McGill Management Insights: The Intersection of Mining and Finance with Chris Adams (BCom’90)

Mining and metals are the building blocks of the technology we rely on, of the vehicles and public transit that get us places, of the buildings where we live and work and of the green technologies that help make the world a more sustainable place.

Mining is a major economic sector in Canada. Canada is not only the world’s largest producer and exporter of potash, but also among the leading producers of base metals like zinc, iron, and copper, as well minerals including aluminum, diamonds, gold, and uranium, many of which are critical minerals required to produce renewable energy and clean technology including electric vehicle batteries.

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Behind the scenes of Canada’s largest mining companies, investment banking teams provide support by raising funds to address pressing issues and consulting on which assets should be bought or sold.

BCom alum Chris Adams (BCom’90) is the former head of mining finance at Macquarie Group and his thirty-year career in mining finance has taken him all over the world as he worked across the full range of financial products and global mining markets.

In this episode of McGill Management Insights, Chris joins Peter Harquail, an MBA student with a decade of experience in mining himself, to share his journey in this industry but also his thoughts on where the industry is headed and what students and new graduates looking to break into mining finance should know.

The industry is changing, with trends like indexation and the emergence of royalty companies and streamers causing shifts in investment approaches. Not to mention challenges like the housing crisis affecting Canadians across the country and it being more difficult to make the move to a small or remote town where sites are typically located, especially for those whose spouses have their own careers and can’t just pick up and move to the next site.

All this in mind, careers in mining may seem less glamourous than they were before.

But for those considering it, with the right knowledge and skills there are great opportunities in mining finance out there. With the rise in popularity of electric vehicles and clean technology, Chris says he’s optimistic about the future of the industry.

Minerals like aluminum, diamonds, gold, and uranium are essential materials used in the production of these technologies and metals like copper and nickel are crucial as well.

“We’re going to need a lot more of these materials,” he says. “I think the skills will be in demand. If you have an interest in mining, I think the business of mining and mining finance is a fascinating business.”

Stream the episode now to learn more about how industry trends have impacted the way the finance side of things are done in mining, what skills firms are looking for in new talent and more.

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This episode was hosted by

Peter Harquil
Peter Harquail
MBA, 25

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