Historical Background


In 1898 the organization, now known as the Canadian Institute of Mines, Minerals and Petroleum (CIM), was incorporated through an act of the Parliament of Canada. Since its inception over a century ago the CIM continues to grow while sustaining its vision of being the leading and preferred technical society providing “World class professional development, networking and knowledge sharing” for everyone from students to all professionals working in the minerals, metals, materials and energy industries. The CIM can now boasts close to 15,000 members of which over 1,600 are international members in 30 Branches and 10 Societies (Professional Groups or Divisions) covering all of Canada and expanding globally. 


In 1961, the CIM Council approved formation of the “Mechanical-Electrical Division”, after in 1984 the name was changed to the “Maintenance and Engineer Division”. Today during the March 2013 CIM Council meeting, the name was again updated to the “Maintenance, Engineering and Reliability Society (MER)”. During the past 50 years of existence the Maintenance Engineering and Reliability Society (MER) name was updated to reflect a widening and growing mandate due to the increasing use of technology, innovation, research and complexity in all aspects of the mining, milling, smelting and refining processes. 


The MER provides members a forum to share information, knowledge and experiences including research on maintenance, engineering and reliability topics not only among themselves, but with other CIM societies, branches, groups along with many other external bodies including all governments, non-government organizations, associations, research groups and academia. The MER and its members actively promote the improvement of maintenance and engineering standards, best practices and innovation to increase safety, reliability and operational efficiency. The MER also interfaces and actively participates with other organizations that specialize and focus on reducing the environmental impact of all mining activities for a cleaner safer world. 


The MER objectives are achieved through organizing, participating or supporting a number of activities but specifically through three major ongoing initiatives. Firstly, the MER encourages writing, submitting and then providing peer review of technical papers for publication and or presentation at the CIM “Annual General Meeting and conferences (AGM)”, the MER “Mine Engineering and Mine Operators (MEMO)”conferences and at other conferences, meetings and forums as requested. Secondly, MER members administer award and scholarship programs to recognize students’ efforts and to meet some their needs during their studies. Similarly the MER also provide and support awards to recognize other individuals, companies and organizations for their contributions to the improvement of maintenance and engineering standards, presentations of new technology, best practices topics and research that would lead to the betterment and advancement of the mining sector. Thirdly, MER members serve as a resource and support body in the application of engineering principles and maintenance practices in employing approved practices and devices to minimize risk, and improve safety, reliability and efficiency of all mining operations. 


The strength of the MER Society to reach and excel in its objectives is always due to the strong sense of duty and service, commitments, efforts and work of the general members and the members of the Executive Committee. MER professionals continuously provide knowledge, expertize, guidance, leadership, their time and most importantly, with care and due diligence, to ensure an ongoing improvement of the mining sector and the global society.