Thursday, April 1, 2021

Importance of natural resources in the economic development

Interview with Hrayr Agnerian, Chairman at CIM Toronto, Consulting Geologist with Roscoe Postle Associates Inc. (RPA 1987-2012), and since 2012, as an Independent Geological Consultant. 



Interview with Hrayr Agnerian, Chairman, CIM Toronto

Hrayr Agnerian has been practicing as a Consulting Geologist since 1987, first with Roscoe Postle Associates Inc. (RPA, 1987-2012), and since 2012, as an Independent Geological Consultant. Previously, he was with the Saskatchewan Mining Development Corporation (SMDC), now CAMECO Corp., Prior to that, he was with SEREM LTÉE and BRINEX LTD. in Montréal, and other junior mining companies based in western Canada.

Currently, Mr. Agnerian is a Director of a Canadian mining company and he has more than 50 years' experience in the mineral industry, with expertise in exploring for precious metals (including platinum group elements), base metals, industrial minerals, rare earth elements, and uranium. As a Consulting Geologist, Mr. Agnerian has worked in a variety of geological environments across Canada and USA, as well as in many regions in South and Central America, Europe, Asia and Africa.

Mr. Agnerian has a B.Sc degree in Geology from the American University of Beirut, Lebanon, a Diploma in Mining Exploration, ITC, Delft, The Netherlands, and a M.Sc. (Applied) degree in Geological Sciences, McGill University, Montréal.


Why is mining so important for countries like Canada and Peru?

Canada and Peru are two countries that are endowed with natural resources, especially mineral resources. The mining industry is important for both of these countries, because it is essential for both the development of both countries. In terms of the economy, mining development improves the gross domestic product (GDP) of a country, and provides funds for infrastructure, health care, education, etc. for the population. Without exception, all advanced countries have used, or are using, their natural resources in the development of their economies.

How do you see the mining industry for this year and for the next few years?

I think that the increased pace of mineral exploration, especially for gold, copper and battery metals, will continue for another two or three years. For gold, the reason is always as a hedge against inflation. As for battery metals (Ni, Co, Li, graphite) the demand is expected to outpace supply for the foreseeable future.

What do you think are the key elements for a successful mining project in Canada, in Peru?

The key elements for a successful mining project in any country are as follows:

  • Security of ownership of property, i.e. safe and reliable political environment.
  • Well trained mining work force.
  • Easy access to capital in the financial sector.
  • Experienced technical personnel regarding Mineral Reserves and Mineral Resources.
  • Well established and transparent rules in terms of permitting.
  • A set of regulations that embrace environment, social and governance (ESG) rules, i.e. regulations that are in practice in Canada and other countries.
  • The Peruvian Government should create an incentive program in its tax regime whereby Peruvians would be encouraged to invest in mining and explorations projects in the country, i.e. a system similar to the Flow-Through tax write-off that exists in Canada.

What will be your suggestions for countries like Peru to work with countries like Canada in the mining industry?

Cooperate with regulatory and professional organizations in Canada. The TMX Group (parent organization of the Toronto Stock Exchange) already has an office in Lima. Also, CIM already has a Branch in Lima. Working with these organizations, together with the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC), can help promote mining projects in the Canadian market.

Can you tell us what the objective of the CIM Toronto is?

The strategic goals of CIM, as well as our Toronto Branch are to:

  • Create, curate and deliver relevant, leading-edge knowledge.
  • Foster a robust, connected and engaged CIM community.
  • Expand awareness of the essential contribution mining makes to society.

What are the plans of the CIM Toronto for the present year?

Our plans for the remaining months of 2021 are as follows:

  • Conduct monthly webinars on technical subjects, such as mineral deposits or mining projects. Some of these webinars will be organized by both CIM Toronto Branch and Peruvian Canadian Chamber of Commerce (PCCC).
  • Have a golf tournament (Frank Grieco Golf Tournament) during the month of August. Due to the uncertain status of the Covid-19 pandemic, however, our plans are not yet finalized for this event.
  • Have social gatherings during July and December, depending on the status of the Covid-19 pandemic.