PDAC announces six industry leaders in 2014 awards

9th January 2014 By: Henry Lazenby - Creamer Media Deputy Editor: North America

PDAC announces six industry leaders in 2014 awards

Photo by: Bloomberg

TORONTO (miningweekly.com) – The Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) on Thursday announced the names of six industry leaders that would receive the 2014 PDAC awards during the association’s yearly convention in Toronto, slated for March 2 to 5.

The yearly awards showcase the achievements of companies, individuals and groups in the mineral exploration and mining sector by highlighting the best in domestic and international mineral discovery, mine development, Aboriginal achievement, environmental and social responsibility, and distinguished service.

The PDAC awarded the Bill Dennis award for a Canadian mineral discovery or prospecting success to Ross McElroy for leading explorer Fission Uranium's team of geologists in one of the most significant discoveries in the Athabasca basin in recent years.

The Patterson Lake South property is a high-grade, shallow-depth uranium discovery located on the south-western margin of the Athabasca basin, in northern Saskatchewan. McElroy has over 30 years experience as a professional geologist and, under his leadership, Fission's uranium discovery had rejuvenated the exploration industry in the Athabasca basin.

The Viola R MacMillan award for company or mine development was awarded to Canadian base metals miner Capstone Mining for demonstrating leadership and management in the successful development of the Minto copper mine, in Canada's Yukon Territory, and the Cozamin copper mine, in Mexico, and in its acquisition of Pinto Valley copper mine, located in the Globe-Miami mining district of Arizona, as well as transforming it into an intermediate copper producer.

The Pinto Valley site was expected to produce between 130-million and 150-million pounds of copper-in-concentrate a year, projecting the company’s yearly copper output to increase by more than 160%, from 85-million pounds of copper to 235-million pounds.

The Thayer Lindsley award for international mineral discoveries was awarded to Barrick Gold Corp’s Goldrush discovery team, for the discovery of the 14.1-million-ounce Goldrush deposit in the Cortez district of Nevada.

The deposit, located in the eastern portion of the Cortez mining district, 6 km south-east of Cortez Hills, potentially represents the largest Carlin-style discovery in Nevada since Cortez Hills more than a decade ago. The Goldrush deposit has the third-highest grade and is one of the few or only plus ten-million-ounce gold discoveries since 2001.

The 25-person Goldrush discovery team was led by senior VP global exploration (Toronto) Rob Krcmarov, VP and chief geologist (Toronto) Francois Robert, VP for exploration North America (Elko, Nevada) Ed Cope, chief exploration geologist Kevin Creel, district geologist Mark Bradley and project geologist Alejandro Ly.

The PDAC’s distinguished service award went to Roger Wallis for his outstanding contribution and dedication to the PDAC over the past 47 years. He joined the PDAC in 1967 and has been an active PDAC committee member since 1993.

Wallis had been a proponent of the PDAC taking a leadership role in becoming more proactive about industry issues, particularly around environmental and corporate responsibility issues. He has been an integral member of the convention planning committee. A natural leader, Wallis has worked hard with the committee raising the convention standard year after year.

Canadian diversified miner Teck Resources was the recipient of this year's Environmental and Social Responsibility award for its outstanding accomplishments and commitment to sustainability, environmental and social initiatives.

In 2011, Teck developed a comprehensive strategy, focusing on long- and short-term goals that would achieve the company's vision for sustainability. The sustainability strategy supported six key areas that represented the biggest challenges and opportunities for the mining sector, namely: community, people, water, biodiversity, energy and materials stewardship.

The Skookum Jim award for Aboriginal achievement in the mineral industry was awarded to Jim MacLeod for his strong leadership on the environmental impact of the mining sector and his work advocating for more education and training programmes for Aboriginal youth within the industry.

He was a pioneer in mineral exploration and environmental impact and from the beginning recognised the link between mining and environment, and the importance of managing the relationship.

Founder of the Mistissini Geological Resources Centre, MacLeod has worked closely with Aboriginal communities as a consultant on projects and training in mining exploration. He also serves as a director on the Cree Mineral Exploration Board and the Canadian Aboriginal Minerals Association.

The PDAC said the winners of the 2014 annual awards would be celebrated at the association's awards evening on Monday, March 4, at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel during the PDAC 2014 Convention.

The association’s directors, based on the recommendations of the association’s awards committee, selected the award recipients.