See the press release announcing the AME 2018 Award Winners

Awards Committee Recommendations

H. H. “Spud” Huestis Award for Excellence in Prospecting & Mineral Exploration

Al McOnie, Seymour Iles and Jared Chipman

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Al McOnie, Seymour Iles and Jared Chipman of Alexco Resource Corp. have been responsible for the recent discovery and delineation of more than 60 million ounces of silver in the Flame & Moth and Bermingham deposits in the Keno Hill Silver District of central Yukon. They are worthy recipients of the 2018 H.H. “Spud” Huestis Award for excellence in prospecting and mineral exploration.

Between 1913 and 1989 the Keno Hill Silver District produced more than 217 million ounces of silver from ore with average grade of 1149 g/t of silver, making it the second-largest silver producer in Canada. Alexco resumed production in the district from 2011 to 2013, although it is currently suspended awaiting higher silver prices. Alexco is currently focused on moving forward with advanced exploration, and the discoveries of the Flame & Moth and Bermingham deposits have built a foundation for renewed production. The Bermingham discovery is especially significant, with a potentially mineable reserve of 220,000 tonnes having a grade of 1276 g/t silver, contained within a larger 33.3 million ounce Indicated Resource grading 628 g/t silver.

A comprehensive re-evaluation of historical exploration data by Alexco’s team developed a modern structural geology model for the distribution of historical ore shoots within regionally extensive vein-fault systems.  The model was validated by the 2013 Flame & Moth discovery and within a year, Flame & Moth was featured by Alexco as their flagship future development with only brief mention to exploration potential at Bermingham.

Meanwhile, the exploration team believed that there were significant geological similarities between the Bermingham area and the nearby Hector-Calumet 96-million-ounce historical silver producer.  The team convinced Alexco CEO Clynt Nauman to fund drill testing of the new exploration model at Bermingham in 2014 despite very difficult capital market conditions. Early holes intersected silver grades in excess of anything previously encountered in the district and drilling continues to expand upon that highly significant discovery.

Alexco Vice-President of Exploration Al McOnie, with over 30 years of exploration experience, holds an MSc in Geology from University of Toronto. Jared Chipman, who joined the Alexco exploration team in 2007, completed his MSc in Applied geology at Queens university in 2010.  Seymour Iles graduated with an MSc from the University of London in 2006 and joined Alexco in 2009.

The Alexco exploration team has successfully utilized modern structural geology concepts to help reinvigorate one of the oldest mining districts in Canada.  This work will undoubtedly lead to more discoveries that should have a positive long-term impact on the Yukon economy.

Murray Pezim Award for Perseverance & Success in Financing Mineral Exploration

John McCluskey

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John McCluskey is the recipient of the 2018 Murray Pezim Award for perseverance and success in financing mineral exploration. He is being honoured for his pivotal role in acquiring, financing and encouraging the successive discoveries of the Mulatos (Alamos Gold) and Kemess East (AuRico Metals) deposits. In addition, he is being honoured for his ongoing success as CEO of Alamos Gold, first in building the Mulatos mine and then in expanding Alamos Gold through careful acquisitions such that it now produces approximately 500,000 ounces gold annually at a profit from four mines in Canada and Mexico.

John began his career with Glamis Gold Ltd. in 1983. In 1996, he co-founded Grayd Resource Corp., where he served as CEO until 2003 and Director until 2008. During this period, Grayd acquired the La India deposit and outlined a maiden resource of 900,000 ounces gold. In 2003, John co-founded Alamos Gold Inc. and has served as President and CEO ever since. Alamos acquired the past-producing Mulatos property that year, commissioned a feasibility study and built the Mulatos mine towards commercial production in 2006. It has produced more than two million ounces Au to date and currently produces 170,000-180,000 ounces annually for Alamos Gold.

With the Mulatos Mine operating successfully, under John’s helm Alamos Gold expanded their operating and exploration profile by purchasing or merging with Esperanza Resources (2013), Orsa Ventures (2013), AuRico Gold (2015), Carlisle Goldfields (2016) and Richmont Mines (2017). This has increased Alamos Gold’s annual production to approximately 500,000 ounces of gold from four mines, with 9.8 million ounces Au in reserves and another 7.4 million ounces Au in Measured and Indicated Resources.

