Quartermain was a founder and chairman of Pretium Assets, whose famed Brucejack, one of many highest grade gold mines on the planet, was acquired in a $2.8 billion deal by Newcrest Mining (TSX: NCM; ASX: NCM) final 12 months.
That trajectory initially started when Quartermain was a area geologist at Teck and made key useful resource discoveries on the Hemlo mine in Ontario.
“We might begin to assay with our eyes,” he remembered. “I might take a look at a bit of drill core and let you know ‘that’s gonna run 10 grams or that’ll run 20 grams.’”
By visible indications alone, Quartermain thought the deposit hosted at the least 2 million oz. gold. The mine has now produced greater than 21 million ounces.
He went on to arrange Silver Commonplace Assets for Teck, an organization that advanced from a $2 million market cap startup into Pretium Assets, an organization valued at over $2.5 billion.
Talking eloquently and overtly about popping out publicly as a homosexual man solely this 12 months, after a profession spanning over 40 years, Quartermain stated it was “a difficult commentary once you’ve truly spent a lot of your life within the closet.”
His perspective was that the mining business wasn’t essentially the most snug place to come back out as a homosexual man. He famous that in a world whose borders he traversed frequently as a area geologist for Teck Assets within the Nineteen Eighties, being homosexual was against the law in lots of nations. Even in Canada, staff might nonetheless be fired for being homosexual.
It was solely in 1992 that the Canadian Armed Forces formally allowed members of the LGBTQ group to serve (Quartermain was a younger Royal Canadian Air Power cadet, and was appointed an honourary colonel for his assist of the Canadian Armed Forces all through his profession). And it wasn’t till 2019 that the World Well being Group decided that sexual variety is just not a psychological well being dysfunction.
On Indigenous engagement
Quartermain additionally spoke at size about Indigenous engagement — which continues to be an space that many mining firms wrestle with. He recalled that when Pretium was negotiating an engagement settlement with the Gitksan and Nisga’a Nations for exploration at Brucejack, he discovered a little bit of their language whereas speaking with the friends and watershed chiefs.
“[There was] simply sufficient, it was on-line… that’s one of many challenges about training, we don’t study in regards to the issues which can be essential,” he stated.
“If you find yourself in a small group in northern Peru, the place you wish to have interaction with the area people to get the rights to drill of their property, that wants engagement and dialog.”
Quartermain stated throughout negotiations within the area, every part rode on a handshake.
“That was the way it needed to be carried out, once you have been doing issues within the bush. And that’s what I attempted to take and do all through my profession, whether or not we’re working in Latin America, or Africa, to be sure that what we stated could be good and be true to our phrase in these regards,” he stated. “So these have been good issues to study in my profession and people values and rules have helped me all through.”
On fairness and variety
Quartermain confused that when coping with a labour pressure, no matter whether or not it’s a employee on the mine face or within the workplace, it’s all about respect.
“I believe fairness and respect throughout all your platforms is a key factor that it’s a must to do. And it’s definitely one thing that I’ve carried out in my profession — as you’re respectful to your employees, after which once you exit into different communities,” he stated.
“I believe one of many challenges with the business is we work the place the mines are positioned. There’s going to should be a greater distribution of that wealth,” he stated, including that native communities must obtain extra of the earnings that firms make.
Quartermain additionally famous that the business must proceed its efforts in fairness and variety to draw extra expertise. “It’s the stress in any group, whether or not it’s our army or whether or not it’s in ours the place now we have to have the ability to open up our group and discover these locations the place we are able to get higher equality… and that has to come back by means of training and dialog but it surely must be respectful, and I believe that’s the important thing factor.”
On the largest classes discovered as a CEO
As a frontrunner, Quartermain stated among the most essential issues he discovered are to hunt out info over opinion, to have a look at and perceive particulars, and to have the ability to delegate and belief.
Growing trusting relations with the First Nations whereas exploring and growing Brucejack, for instance, resulted in “an final good end result for everybody,” he stated.
“However as a part of that, we have been specializing in information and sophisticated high quality information. And there have been another people who had opinions in regards to the information, which have been finally confirmed to be fallacious in court docket,” he added, referring to doubts that marketing consultant Strathcona Mineral Companies raised about Brucejack’s financial viability. (Two latest court docket rulings have backed Pretium’s resolution to not disclose these doubts as a result of the corporate believed the marketing consultant to be fallacious.)
On the mining business as a rewarding profession
Quartermain stated it’s essential to be pleased with “what we do as an business,” and pointed to information gaps in society in regards to the supply of the uncooked supplies we use each day.
“[To] everybody who has a cellular phone right here – there’s 30 parts in that cellular phone. And that’s what I exploit each day that somebody brings up and pushes again on what I do, as a result of ‘it’s not contributing to the atmosphere.’ It very a lot is contributing to the atmosphere.
“It’s all of the computer systems which can be pushed by the gold contacts, it’s inert, it’s not going to corrode. That’s what’s powering the world. And that’s what’s powering our communication. Individuals have to grasp it’s obligatory, we simply should do it in a great way and hold folks knowledgeable.”