PDAC 2020 awards honour industry leaders

by Julie Matchett
Close-up picture of PDAC Award, showing two stylized white hands holding up a transparent diamond shape printed with PDAC logo.

The Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada presents annual awards to recognize and honour outstanding achievement, accomplishment, and service of individuals and organizations in the Canadian and international mineral exploration and mining industry. — Photo courtesy PDAC

Every year, the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) honours outstanding individuals and organizations in the Canadian and international exploration and mining industry. The PDAC Award recipients for 2020 have been announced, in six categories. These top domestic and international winners will be honoured during a gala awards ceremony at the annual PDAC Convention in Toronto in March.

Bill Dennis Award: Dr. Rudolf (Rudy) Wahl

Known as one of the most productive prospectors in Ontario, Rudolf (Rudy) Wahl is a self-taught master of ore deposit models and exploration techniques and has inspired many others to pursue prospecting as a career.

Distinguished Service Award: Lynda Bloom

Considered one of the world’s experts in geochemical sampling, assaying and quality control, Lynda Bloom has devoted an exceptional amount of time and effort to the PDAC as a director and committee chair, as an officer and director of junior mining companies, a consultant, and a lobbyist.

Skookum Jim Award: Hans Matthews

An experienced geologist and member of the Wahnapitae First Nation in Ontario, Hans Matthews is founder and president of the Canadian Aboriginal Minerals Association. He has played a key role in the evolution of Indigenous communities as equal partners in the mining industry.

Sustainability Award (formerly Enviro. & Social Responsibility): Agnico Eagle Mines Limited’s Nunavut Community Relations, Education & People Development Team

At Agnico Eagle, a commitment to developing and supporting the Inuit workforce at its Nunavut operations is paramount. The company has invested extraordinary energy and resources towards training, education and skills development. Agnico Eagle has established school initiatives designed to inspire students to further their education and provides financial support to Nunavut-based organizations that provide literacy and skills training. Agnico Eagle’s 60-year tradition of putting family and community first are a good fit with Inuit traditional beliefs.

Thayer Lindsley Award: Firuz Alizade and the Lidya-Hod Maden Exploration Team

The gold-copper potential at the Hod Maden deposit in eastern Turkey was recognized, but it wasn’t until Firuz Alizade, a prolific minefinder, and his team arrived on the scene that the project was able to advance. The discovery of a hundred metre width of high-grade copper and gold was made in 2015. Now a feasibility study is underway, with first production from Hod Maden expected at the end of 2022.  

Viola R. MacMillan Award: Touquoy/Moose River Mine Development Team

Until the Touquoy/Moose River exploration and development team in Nova Scotia recognized the potential of the Touquoy open pit mine and nearby deposits in the province, the exploration industry had generally avoided the area. The success of their company, Atlantic Gold, has revitalized gold exploration in the province. 

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