Going Against the Grain with Paul Nielson

mining misfits Nov 10, 2022

How can we go against the grain in the spirit of doing things better? Well, we can start with stop doing the same costly mistakes over and over again!

Our industry tends to do things because “that is just the way we do it,” which is a mentality the Mining Misfits are addressing through conversations with forward thinking individuals like Paul Nielson. As I continue these conversations, it becomes ever more apparent that there is a subculture of industry professionals that want to go against the grain and do things better while still thriving outside of the industry “norms.” Take Paul for example. A highly intellectual engineer who has excelled in various technical roles and has now transitioned into the private equity space, all while maintaining a win-win mindset.

As Paul and I discuss, mining projects are world leading in their complexity because they involve so much technical expertise, capital, collaboration, leadership, and ability to weather the ebbs and flows of commodity prices. One of the challenges that arose in this conversation, is the ever present challenge of finding people who are willing to break down the silos. To be successful, a project must have a wide range of people with specific expertise that are willing to sit at a table and hammer it out. Find the flaws. Address the risks. Say no, this won’t work. Work against the grain. And as Paul said,

“There is a ton of value that slips between the silo cracks in our industry- the only way to get at it is to integrate those silos”

Absolutely spot on! We need leaders who are interested in integrating those silos and who want to foster an environment of healthy challenges in the spirit of doing things better!

Be sure to listen to the entire conversation and you will be sure to glean tons of wisdom, great insights, and Paul’s well versed and educated perspectives.


About My Guest:  

Paul Nielson has many years of industry experience that has allowed him to practice a variety of disciplines. As Principle, Head of Development Portfolio at Waterton Global Resource Management, Inc, he is able to tie his technical experience to the capital behind projects. Paul’s perception, led by his understanding and empathy for the different focuses of a project, is exactly what our industry needs to build better projects for the future.


About Us:

I’m Jason Fearnow and my project commercial firm helps mining leaders execute the industry’s largest construction mega-projects by becoming more collaborative, creative, and strategic.

Simply put, we speak with industry movers and shakers every day and have negotiated more major contracts in mining & metals than anyone in the biz… $47 Billion and counting...

To effectively execute mining projects, it takes a different level of tact.  It’s not about working harder, it’s all about working smarter. 

And we are passionate about doing things better – no more horrifying industry statistics – there is a better way!

Check out our other insightful and thought-provoking interviews at http://www.jasonfearnow.com

Or grab a time to meet with me 1:1 to discuss the unique challenges of your project.  We will work with you to develop a strategic commercial plan customized for your project.


Connect with us:

Jason Fearnow = https://www.linkedin.com/in/jason-fearnow

Paul Nielson (guest) = https://www.linkedin.com/in/paulnielsonpeng/

We are passionate about doing things better – no more horrifying industry statistics – there is a better way! Grab a time to meet with me 1:1 to discuss the unique challenges of your project.

Schedule a call with me