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Today's mining leaders 'light years different' to before: Rule

Leading North American mining finance figure Rick Rule believes the industry’s capacity to “disrupt itself” in future is enhanced by a higher calibre, and larger, skills pool than when he started working in mining in the 1970s.

Mining Journal

Speaking on a Mining Agenda podcast, the president and CEO of Sprott US Holdings said he was encouraged by the industry's current willingness and capacity to embrace significant change because it underscored acceptance of past mistakes and also of the contribution new thinking and perspectives could make in future.

Rule spoke with Mining Journal in one of a series of interviews for the title's new Mining Disrupted series of reports.

"Certainly on the leadership question when I look at the generation of mining leadership that's in their 30s now, and I compare them with the competence that I exhibited in my 30s, you have every reason to be encouraged," he said.

"The quality of the younger people in the mining business today compared to the quality of the leaders that existed in my time at the same age bracket is light years different. I mean light years different."

Attraction and retention of more women, and people of many more nationalities, than in the past means the global mining industry has massively upgraded its potential "intellectual capital pool", according to Rule.

He acknowledged many in the industry were saying now that the industry could look very different in 10 years. Legendary investor Warren Buffett has said predicting the future of markets is too complex, with the number of variables so vast as to make the topic "too big for the human mind to grasp". So, Rule said, it was always difficult to accept any industry's vision of its future self would materialise exactly as conceived.

"But I think it's an important exercise anyway," he said, "to the extent that you try and anticipate problems and opportunities, [and] to the extent that you strive to adapt to the circumstances you see as being likely.

"Sometimes you can cause the circumstance to occur if you work towards it."


On the line this week …

Rick Rule
President and CEO of Sprott US Holdings

Rick Rule, president and CEO of Sprott US Holdings, leads a highly skilled team of earth science and finance professionals who enjoy a worldwide reputation for resource investment management. A frequent industry conference and media speaker on natural resource investment and industry topics, Rule and his team have long experience in many resource sectors including mining, water, agriculture, alternative energy, forestry, and oil and gas. Rule is particularly active in private placement markets, having originated and participated in hundreds of debt and equity transactions with private, pre-public and public companies.

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