Ian is an Environment and Indigenous and Community Relations Professional who has worked in mining and resource extraction for 40 years. He worked in senior environmental and Indigenous and community relations roles with BHP Minerals, TVX Gold, KGHM International and Greenstone Gold Mines and as an environmental consultant. Ian has taught a course titled Environmental Management for Mining at the University of Toronto, Department of Civil and Mining Engineering, since 2001.

Ian’s experience spans the life cycle of mining projects from impact assessment for exploration and project development to managing environmental affairs during operation and closure. He participated in negotiating and implementing long-term relationship agreements with 7 Ontario First Nations and the Metis Nation of Ontario.

Q&A

Which company are you currently with?

Ian A. Horne Consulting

What is your area of value in the field of mining sustainability?

I have worked in environment and sustainability in the mining industry since 1979. I began my career as an environmental impact assessment biologist assessing and managing the impact of a mine that discharged waste rock and tailings into the Pacific Ocean. For this mine at that time it was and I believe still was the best environmental option. I am open to any discussion on this issue.

I then went on to working on the British Columbia Acid Rock Drainage Taskforce, participating in some of the earliest mining led research into prediction, prevention, monitoring and remediating acid rock drainage.

Finally, I worked in designing and implementing mine closure, developing long term solutions to reduce the impact of closed mines on the environment.

How is your practice of sustainability value perceived today?

Sustainability in mining is the way of the present and the direction for the future. Mining has a long history of unsustainable activities but I have seen a fundamental change in approach in recent years. This must continue to progress.

What are your greatest challenges to practice mining sustainability?

Their is strong support for sustainability in the corporate offices of medium and large mining companies. However, at the mine site level there are many pressures on site management that make practicing sustainability a challenge. We must provide greater support to the people who put sustainability into practice.

What are your greatest successes in promoting mining sustainability?

I have been proud to represent the mining industry through the Ontario Mining Association, the Prospectors and Developers Association and the Canadian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy. All of these organizations, and many more are important vehicles for getting the message of mining sustainability out to the general public.

What is your vision of how mining can change?

Mining is driven by innovation. Any influence to promote innovation in mining should be supported. I come at the issue from the environmental side but much of the innovation that promotes sustainability comes from engineering and operational efficiencies. I am happy for innovation both ways.

How do you use innovation to apply your value and how can it be improved?

One must always ask one’s self, “Is there a better way to do this?” Repeatedly asking ourselves this question should lead to improvements and innovation.

Choose the areas which are most important to you

  • Community and Aboriginal Outreach
  • Remediation and Mine Closure
  • Biodiversity Conservation Management
  • Gender Equality and Diversity

Which SDGs do you align with?

  • Life on Land
  • Good Health & Well-Being
  • Quality Education
  • Gender Equality
  • Industry, Innovation & Infrastructure
  • Responsible Consumption & Production
  • Clean Water & Sanitation
  • Life Below Water