John became a director of AuRico Metals when it was spun off from the merger of Alamos Gold and AuRico Gold. AuRico Metals owned the Kemess Cu-Au porphyry property in north-central British Columbia. John was consistent and unwavering in his position that the greatest value could be created through the drill bit and consistently argued for a substantial exploration budget at Kemess East. When the first drill results were reported to the Board each summer he would argue for an expanded budget that was to be constrained only by geological understanding and the practical limitations of the weather. This led to the delineation of a major deposit at Kemess East.

For his role in encouraging and financing mineral exploration and development, John McCluskey is the worthy recipient of the Murray Pezim Award for 2018.

Hugo Dummett Award for Excellence in Diamond Exploration and Development

Eric Friedland

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Eric Friedland, Executive Chairman of Peregrine Diamonds, Geoff Woad, former head of World Diamond Exploration for BHP Billiton and Brooke Clements, former President of Peregrine Diamonds are recipients of the 2018 Hugo Dummett Diamond Award for excellence in diamond exploration and development, in recognition of their roles in discovering the Chidliak Diamond Province on Baffin Island in Nunavut.  Chidliak was advanced from geologic concept in 2005 to discovery in 2008 and now represents Canada’s second largest kimberlite district after Lac de Gras, which hosts Canada’s first two diamond mines.

The concept of exploring the overlooked portions of the Canadian North, including Baffin Island can be attributed to an initiative that started with BHP’s world diamond exploration team headed by Geoff Woad. In 2005, BHP reached out to Eric Friedland of Peregrine Diamonds, one of their junior partners in Canadian exploration, to co-fund their Baffin exploration initiative. Eric agreed to participate in the project and was instrumental in raising the funds required and putting together the exploration team to complete the task. Brooke Clements joined Peregrine in 2007 and from that time on was key in adding critical members to the exploration team and ensuring that Peregrine’s exploration efforts remained focused on Chidliak.

Much of the grunt work and heavy lifting that resulted in this Chidliak discovery was done by team members such as Hugo Grenon, Project Manager, and Maiko Sell, Geophysicist who, in 2008, made the field discovery of the first kimberlites at Chidliak; Peter Holmes, VP of Exploration for Peregrine at the time, who oversaw the exploration activities; Jennifer Pell, Chief Geoscientist for Peregrine Diamonds who provided technical support; and Herman Grutter, BHP’s technical representative for the project, amongst many others.  However, the Chidliak diamond discovery would not have occurred if not for the combined effort of the three individuals highlighted here: Eric Friedland, Geoff Woad and Brooke Clements for the exploration team they built and managed.

Colin Spence Award for Excellence in Global Mineral Exploration

Dr. Tom Henricksen

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The Colin Spence Award for excellence in global mineral exploration is presented to Dr. Tom Henricksen. Tom is recognized for his outstanding contributions to mineral discovery. He has been involved in the discoveries and/or acquisitions of the Flambeau copper gold discovery (Wisconsin), the Zortman gold deposit and the Rock Creek/Rock Lake sediment-hosted copper-silver deposits (Montana), the Fort Knox porphyry gold deposit (Alaska), the Rio Grande ulexite borate deposits (Bolivia), the Constancia porphyry copper deposit, Ollachea gold deposit, Corani silver deposit and Zafranal porphyry copper deposit (Peru), the Quinchia gold district (Colombia), the Stibnite Gold deposits (Idaho) and the Karakani gold district (West Africa). However, his ability to recognize the unseen exploration value of the Hot Maden (now Hod Maden) Cu-Au prospect in NE Turkey that had previously been passed over by multiple major mining companies is a recent standout in Tom’s long and successful career.

As AMG Minerals Inc. (later Aegean Metals Group Inc.) Chief Geologist, Tom shifted focus from the Ukraine to Turkey in 2011 when government there announced plans to auction numerous mining licenses.  An exhaustive evaluation by Tom and local consultant Ibrahim Guney narrowed the list to three properties and AMG won the auction for the Hod North property with an aggressive bid of US$241,000. The Hod Maden district was consolidated when Aegean optioned the old Hod Maden mine concession immediately south of Hod North.

