A Lack of Clarity

In the last year, executives at mining companies have adopted a new catch phrase: “A Lack of Clarity.” This phrase supplanted the previous challenge of “Operating in Uncertain Times.” There are very noticeable, common trends taking place industry-wide. Mining companies are gravitating toward plans that embrace Tier 1 assets, optimizing existing production processes at those operations, and selling non-core assets. The honeymoon period for many of these executives is about to expire and they find themselves in an awkward position. They have to explain a new strategy to shareholders who are unhappy about the company’s stock performance while at the same time they are selling off mining operations—sometimes at a steep discounts over what the company paid only a few years ago. When shareholders and analysts ask about the outlook? The answer more recently has revolved around a lack of clarity, as if the future was previously predictable.

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Mandela’s Contribution to Mining

By Gavin du Venage and Joseph Kirschke

Last month, National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) leaders denounced South Africa’s mining companies for ignoring a day of mourning for Nelson Mandela’s funeral. Ironically, saddled with corruption, infighting and often voiceless workers, the NUM itself may be one of his struggle’s more unfortunate byproducts. 

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Cyber Security: A Sign of the Times

People were surprised when they learned that the reporters at News of the World were hacking cell phones. With revelations about the U.S. National Security Agency’s (NSA) activities from Edward Snowden and other “leakers,” the world is learning with each passing moment just how commonplace spying has become and the fact that modern technology better enables it. 

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Québec’s Reality Check

As this edition of E&MJ was going to press, Québec decided to shelve a new mining tax proposed by the Parti Québécois (PQ) after being re-acquainted with the important role miners play in the region. While the story is still unfolding, many in the mining business are wondering if the damage can be undone.

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From the Editor

Steve Fiscor, Editor-in-Chief, EMJ, Engineering Mining Journal
Steve Fiscor heads a world class group of writers and editors serving the mining and construction markets. He has served as editor-in-chief for E&MJ since 2003 and Coal Age since 2001. He writes articles on mining and processing, organizes the technical programs for several conferences, and produces many of MMI's ancillary products.

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