BY LINDSAY BRISCOE
Goldcorp Red Lake Gold Mines Mine General Manager, Chris Cormier, is gearing up for a new position in a new location, but says he’s in no rush to leave Red Lake.
“I’ve accepted a job as Vancouver’s General Manager of Reclamation Operations for Goldcorp. That is due to start September 1. With that, myself and the family plan to stay in Red Lake and I’ll do my job out of one of the offices here for the interim until we move hopefully at the end of the school year next year,” Cormier said, in an interview.
“There are many people within the company that take time to make a transition like this, especially with family. And our family has enjoyed Red Lake, the schools, and the people, and we felt that it would be better for the family to stay. With a lot of the work these days, a lot of it’s done electronically anyway, or travelling to the site, so for myself, from a work perspective, it’s a bit of a change but it’s certainly not difficult to move into a role successfully from anywhere in Canada – for the short term anyway.”
Cormier’s new position will be a new one for Goldcorp too, so all the details have yet to be rolled out, but essentially it will focus on bringing attention to closed or inactive mine sites while looking for ways to renew or reprocess them, as well as other new and innovative potential projects.
“It allows the operations to focus on what’s important to them – say production – and it allows myself to worry about building those partnerships and community relations to close the site down in a way the community wants.”
Cormier has been involved in reclamation throughout his career in mining, but says he’s certainly proud of the reclamation work he helped with in Timmins.
“We reclaimed many sites there that were abandoned for up to 40 or 50 years and one of my first roles when I started out was Reclamation Engineer for a different company in western Canada,” he says. “So I’ve certainly been very drawn to this and the part that I like is certainly the challenge of developing a whole new business unit in the company to focus and make a change on the environmental front.”
He says the move is going to be a “little bitter sweet” because, along with loving the area, he sees a lot of growth for the Red Lake area in the not-so-distant future.
“I want to see the success of the operation itself. As Red Lake Gold Mines grows, it presents opportunity for the community in different ways and certainly opportunities for the employees we have here, so that’s number one.”
Looking forward, Cormier says the new mine general manager will face both changes and challenges, both with starting production at Cochenour as well as the other day-to-day operations, but that that comes with a lot of potential for the company as well as the Red Lake area in general.
“There’s a beautiful healthcare clinic about to be developed in this town that hopefully I’ll be able to get back and see in the next year after it’s completed, a new subdivision that’s just going to be commissioned this summer allowing up to 54 new families to move into town. So I think, really the exciting part is seeing some new developments that are going to support the area and the general growth of mining in the community and that’s really going to add value.”
The new mine general manager is expected to be announced in the next month and a half.