Kendra Johnston named new president and CEO of Association for Mineral Exploration (AME)

The BC-based Association for Mineral Exploration (AME) recently appointed Kendra Johnston as its president and CEO

by Peter Caulfield
Kendra Johnson

Kendra Johnson has a wealth of knowledge and experience under her belt. — Photo courtesy AME

The BC-based Association for Mineral Exploration (AME) recently appointed Kendra Johnston as its president and CEO.

Johnston is a registered professional geologist (“P.Geo.”) and mining executive. She has more than 15 years of experience in various aspects of the mineral exploration and mining industry.  

“I’m really excited to be here,” said Johnston. “There is lots that needs to be done, and I’m ready to roll up my sleeves and get to work.”

In addition to her corporate experience, Johnston has been a long-time industry advocate and has worked with non-profits as a director and organizer. 

The new association head has also volunteered with AME in many different capacities.

They include director, executive director, chair of the board, chair of the Roundup committee and service on many committees including the finance committee.

AME says it is pleased to have Johnston come aboard.

When Johnston was named to the position, the association said, in an announcement, “With a strong, inclusive and collaborative leadership style, we look forward to Kendra applying her current knowledge and experiences including public geoscience [also known as earth science], financial and capital markets, indigenous engagement, as well as the social and regulatory landscapes that affects mineral exploration with expertise primarily in BC and Yukon. The Association is confident that Ms. Johnston’s leadership and advocacy will help promote British Columbia as one of the top global jurisdictions for responsible and inclusive mineral exploration and development and as a major international hub for industry that shares our core values.”

Johnston, who hails from Oakville, ON, became interested in geology and mining in high school.

“I had a great teacher in my Grade 11 physical geography class,” she said. “He showed us the big picture of the earth system and took the class rockhounding. It was thanks in part to his influence that I went on to study geology.” 

After relocating to British Columbia for her post-secondary studies, Johnston attended University of Victoria, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Earth Science.

“I really enjoyed my time at University of Victoria because of the small class sizes and because it was a great school with great teachers,” she said. “And, while I was at UVic, I was president of the Earth Sciences Student Society.”

Johnston subsequently moved back east and successfully completed a Master of Business Administration degree and a certificate in responsible leadership from the Smith School of Business at Queen’s University.

After university, Johnston held a number of different positions in mineral exploration. For example, she was employed by Silver Quest Resources Ltd. (acquired by New Gold Inc. TSX:NGD) as a geologist and investor relations manager.

Johnston worked as a quarterback, as she put it – geologist and investor relations manager – for Atna Resources Ltd. (de-listed from TSX).

Most recently she was president of Independence Gold Corp. (TSX.V:IGO), a BC and Yukon exploration company.

Johnston says the AME’s agenda for the coming year will be guided by the association’s Annual Work Plan.

The main points of the plan are successful exploration, public and stakeholder awareness and education, and indigenous relations and reconciliation.

“We are going to be focusing on interactive member communication, to connect with our members and listen to what they’re saying, including any concerns they have,” said Johnston. “We’re also going to continue to push forward on meeting the challenges facing the industry.”

The main challenges of junior mining companies are the difficulty of getting adequate financing, BC’s “dynamic regulatory framework” and a shortage of new workers to replace employees who are retiring.

AME calls itself the lead association of the mineral exploration and development industry based in British Columbia.

Established in 1912, AME represents, advocates and promotes the interests of almost 5,000 members who are engaged in mineral exploration and development in BC and around the world. 

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