MR JAMES GOWANS
Co-President of World’s Largest Mining Company
President, Barrick Gold Corporation
CEO & CTO, De Beers South Africa
CEO, De Beers Canada Inc. (2006-2010)
President, Canadian Institute of Mining (2008-2009)
Unit: Implement/Facilitate Continuous Improvement & Show Leadership in The Workforce
Topic: Monitor & Adjust Performance Strategies & Make Informed Decisions
James Gowans is the managing director of the Debswana Diamond Company, a Botswana-based mining organisation that is estimated to supply around 50 per cent of the country’s GDP each year. Gowans says the company’s size means it has a remarkable duty of care to bare, extending to more than just worker safety and keeping its shareholders happy.
Gowans, a Canadian national with more than 30 years worth of experience in the mining industry, is helping steer Debswana to not only continue to increase and improve its operations but enhance the standards of living in Botswana. Gowans says the company is always examining how it can diversify its business while providing new opportunities for its workers and the people of Botswana. One of Debswana’s core values is to conduct all its operations in a manner that will minimise its impact on the environment and uphold the safety and health of its workforce.
Gowans said the global financial crisis had hit Botswana’s mining industry like it has any other, but Debswana had used the downturn as a chance to bolster its long-term sustainability in order to prolong its contribution to Botswana’s socio-economic development. He believes that the longer Debswana can be at the head of Botswana’s economic drive, the more opportunities it can offer the people of Botswana. He said his motivation for Debswana is to help Botswana continue to improve its education offering, support small business with sustainable development, and invest in the country’s heritage, parks and environmental assets.