The Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) has revealed the winners of six prestigious mining industry awards at its annual conference in Toronto.
These top international and domestic performers were honoured for their excellence and contributions to the mineral exploration and mining industry.
Bill Dennis Award
Honouring a significant mineral discovery and important contribution to the prospecting/exploration industry.
Peregrine Diamonds Ltd. and BHP, Chidliak Discovery Team
For the discovery of the Chidliak diamond district on Baffin Island, Nunavut
Peregrine discovered the first kimberlites in the Chidliak diamond district of southern Baffin Island, Nunavut in 2008. By the time De Beers Canada acquired the junior a decade later, 74 kimberlites had been discovered and a positive preliminary economic assessment (PEA) had been released showing that two of the kimberlites could support an operation producing 16.7 million carats over a 13-year mine life.
Distinguished Service Award
Recognises a substantial contribution to mineral exploration and mining development over a number of years.
Donald (Don) Bubar
For his contribution to building awareness of Indigenous issues among PDAC members, his support of geoscience education in Canada, and his exploration success.
During Don Bubar’s 40-year career his most enduring legacy may be his role in forging a better, more productive relationship between Indigenous groups and the minerals industry. As founder and head of the PDAC’s Aboriginal Affairs committee, Don recognized the urgent need to bring the two groups together in dialogue about how exploration and mine development could support local communities through training, jobs, and business development.
Environmental & Social Responsibility Award
Honours outstanding initiative, leadership and accomplishment in protecting and preserving the natural environment.
NexGen Energy Ltd.
For employing the latest technologies to reduce exploration’s environmental footprint and for fostering economic and social development in neighbouring communities through a variety of initiatives.
NexGen Energy, winner of the 2018 Bill Dennis Award for the discovery of the Arrow uranium deposit in Saskatchewan, has expanded its pursuit of excellence into the realm of environmental and social responsibility as Arrow advances towards development and production.On the environmental front, the Vancouver and Saskatoon-based company is overhauling dated practices and implementing new technology to minimize its footprint.
Skookum Jim Award
Recognising exceptional achievement or service in a Canadian Aboriginal-run service business for the Canadian mining industry.
For his contribution to Canada’s mineral exploration and mining industry by helping to set the bar for drilling safety and community consultation.
Gordon Maxwell is a well-respected geologist and member of the Sachigo Lake First Nation, with 39 years of experience, most recently with Glencore. As a member of the Canadian Diamond Drilling Association (CDDA), Gord advocated for better risk management at the drill site. Drawing on his years of experience as an exploration geologist, Gord was able to contribute his knowledge of working alongside drillers to the discussion.
Thayer Lindsley Award
Applauding an individual or team of explorationists credited with a recent significant mineral discovery anywhere in the world.
For the 2014 discovery of the Namdini gold deposit in northeastern Ghana
The Perth-based company optioned the Namdini project within the belt in mid-2014 and immediately launched a small reverse circulation (RC) drilling program. The first holes intersected gold mineralization over respectable widths. Today, Namdini is considered one of the most significant gold discoveries in West Africa so far this century.
Viola R. MacMillan Award
Named in honour of PDAC’s longest serving president and presented to an individual or organization demonstrating leadership in management and financing for the exploration and development of mineral resources.
For demonstrating leadership in transforming a grassroots exploration property into a vertically integrated lithium operation in Québec that will provide a new source of supply for the surging lithium battery market
The rapid growth of Nemaska Lithium exemplifies how swings in commodity markets can invigorate junior mining companies nimble enough to capitalise on them. Nemaska is well underway on construction of a vertically integrated lithium operation, having raised a remarkable $1.1 billion through a combination of a bond offering ($455 million) a streaming agreement ($195 million) and a $454 million share issue partly taken up by the Québec government. The Whabouchi spodumene mine is expected to produce 213,000 tonnes of 6.25% Li2O concentrate annually that will be shipped to and processed at an electrochemical plant in Shawinigan to produce high-purity lithium hydroxide and lithium carbonate.