News Releases

Get up to speed on the latest mineral exploration and development news, as released by AME.

Leaders in Mineral Exploration and Mine Development to be Recognized at January 24 Gala

December 6, 2017

Vancouver, B.C. — The Association for Mineral Exploration (“AME”) is pleased to announce its 2017 award recipients. AME will salute its leaders at the AME Awards Celebration of Excellence Gala on January 24 during the AME Roundup 2018 conference. Tickets are available through registration at

“It is an honour to congratulate the industry leaders who are receiving AME’s 2017 awards,” said Diane Nicolson, Chair of the AME Board of Directors. “Each has made a significant contribution to our industry, setting the stage for its future success. The theme of AME’s 2018 Roundup conference is a New Generation of Discovery, and these individuals and teams, through their efforts in exploration, development and outreach are representative of that theme, having made or facilitated the discovery and creation of new mines which will bring benefits to communities throughout British Columbia and Canada. The Awards Gala at Roundup is an opportunity for us all to acknowledge and celebrate their accomplishments.”

This year’s award winners are:

Ron Burk, Ken Konkin and Ken McNaughton, recipients of the H. H. “Spud” Huestis Award for excellence in prospecting and mineral exploration in B.C. and/or Yukon. They are being honoured for their pivotal roles in discovering the Valley of the Kings (“VOK”) deposit at Pretium Resources Inc.’s Brucejack mine in northwest B.C.

Joseph Ovsenek, David Prins and Kevin Torpy, recipients of the E.A. Scholz Award for excellence in mine development in B.C. and/or Yukon. They are honoured for commitment and leadership in advancing the Brucejack mine to production.

Ron Netolitzky, recipient of the Murray Pezim Award for perseverance and success in financing mineral exploration in B.C. and/or Yukon. He is honoured for an illustrious career spanning five decades as a company builder and financier, and also as a geologist, prospector, consultant, entrepreneur, developer, advisor, mentor and outspoken advocate on behalf of independents and Canadian junior resource companies.

Patrick Evans, Jonathan Comerford and Carl Verley, presented with the Hugo Dummett award for excellence in diamond exploration and development. They are recognized for advancing Mountain Province Diamonds from a junior exploration company to a partner with De Beers Canada, co-launching the Gahcho Kué mine in the Northwest Territories.

Robert Sibthorpe, recipient of the Colin Spence Award for excellence in global mineral exploration, for his role in a mineral exploration program at Roxgold Inc.’s Yaramoko property in Burkina Faso that led to the discovery of high-grade gold-bearing quartz veins and commercial production by 2016.

Brent Murphy and Elizabeth Miller, recipients of the Robert R. Hedley Award for excellence in social and environmental responsibility for their significant contributions and advances in the realm of social and environmental responsibility related to Seabridge Gold Inc.’s KSM project in northwest B.C.

Janice Fingler, honoured with the David Barr Award for excellence in leadership and innovation in mineral exploration health and safety for her dedication in leading AME’s Environment, Health & Safety Committee as a strong voice for health and safety in the mineral exploration community.

Mona Forster and Royanna Wild, recognized with the Gold Pan Award for their exceptional meritorious service to the mineral exploration community through AME.

Maureen Lipkewich, Gary Nordin and Sheila Stenzel, honoured with the Frank Woodside Past Presidents and Past Chairs Award for their distinguished service to the association and/or contribution to the mineral industry.

The two recipients of AME’s Outreach Education Fund are Britannia Mine Museum for its education programs and MineralsEd for its Kids & Rocks classroom workshop.

To read a PDF version with backgrounder, click here.