Initial surface work in 2013 concluded that mineralization is strongest at the lowest elevations and the potential for vertical epithermal systems was recognized. After several years of permitting and fund-raising difficulties, the consolidated property was optioned to a private Turkish company, Lidya Madencilik. Under the continued guidance of Tom and Lidya’s General Manager Firuz Alizade, the project proceeded through the permitting phase and was back on track. In February 2015 initial drill results from the high-grade Cu-Au system at Hod Maden were reported and included, from Hole 4, 103 m at 9 g/t Au and 2.2% Cu. Over the next three years drilling at Hod Maden resulted in a pre-feasibility study with a Proven and Probable Mineral Reserve of 9.1 million tonnes grading 8.9 g/t Au and 1.4% Cu.

Tom received his B.Sc. degree in geology in 1969 from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and his Ph.D. in 1974 from Oregon State University. Tom has had a long and distinguished career of discovery and recognizing value where others have missed opportunity and it is for this dedication and exploration success that he is a worthy recipient of the Colin Spence Award.

Robert R. Hedley Award for Excellence in Social Responsibility

Matt Andrews and Monica Moretto

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Matt Andrews and Monica Moretto are the 2018 recipients of the Robert R. Hedley Award for Excellence in Social and Environmental Responsibility. Their leadership has created an environment within Pan American Silver Corp. of respect for social and environmental principles on all its projects. Matt and Monica developed and proved the business case for a systematic approach to social and environmental responsibility to enable project success. Pan American Silver engages in the full life cycle of mining projects, from exploration through to reclamation in the Latin America countries of Argentina, Bolivia, Mexico and Peru.

Matt Andrews understands the value that education can bring to companies, as well as the communities they work in. Training programs for many trades including welders and electricians have provided capacity in local communities, and as just one example, has resulted in safer homes with upgrades to household distribution panels. Also, under Matt’s leadership, Pan American Silver has become a leader in how to track and improve environmental performance monitoring for the industry.

Monica Moretto spearheaded the creation and development of a Corporate Social Responsibility Department for Pan American Silver. She developed and executed a Social Audit Process utilizing ISO 26000 standards, including local procurement, supply chain inspection and policy development. Examples of Monica’s impact are prominent where she has encouraged and supported programs to provide training and opportunities for women in regions where such accomplishments do not come easily.

Collectively, Matt and Monica have made environmental management and social responsibility a cornerstone of Pan American Silver’s sustainability strategy. Their work is celebrated by numerous Non-Government Organizations in the regions where Pan American Silver’s projects exist. The leadership of Matt Andrews and Monica Moretto is truly pioneering and worthy of celebration.

Environment, Health & Safety Committee Recommendation

David Barr Award for Excellence in Leadership and Innovation in Mineral Exploration Health and Safety

Paycore Drilling

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Paycore Drilling is the recipient of the 2018 David Barr Award for its professionalism and care following an incident in mineral exploration.

During a drill program on Happy Creek Minerals Ltd.’s property in 2016, a helicopter with just the pilot on board hit the ground hard in a logged area beside a logging road. The Paycore drilling supervisor immediately contacted the appropriate authorities while several of the drilling crew rushed to the site of the crash. Within several minutes they carefully approached the helicopter and noted that the rotors had broken and stopped moving. However, the turbine engine was fully on, and the machine was on its side with the pilot seat closest to the ground. The crew made everyone aware of the smell of fuel in the air. While several stayed a safe distance, two of the crew went directly into the helicopter, and unbuckled and carefully and as quickly as possible pulled out the pilot who was either unconscious or not responding. Once the pilot was out, the others came to help gently move the pilot away from the helicopter to a safe distance and began assessment of the pilot’s condition, who was now able to speak and share information about his condition. One person went back into the helicopter to shut down the engine. An air ambulance arrived within approximately 45 minutes of the crash, and paramedics took control of the situation. The seriously injured pilot was airlifted for care and recovery.

The Paycore Drilling team at all times acted in a professional and competent manner with care and compassion towards the pilot and resulted in the best possible outcome following the incident.

Executive Committee Recommendation

Gold Pan Award for exceptional meritorious service to the mineral exploration community through the Association for mineral exploration British Columbia (AME)

 Peter Bradshaw

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Peter Bradshaw has provided exceptional meritorious service to the mineral exploration community through AME. He has volunteered for years on committees focused on social responsibility, having previously served on the International Committee and currently an active member of the Integrated Social Responsibility Committee (previously called the Corporate Social Responsibility Committee). He has provided valuable expertise to workshops held at Roundup and is lending his time to the planning of The Gathering Place 2019. His meritorious service to mineral exploration and development is recognized in his nomination to the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame in 2014; his nomination was spearheaded by AME.

