I have just read an interesting article in, written by Anthony Halley, which said:

Canada’s mining sector failed to book a single IPO in the first quarter of 2013, financing for junior miners continues to dry up, and Canadian miners abroad are facing increasing local opposition.

These are tough times for Canadian mining.

At home

Domestically, senior executives of Canadian juniors complain that the market is the worst that it has ever been. After one of the greatest resource sector bull markets in history, mining project valuations have now, in the eyes of some, become irrational.

“A bull market will always go higher, and a bear market will fall farther than you expect it will,” cautioned Frank Giustra in a recent article for

The gloom was felt at Toronto’s PDAC international mining convention last month as the reality that many juniors will eventually go bust continues to set in.

“We have a crisis in the small- and mid-sized companies that are exploring. And there is a lot of selling that’s happening,” says MaryAnn Mihychuk, PDAC board member.

“Low cash balances, coupled with broader pressures around regulatory risks and rising operating costs, have put some junior miners at a disadvantage in the capital markets and undoubtedly.”

Mihychuk says there are about 630 companies, which makes up about half of the 1,300 listed companies in Canada, that have less than $200,000 in working capital.

“For some junior miners (25%) around the world, the liquidity crunch is serious enough that they need to raise cash within three months or less, with that number rising to 31% in Canada.”

This article was from a week or two ago, and from what I can see things have not improved since then, actually, if anything they have gotten worse. The concern for me is as to how this is going to affect mine workers in Canada? As it appears that we are in store for some uncertain, rocky times ahead. It is at times like this that mine workers need to sit back and give some thought as to how they are performing in the workplace. One needs to think about whether you are consistently putting your best foot forward in the workplace? Also to think about your work ethic. Is it really up to scratch? What can you do to improve your productivity? All of these things need to be thought through carefully. When times get tough, companies are often forced to retrench, and it’s a given that when making the decision as to whom they should let go, and whom they should hang onto, companies will try their utmost to hang onto their best workers.

So what can you do to hang onto your job, during uncertain times?

Be of service to others without expecting anything in return. Many of us have the attitude that we will only do things for other people, if we get something in return. We need to change this mind set. What makes a truly irreplaceable employee is someone who makes decisions and solves problems for the good of the company, and the team, and for those around them, without expecting anything in return.

Ensure that your work performance is always the best that it can be. Never take short cuts. In order to be truly irreplaceable, you have to work really hard. You cannot take short cuts and still expect to be considered an employee not worth letting go, when the chips are down. Whatever way, you want to look at it; hard work is always the key to success.

Watch your time management. You may think taking a little longer on your lunch hour, or coming into work a bit late, and leaving a bit early is not noticed, but I can bet you that it is. Those odd Monday’s where you phone in sick because you feel like taking a long weekend, also get noticed. Remember just because they are not saying anything, doesn’t mean they are not noticing, nor does it mean that they don’t mind. Make sure that you put in the hours, and don’t be afraid of working overtime as and when it is needed. Your boss may not be saying anything, but that doesn’t mean it’s not being noticed.

Work on relationship building. Make sure you have good respectful relationships, with those that you work with, particularly those in management. Relationships at work are very important. Nurture them and treat those you work with, with respect. Even the ones you don’t particularly like. Never become complacent, having those you work with on your side, is always important.

Don’t be scared of admitting when you are wrong. We are all only human, and everybody is going to make a mistake from time to time. When you make a mistake, take ownership. When others make mistakes, forgive them quickly, and move on.

Be flexible and open to change. The world, technologies, and the various methods of work are ever changing. Always be open to change and to new ideas. Being too ridged is never a good thing. I always remember an elderly lady that I worked with years ago, she was extremely diligent, and extremely hard working, but she was rigid and did not like change. She was suspicious of technology and computers and preferred to do things the old way, her way. Eventually she lost her job, not because she was not good at her job, but because she was taking way too long, and was not able to get the work done, in the time it should have taken. So even though she was so hard working and had such a good work ethic, she lost her job purely because of her inability to embrace change. To be adaptable and able to change is critical to any job.

Grab at any opportunity for training. Never say no to training. The more training you have behind your name, the more valuable you will become to your company, and to potential new employees. No matter how small and insignificant the training course may appear to be that the company is offering, grab it with both hands.

3 Responses to “Canadian mine workers may have to work smart, to stay employed”

  1. Charlotte Larocque

    I agree with all the suggested actions listed in the article. Senior miners’ shareholders are demanding more accountability and cost control. I also believe it will take a shift in thinking by the industry as a whole. They will need to attract and retain the Right Fit Workforce with a focus on Optimal Leadership and Safety Leadership in order to create a positive safety and corporate culture. Seniors will have to demand that the subcontractor follow the paradigm shift and transform their way of thinking as well. Only then will they be noticed and have the opportunity to become/remain prosperous.


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