, collaborate, innovate, and ultimately, advance the industry. Our new logo vividly represents this transformation, symbolizing our global reach. The minerals featured in the logo represent the seven continents, signifying the essence of our industry, and the vibrant colors pay homage to Vancouver, our host city.

The conference theme, “Brand Canada: Our Critical Advantage,” shines a spotlight on Canada’s unique role in the global minerals, metals, and energy landscape. It emphasizes our commitment to responsibly developing valuable resources and showcasing leadership. This theme serves as a platform to explore Canada’s critical advantage, emphasizing our strategic importance and fostering discussions on how to leverage these advantages.

Roundtable Session – Sponsored by MetSoc

The Human Element: The Future of Canada’s Mining Workforce



Charlotte Gibson, Assistant Professor, Queen’s University
Ryan Montpellier, Executive Director, Mining Industry Human Resources Council



Mining has grown increasingly reliant on workers with specialized skills. As the industry has matured and become more technologically advanced, the need for workers with post-secondary education (PSE) has become increasingly important. A robust pipeline of qualified and skilled workers is needed to support expansion, avoid ongoing labour shortages and ensure the sector’s sustainability and competitiveness. Yet, Canada’s mining talent pipeline is shrinking. There’s been a significant decline in mining-related post-secondary program enrolment, and mining continues to struggle to attract and retain youth and equity deserving groups. Youth continue to hold negative perceptions of the sector and its careers, and hiring challenges are intensified by rural and remote mine locations.

This forum and panel will highlight findings from recent Mining Industry Human Resources Council (MiHR) labour market research that show how mining has struggled to attract youth and diversify its labour pool. The panel will include academic and industry HR leaders who are on the front lines of attracting and recruiting a workforce in a competitive landscape.


1. Labour Market Trends and Outlook Presentation (30 minutes)

Ryan Montpellier, Executive Director, MiHR, will present recent labour market trends, workforce demographics, PSE programs, enrolment challenges and research on youth perceptions of mining careers.

2. Industry / Post Secondary Education Panel (60 minutes)

Moderated by Charlotte Gibson (Queen’s University), the panel of six participants will include senior mining sector HR leaders who will share their unique challenges, strategies and tactics for attracting, recruiting and developing a skilled and diverse workforce. It will also include college and university representatives who will share their unique challenges and strategies for attracting and retaining students in their respective mining programs. Panelists will share how they are attracting students, challenges with retaining them and what supports are needed to ensure a more robust talent pipeline:


Steve Gravel is the Manager of the Centre for Smart Mining at Cambrian College in Sudbury, Ontario. The centre focuses on facilitating new technology adoption in the mining sector by providing mining technology companies with technical services and funding. Prior to leading the Centre for Smart Mining, Steve held a position at the Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE), where he worked with Ontario SMEs and tech firms as a Business Development and Commercialization Manager. In previous roles, Steve has studied the northern Ontario mining supply and services cluster in depth and understands its uniqueness and strategic value. Steve also co-hosts a weekly innovation podcast called The Unlikely Innovators that highlights stories of unlikely sources of innovation from post-secondary education to celebrities, start-ups, SMEs and a variety of industrial sectors.


Takis Katsabanis is an Associate Professor and Interim Department Head of Mining Engineering at Queen’s University in Kingston, Canada. His field of research involves the investigation of fragmentation, fracture propagation in rock due to blasting, blast damage as well as explosives performance and sensitivity. Dr. Katsabanis has taught continuing education courses worldwide and has been the author of several technical papers in journals and conferences. He is a member of the ISEE and a registered Professional Engineer in Ontario.


Al Shpyth joined the International Minerals Innovation Institute (IMII) in December 2015 and became executive director on January 1, 2016. Al has more than 30 years of consulting (Delcan, EcoMetrix), government (Province of Saskatchewan) and industry (Uranerz Exploration & Mining, Cameco Corporation) experience related to mining and the minerals sector to the IMII. A graduate of the University of Saskatchewan (in 1986), he obtained his master’s degrees in environmental studies from York University (in 1991) and in environmental law and policy from the Vermont Law School, where he graduated with highest honours, in 2014. With the IMII, Al has led the creation of AIMday Minerals, DEMOday, IDEATE, Diversity & Inclusion Challenges, the Alternative Energy Systems Innovation Challenge, and the iMpowered Scholarship, among other innovation initiatives.


Jenine Ellefson is the Head of People, North America at Newmont. As a member of the regional leadership team, Jenine provides vision, leadership and expertise to the company’s people strategy in North America to drive organizational effectiveness at operations in Canada and the United States. Throughout her career, Jenine has gained more than 20 years’ multi-national experience in the mining industry through a variety of roles in both operational and corporate settings in Australia, Canada and Chile. Prior to joining Newmont, Jenine was the Vice President, People at Goldcorp, and previously worked for several other major mining companies including Barrick Gold, BHP Billiton and Placer Dome. Jenine holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Human Resources Management (with honors) from the University of British Columbia. Jenine is the Board Chair for the Mining Industry Human Resources Council (MiHR), and also volunteers as a Board member and past-Board Chair for the Vancouver Society of Children’s Centres.


Dean Winsor is the Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer at Teck, having joined Teck in 1999 and previously holding the position of Vice President, Human Resources. Dean has 30 years of operations and corporate experience in the mining industry in the areas of human resources and procurement. He holds an MBA from Simon Fraser University and a Supply Chain Management Professional Designation from the Supply Chain Management Association. He currently sits on the boards of Pacific Coast University, the National Institute of Disability Management & Research, the Canadian Mineral Industry Education Foundation and is Past-Chair of the Board of the Mining Industry Human Resources Council (MiHR).


Sherry Iskander is the Senior Director, Centre of Excellence, Processing and Technology at Rio Tinto. She is an experienced senior leader with a demonstrated history of working across multiple industries. Sherry is skilled in leading Human Resources teams in Consulting, Talent Management, HR AI/Data Sciences, Learning & Development and Talent Acquisition. Sherry is a strong leader, focused on the highest strategic impact with a human-centric approach. She holds a B.A. in Industrial Relations & International Development from McGill University. Sherry is the Vice-Chair of the Board of the Mining Industry Human Resources Council (MiHR).


3. Roundtable Session – Small Group Discussion (40 minutes)

The audience will be invited to break into small groups (8-10 participants per table) and will be asked to respond to key questions pertaining to the topics discussed by the panelists. Panel members will help facilitate the discussion at each table. Participants will be tasked with answering three to four key questions. Each table will appoint a spokesperson and scribe to capture the discussion. Pre-registration to participate in this Roundtable Session is highly encouraged by clicking on this link: Participation priority at the Roundtable Session will be given to those that pre-register.


4. Report Back and Wrap-Up Discussion (20 minutes)

Each table will have three to five minutes to present their group discussion summary to the audience. Facilitators will be asked to provide concrete actions that industry, academia and governments can take to help address the talent crisis in mining and improve collaboration between industry and academia.


White Paper

Following the event, MiHR staff will capture the notes and remarks to produce a white paper that summarizes the key takeaways from the panel and the group discussions. The white paper will shed light on the key issues and provide recommendations for a path forward.