Peter was a dedicated AME committee member and an example of leadership in the pursuit of social responsibility in the industry and the education of its future leaders. Beyond his accomplishments as a geologist and leader in research and education, and particularly for co-founding MDRU, Peter has also contributed immensely to the evolution of the industry with increased awareness of the social implications and impacts of the mining activity. His recent gift and leadership to the foundation of the Bradshaw Research Initiative for Minerals and Mining is another testimony to his passion, dedication, and commitment to the industry.

Dan Moore “Yukon Dan”

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Dan Moore “Yukon Dan” has contributed significantly to the mineral exploration community through service to the Association for Mineral Exploration British Columbia (AME). Yukon Dan has been doing outreach throughout British Columbia for more than two decades. He builds awareness and educates members of the public about prospecting and exploring for gold in British Columbia while communicating about the importance of minerals in our daily lives. People of all ages are given an opportunity to try, first-hand, to discover gold in a pile of dirt through gold panning.

Yukon Dan has been supporting community engagement at Roundup, AME’s conference, for over a decade. He has also participated consistently in the community fair during Mining Week, which AME was partnered on over the years. Kamloops Exploration Group (KEG), a regional group, explained that Yukon Dan is excellent value and he always provides a fun learning experience without increasing his rates since starting with KEG. Seeing the large amount of time for planning that goes into each experience Yukon Dan provides, it is evident that the he donates an extensive amount of his time on an in-kind basis.

With over twenty years of service, impacting over 5,000 students each year and widespread general public engagement, at schools, conferences, field trips and events, Yukon Dan has contributed significantly to AME and its members. He has raised awareness of British Columbia’s prospecting and exploration opportunities at a regional, provincial, and an international scale.

Past Presidents and Chair’s Recommendation

Frank woodside award for distinguished service to the association for mineral exploration british columbia (AME) and/or the mineral exploration industry.

Greg Dawson

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Greg Dawson has over 30 years of experience in the mineral exploration industry. Greg is currently a geologist with GroundTruth Exploration. He holds a BSc in geology from the University of British Columbia and an MSc (MinEx) from Queens University, and is a registered Professional Geologist. His work experience includes Vice President Exploration for Colorado Resources (to 2017), President (2010-2014) and Vice President, Exploration (2004-2010) of Copper Ridge Explorations focused on exploration in British Columbia, and serving as District Manager and General Manager with Teck Exploration Ltd. from 1999 to 2002 in Central Asia and South America. He also spent several years in the 1990s working for Hunter Dickinson and its associated companies. During this time, he and Bob Dickinson authored a groundbreaking paper, “Land Use Uncertainty Threatens B.C Mining Industry” , published in June 1994, on the status and implications of the Protected Areas Strategy and land use planning process that were underway in B.C. Such a comprehensive province wide compilation of land alienation was not duplicated until the AME commissioned paper in 2016.

Greg is an active supporter of the industry through his involvement with AME. He was a member of AME’s Board for eight years and a member of the Health & Safety Committee for four years. Notable contributions to AME on behalf of the industry were serving as chair (seven years) and long-time member – more than 10 years – of the Land Use Committee. In this capacity, Greg stands out for his early recognition of the challenges that the industry faces via growing alienation of access to land, as described in the paper, “Land Use Uncertainty Threatens B.C Mining Industry”.

 Victoria Yehl

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Victoria Yehl is a geologist by training who through her volunteer efforts has shown leadership and support for both the Association for Mineral Exploration British Columbia (AME) and the exploration industry in B.C. and Canada. Vicki is currently Senior Geologist, Corporate Finance with the B.C Securities Commission (BCSC). Prior to joining the BCSC, worked at Teck Resources Limited for just over 20 years in various capacities including time in Teck’s Exploration, New Ventures, Business Development, and Energy groups.

Vicki is a committed volunteer and industry leader. In addition to her 12 years volunteering with AME, she took leadership roles with AME’s flagship Roundup Conference as Vice Chair for two years and Chair for two years. She continues to contribute at Roundup through involvement with short courses on securities regulations, related to her work at BCSC. A long-term member of the Geological Association of Canada, she was also part of the executive of the GAC executive for three years as well as a member of Council for three years. Vicki also supported the local industry as part the organizing committee of the mineral exploration group for MEG luncheons for nine years, including coordinating the annual MEG short course. She was the Chair of MEG in 2007-2008.

