Waterloo celebrates students' win at World Mining Competition

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Waterloo administration and students

Left to right: President Feridun Hamdullahpur, Tyler Ciufo, Jocelyn Campbell, Helena Diao, Robin Taves, Dean of Science Bob Lemieux, Team Mentor Prof. Chris Yakymchuk, Kevin Tateishi, Team Mentor Jean Richardson and Earth and Environmental Sciences Chair Bill Taylor.

Waterloo President Feridun Hamdullahpur, Science Dean Bob Lemieux and faculty and staff from the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences gathered to celebrate the team's success at the World Mining Competition.

Last November, five Waterloo students from the programs Science and Business, Earth and Environmental Sciences and Geological Engineering headed to Saskatoon the represent the University of Waterloo at the World Mining Competition. They placed second overall at the international event.

We are very proud of our students and their achievements. Their success highlights the importance of good teamwork and collaboration between three programs and two faculties," said Dean of Science Bob Lemieux.

As Canada’s premier undergraduate mining strategy case competition, the World Mining Competition challenges teams to apply their knowledge of mining, with analytical and critical thinking skills to solve a mining case study relevant to current issues facing the industry.

It was such an honour and very exciting to be able to uphold the strong academic reputation of Waterloo,” says Science and Business student Jocelyn Campbell. “This was the first Science team to represent the university. I hope that this becomes a lasting tradition and that we can continue to exemplify the ongoing success that our school has instilled in us.”

This year’s case required the team to act as consultants, and provide recommendations on the whether the mid-tier mining company, World Mining Corporation, should acquire the smaller Aurora Exploration Company for its large lithium mine.

Lithium is an important resource in modern society, with increasing demand due to its use in high-capacity batteries.

World Mining Competition team presenting to room of judges and officials.

Through an analysis of all the aspects of the potential acquisition from commodity trends and finance to the science of milling and metallurgy, the team concluded that it would be profitable for World Mining Corporation to purchase the smaller company.

They impressed the judges with not only their knowledge of the mining industry, but also their well-rounded presentation, convincing arguments, and emphasis on sustainability.

When planning the potential mine and mill infrastructure we also put a strong emphasis on corporate social responsibility and ensured that local communities, the environment and other stakeholders were affected as little as possible by the project,” says Tyler Ciufo, a fourth year Earth Sciences (geology specialization) student.

World Mining Competition Team.From left to right: Robin Taves, Jocelyn Campbell, Helena Diao, Tyler Ciufo. Credit: Stobbe Photography.

Waterloo’s interdisciplinary team consists of five upper-year students from Science and Business, Earth and Environmental Sciences and Geological Engineering. The team includes: Jocelyn Campbell (Science and Business), Robin Taves, (Earth Sciences, geology specialization), Tyler Ciufo (Earth Sciences, geology specialization), Helena Diao (Geological engineering) and alternate Kevin Tateishi (Earth Sciences, hydrogeology specialization).

Whether it’s in the confines of a competition or in the real world, making major decisions in industry requires a diverse team of specialists that work together to come up with a feasible solution to a problem,” says Ciufo. “It was the combination of all of our skills and knowledge that allowed our team to accurately solve the case.”

The team would like to specially thank their Faculty mentors Jean Richardson, the Director of the Science and Business Program, and Chris Yakumchak, Assistant Professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences for the time they spent helping them prepare the competition.

The University of Waterloo, Faculty of Science and the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences are proud of your achievements. Congratulations to the team!