SLR Canada Celebrates A Week of International Women's Day - Featuring Deborah McCombe

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(Part 2 of 4 - Mini Blog Series)
Our second featured woman in our week long celebration of International Women’s Day is a very well respected and seasoned pioneer in the mining industry - Deborah McCombe. She comes to SLR from the recent acquisition of Roscoe Postle and Associates (RPA), where she served as President and CEO. She has over 30 years of experience in exploration project management, feasibility studies, reserve estimation, due diligence studies, and valuation studies. She has worked in diverse geological settings in North and South America, Asia and Africa.

She truly has mining in her DNA as her two-great uncles were inducted into the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame. Outside of the office and the field, she has dedicated years of service to volunteer in various mining associations, which have recognized her incredible service to the mining community. Giving back to the mining community is very important to her as she also dedicates time as a mentor through the International Women in Resources Mentoring Program (IWRMP) in addition to personally mentoring several women and men in her field.


Ontario Securities Commission
• As Chief Mining Consultant, she was responsible for developing and implementing National Instrument 43- 101 (NI43-101): Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects in Canada. As a result of her work, NI43-101 is now a world stand for mining disclosure.

Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM)
• Distinguished Lecturer
• Regular Columnist for CIM Magazine
• Member of the CIM standing committee on mineral resource and mineral reserves
• Chaired Toronto Branch in 2003

Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC)
• Member of the PDAC Board of Directors (1996-2011)
• Served on the PDAC International Affairs Committee
• Served on the PDAC Convention Planning Committee

Committee for Mineral Reserves International Reporting Standards (CRIRSCO)
• Canadian Representative and as Chairman for one term

Mining Innovation, Rehabilitation and Applied Research Corporation (MIRARCO)
• Past Director

Association of Professional Geoscientists of Ontario (APGO)
• Served in various roles: Council Member, Vice President, and President


• CIM Distinguished Lecturer – Canadian Mining Disclosure (2001-2002)
CIM Fellowship Award (2005)
CIM Robert Elver Mineral Economics Award (2012)
PDAC Distinguished Service Award (2012)
Canadian Professional Geoscientist Award (2013)
Top 100 Global Inspirational Women in Mining (WIM) by WIM UK (2014)

We had an opportunity to ask Deborah some questions to get a bit more insight into her motivations and achievements:

What are your unique achievements in and/or out of your field of work?
My career path in science has been an interesting one!! As a graduate geologist, field work across Canada evolved to consulting on international mining projects in Yemen, Africa and Indonesia. After consulting for the Ontario Securities Commission on a high profile mining case, I was hired as Chief Mining Consultant and was involved in developing Canadian securities law for the disclosure of mining projects; National Instrument 43-101. Receiving the Distinguished Service Award from the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) and the Robert Elver Mineral Economics Award by the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum for my contributions to the establishment of NI 43-101 and my efforts as head of Committee for Mineral Reserves International Reporting Standards (CRIRSCO) in the coordination of worldwide standards for resource/reserve reporting are highlights of my career.

What made you decide to get into your profession?
In first year of science at University of Western Ontario, I took an elective course in geology. I knew a little about the industry as my father was born in the mining town of Cobalt, Ontario. My grandfather and his two brothers published the Northern Miner, a weekly mining newspaper so I heard daring tales of explorers and mine discoverers from a young age. I gravitated towards geology as it satisfied my love of the outdoors and travelling.

In your point of view describe the current climate for females in STEM and what you hope the future would look like for women 5 years from now.
The current climate for females in STEM is positive and the future is bright. The only career limitations are those that are imposed by the individual. A diversity of perspectives and experiences drives innovation, engages employees and leads to the growth of a Company.

What advice would you give aspiring young girls looking to get into work in STEM?
Work hard and let your achievements speak for you. Being a good listener and resilience are important leadership skills to develop.

In the spirit of this year's theme of #EachforEqual/Equality, what does Equality mean to you?
True equality occurs when there are no systemic barriers to the participation and advancement of an individual in their chosen profession. Many barriers have been identified and mitigated during my career and this initiative continues to gain momentum.