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MIRA New Year Message

And so ends another year in what seems in many ways a varied state of purgatory, a fugue of Covid numbness.  Events that seemed to occur just yesterday actually happened two years ago or more.  And with another variant and imposition of more restrictions for many of us, I wonder when will it ever end?
Miners are good at coping with new challenges, it is after all what they do day-to-day, and the industry has adapted quickly to new ways of working in a pandemic world.  Even the insurance industry, not known for its ready adoption of change, has risen to the challenge, if kicking and screaming.  Nonetheless, it will be a good day when we can once again travel unrestricted to see friends old and new.
This last year was a conference year with MIRACON21 held in October as an on-line, virtual event.  We heard from more than 60 professionals from a varied cross-section of the mining and insurance sectors on a range of topics over three days.  Whilst it was disappointing not to see people in person, the on-line event enabled us to reach a much wider global audience with more than 325 individuals attending.  For those that missed any of the sessions, links to the videos can be found on the MIRA website.  With some lighter restrictions in London, we were able to go ahead with an in-person networking drinks reception which was well attended by almost 100 people.  The conference was a huge success and our presentations and discussions continue to evolve and become more sophisticated.  Lots to consider for the next conference!
We re-established both the MIRA Technical Advisory Group (TAG) and the Wordings group at the end of 2020 and a lot of work has been going on behind the scenes in both groups.  The TAG working groups have done a great job in preparing topics for discussion at MIRACON21 and we hope to publish additional material on the website as we go forward.  The Wordings group has reviewed a number of mining-specific clauses and developed draft wordings that seek to improve clarity, coherence, and conciseness in our policies; these will be shared with the wider MIRA membership and other interested parties for review before being launched as branded clauses.  We will be updating the website with progress on both these groups and if anyone has an interest in joining one or both, then please ask a member of the MIRA board for details.
I have been very proud of what MIRA has achieved in the years since its inception, not least in bringing together such a diverse group of professionals across our respective industries.  But we live in an ever changing world and so we must too evolve.  As such we will be looking ahead to additional initiatives for 2022.  The closed session for mining companies at MIRACON21 was very well supported and so we will schedule further on-line sessions in 2022.  There is absolutely no reason why the mining companies should have all the fun and so we will also plan on similar sessions for other groups such as insurers and risk engineers.  We have all missed the opportunity for face-to-face meetings in the last two years and so, as and when we are able, subject to restrictions, we will arrange regional meetings and networking sessions. 
I would be remiss in not mentioning ESG as it has become the number one topic everyone is talking about with the world seemingly perched on a knife edge.  For understandable reasons the mining industry faces a disproportionate amount of pressure on ESG issues and there is a lot of misinformation and false perception about the industry.  The insurance sector is facing similar pressure by association as well as tackling its own legacy issues.  As a consequence, MIRA will establish an ESG forum where these issues can be discussed and we are able to influence the development of policies which will inevitably become embedded within the insurance industry.
Finally, I would simply thank you for your ongoing support and wish everyone a safe and happy festive period and good fortune for the New Year.

On behalf of the MIRA board
James Fryer
MIRA Chairman
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