First Quantum’s takeover of Inmet Mining

Since this is currently public knowledge, I feel more comfortable discussing how the aforementioned event has affected us.

First Quantum, a Vancouver-based mining company bought the shareholders of Inmet Mining, thereby acquiring it in a hostile takeover. Inmet had hired my company, SNC-Lavalin to do EPCM (Engineering, Procurement, and Construction Management) work for the greenfield construction of the mining project known as Mina de Cobre Panama. Since First Quantum does their EPCM work in-house, and has claimed that it could complete it quicker and more cheaply than Inmet, they have terminated most of the contract work from SNC-Lavalin. As such, my coworkers and I are in the supposed “closeout” phase of our work in the Mina de Cobre Panama project. Where we are to go next is simply up in the air and is contingent on any other assignments that SNC-Lavalin can find for us, though relocation may be necessary.

As I have mentioned before, I am less perturbed than most by this turn of events. As such, I continue to be hopeful about where I would end up and perhaps that will be a situation better suited to my abilities and inclinations.

Vocational Uncertainties

Last Monday, while at work, my team and I received an email instructing us to stop working on everything immediately and await further instructions from upper management, as our project was being terminated.

As a team dedicating 100% of hours into that project in the consulting world, this basically signified the imminent possibility of losing our jobs. In my industry, mass lay-offs are so commonplace, people come to expect them every few years. I had not anticipated this to happen within my first year of post-grad full-time employment, if that is, indeed, what shall come to pass. It has been, a small reprieve of sorts that I do not have significant monthly expenses that would make it particularly difficult to live off of unemployment insurance, a prospect most of my colleagues, having families and mortgage payments face, albeit with greater difficulty. Some colleagues have mentioned that this may be a blessing in disguise, especially for us junior members of the team who have doubts about whether or not they want to stay in the same industry or in the same career path.

Indeed, for the last couple of months, in fact, since I started working, I have been acting out on scattered desires for something broader by attending various conferences around the city and meeting with and talking to people way outside of my field. I have, with some reluctance, come to accept that to find any sort of fulfillment in my life, which for me hinges largely on intellectual satiation, it is imperative that I change disciplines.

This is something that should have happened a lot time ago. God knows, 99% of the people who meet me outside of my school/work life, could have never guessed that I majored in chemical engineering. Sure, I have a reasonable aptitude for understanding chemical technology, but I seem to lack the innate passion for it which would make it my calling.

There are some rather covert efforts underway to achieve this end, which I am not comfortable discussing publicly at the moment. For now, this upcoming long weekend, I aim to immerse myself in some books and other readings and movies I have long wanted to watch. Nothing else seems to aid in and ease my vocation-related soul searching more at this time.