In addition to her industry associated volunteer activities, Vicki was a torch bearer during the 2010 Olympic Games. She is a true ambassador for the mineral exploration industry.

Special Tribute

Dr. Norman Keevil

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Dr. Norman Keevil is being acknowledged with a Special Tribute from AME for his outstanding achievements in exploration and mining in the context of the northwest Cordillera.  Dr. Keevil has received many other awards but he has not been recognized previously for his major contributions to and support of exploration, discovery and development in British Columbia and adjacent parts of the Cordillera.

While best known for his business acumen and company-building success, Norman Keevil has degrees in both geology and geophysics.  Following his PhD at the University of California at Berkeley, he was offered and briefly considered an academic appointment.  Fortunately for the mining and exploration business in Canada and British Columbia, he chose to pursue a career in the mining industry. Once he joined the Teck team, he was critical to discoveries and developments at Afton, Bullmoose and Quintette, Elkview, Highmont, as well as the consolidation of the Highland Valley camp.  As Chairman of Teck, he also saw the consolidation of the Elk Valley coal operations.  Under his direction, Teck has grown into a truly globally diversified miner from its base here in Vancouver.

For those that know him or worked at Teck, Norman Keevil remained strongly supportive of Teck’s exploration efforts and always participated in technical discussions related to projects and discoveries.  It was not uncommon for an exploration geologist to get a personal visit from Dr. Keevil to discuss the technical details of a given exploration project.

Norman Keevil maintained his interest and support for academic research broadly related to exploration, and several academic chairs are named after him.  He also believed in the importance of public geoscience and the role of geological surveys, having worked for the Geological Survey of Canada early in his career.  At a time when the B.C Provincial budget for geoscience was being cut, he fostered engagement with Government that eventually led to increased budgets as well as the formation of Geoscience BC. Teck is supporting the construction of the revived UBC Geology Field School camp; the first contact was made to Dr. Keevil to advance this important project.

Under Norman Keevil’s guidance Teck has been a strong supporter of AME, always a major sponsor of Roundup and of many other exploration-oriented activities in B.C, such as field trips and short courses. Through his entrepreneurial spirit, Teck has also supported many junior companies over the years, helping to ensure Vancouver’s position as the exploration capital of the world.  Given all of his achievements and leadership in building a strong exploration and mining industry in British Columbia, this Special Tribute is considered long overdue.

Outreach Education Fund

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Britannia Mine Museum is granted $10,000 to support the 2019 continuation of its well-established Education Program.

The program annually reaches more than 10,000 Kindergarten to Grade 12 students through earth science focused exhibits and events. The goals are to inspire students to learn more about minerals, local geology and tectonic history and, in particular, the geological origins of the Britannia copper deposit, and to raise awareness of earth science career opportunities. Support is also given to teachers in the appreciation and education of Earth Science where it appears in the B.C. Curriculum.

Program focus and additions for 2019 include development of the Terra Lab capital project, which is a conversion of the historic Assay Building on the Museum site to accommodate public programming about modern mining. Implementation will be completed on an exhibit that explores the legacy of the Britannia Mine, the remediation of Howe Sound and ongoing research and innovation in the Canadian mining industry. Additionally, the Museum will develop pre- and post-tour space areas to support the Copper Quest theme on ways to explore for copper, revamp school programs to allow greater flexibility for teachers selecting content and for working with time restrictions, and continue with Delving into Geoscience (DIG) Day as well as Family Fun Day offering a variety of extra earth science related activities.

MineralsEd (formerly Mineral Resources Education Program of B.C) is granted $10,000 to support delivery of the Kids & Rocks Classroom Workshop in 2019.

This half-day classroom program introduces B.C. Lower Mainland students in Kindergarten to Grade 3 to the basic properties of natural materials. They are provided with a bag of about 25 rocks and minerals, a hand lens, hardness kit, streak plate, magnet and flashlight to experience and learn the basic physical properties of their specimens. This provides a hands-on learning experience for the students and is valuable support for the teachers and parents.

During the course of the workshop, the students are also introduced to the importance of non-renewable resources in our daily lives. Early introduction and understanding of rocks and minerals establish a foundation for young peoples’ appreciation of our dependence on non-renewable resources. The Kids & Rocks project is an important stepping stone in public awareness of the value of our mineral exploration industry.