Archive | Northern Miner – Mining Person of the Year Award

The Northern Miner 2010 “Mining Persons of the Year” Shawn Ryan and Cathy Wood Renew Yukon Gold Rush – by Gwen Preston (December 16, 2010)

The Northern Miner, first published in 1915, during the Cobalt Silver Rush, is considered Canada’s leading authority on the mining industry. This article is reproduced with permission of The Northern Miner and was first posted on their website on December 16, 2010.

Fourteen years ago Shawn Ryan and Cathy Wood were tromping around British Columbia, picking wild mushrooms. They loved the lifestyle, in large part because of its gold rush-style mentality: “You’d have a thousand people in the bush and half of them would migrate, overnight, on a rumour of a sweet spot,” says Ryan.

But the couple were expecting their first child. Ryan tried to make the line of work more stable by convincing the Yukon government to endorse mushroom picking as an agricultural program, but was turned down. Devastated, he turned back to an old skill – staking mineral claims in Ontario – and he made $10,000 in a week.

“So I said to Cathy, ‘Let’s go back into exploration,'” Ryan recalls. They decided to focus on the Yukon.

Ten years later, the couple optioned a piece of ground in the Dawson Range to Underworld Resources. Two years after that, Kinross Gold swept in and bought Underworld for $138 million. The deal triggered a staking rush around the White Gold gold project that is still going strong.

Ryan and Wood are most famous for the Underworld discovery but their prospecting efforts and successes in the Yukon go far beyond one deal. Continue Reading →

The Northern Miner 2009 “Mining Persons of the Year” Osisko Mining’s Sean Roosen, John Burzynski and Robert Wares – by TNM Editorial

Since 1915, the Northern Miner weekly newspaper has chronicled Canada’s globally significant mining sector.

The Northern Miner’s Mining Persons of the Year for 2009 are Osisko Mining’s president and CEO Sean Roosen, vice-president of corporate development John Burzynski, and executive vice-president and chief operating officer Robert Wares.

These three are most responsible for taking Osisko in five short years from just another junior with ho-hum assets trading at 13¢ to a polished, $2.8-billion company on the verge of opening a large, long-life gold mine in one of the world’s best mining jurisdictions.

Osisko’s flagship is its Canadian Malartic project in the town of Malartic, some 20 km west of Val d’Or, Que., where in-pit resources now exceed 10 million oz. gold.

Over those five years, Osisko’s management, led by Roosen, Burzynski and Wares, has time and again showed its ability to seize opportunities and solve problems with creativity, spirit and aplomb — and turning many early shareholders into millionaires along the way. Continue Reading →

The Northern Miner 1984 “Mining Man of the Year” John Zigarlick Jr. – by Patrick Whiteway

Since 1915, the Northern Miner weekly newspaper has chronicled Canada’s globally significant mining sector.

Working at the leading edge of gold mine development in North America is Echo Bay Mines of Edmonton under the quiet, confident leadership of President John Zigarlick Jr. – our choice for Mining Man-of-the-Year.

 While some goldmines struggle under the pressures of falling gold prices, Echo Bay is one of the companies always looking ahead, using new ideas to explore for and mine low-grade oxidized deposits of the southwestern U.S. and the high-grade sulphide deposits in the Canadian far north.

Born in Winnipeg and raised in the northern mining town of Uranium City, Saskatchewan, Mr. Zigarlick is no stranger to the north where the majority of Echo Bay’s interests lie. His knowledge of the north and the ability of people to work there was, no doubt, the source of his confidence in opening up the far north to mining activities previously thought to be either impossible or virtually uneconomic to even attempt.

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CANADIAN PERSPECTIVE: Republic Of Mining Chronicles Canadian Mining History -by Stan Sudol*

This column was posted today on the Canadian Mining Journal digital update.

The Web has forever changed the way we search for information. In today’s digitized world, most journalists, policy analysts, political leaders and the general public – especially students – turn to the Internet as their first source for facts.

Two major drawbacks to Internet searches seem to be the lack of content that is over a decade old because no one has bothered to post it or information that is deeply embedded in corporate websites. Blog postings, on the other hand, generally show up on Google searches much more readily.

In the final week of December, the annual Mining Person of the Year Award given by The Northern Miner is eagerly awaited by the industry. Since the first award was given in 1977, I was very surprised that I could not find much information about previous winners when I searched the Internet.

After contacting The Northern Miner about my concerns, publisher Doug Donnelly graciously allowed the RepublicOfMining.com to post all the previous Mining Person of the Year winners.

I have created a separate file in my blog’s index site located on the left hand side of the screen called “Northern Miner – Mining Person of the Year Award,” for easy access. Or just Google “Mining Person/Man of the Year” and the address will pop up at the top of the page.

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The Northern Miner 1982 “Mining Person of the Year” Clifford Frame and Robert Hallbauer

Since 1915, the Northern Miner weekly newspaper has chronicled Canada’s globally significant mining sector.

While most of the plans for mega projects conceived during the past ten years in Canada lie collecting dust on a shelf somewhere, victims of an economy that refuses to colvalesee and a government that wants too much, one such project continues on. While it has by no means received its fair share of the fanfare enjoyed by the other, now-stillborn projects, the $2.5 billion coal development in Northeastern British Columbia is nearing completion after more than a decade of planning and intense negotiation.

And more than anyone else, two men are responsible for the success. We refer to Clifford H. Frame of Denison Mines and Robert E. Hallbauer of Teck Corp., who in a collective effort managed to secure long-term sales contracts overseas and in turn convince the government of the level support required in the huge infrastructure needed to move the coal to tidewater.

These are men who were able to see beyond  the current maladies of the world economy and provide Canada with thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in future exchange revenue, not to mention bringing greater diversification to their companies at a time when most businesses are content stagnate.

While any major resource development can be a success only through the hard work of dozens of individuals, there are only a few around with enough courage to put their  careers and reputations on the line by backing an expensive and often risky project, and with enough tenacity and insight to follow the project through to a successful conclusion.

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The Northern Miner 1987 “Mining Person of the Year” Clifford Hugh Frame

Since 1915, the Northern Miner weekly newspaper has chronicled Canada’s globally significant mining sector.

People of the Yukon are used to putting out fires. Forest fires race through its countryside every summer and miners are often called on to help extinguish them.

In 1970 one such fire swept through Faro, a small mining town built a year earlier in the Pelly River Valley. It burned down half the town before being brought under control.

That town was built by Cyprus Anvil Mining Corp., a company controlled by Dome Petroleum of Calgary, to house some 720 employees of the big 15,000-ton-per-day open-pit lead-zinc mine nearby.

When zinc price took a tumble in ’82, Dome’s debt problems forced Cyprus Anvil to walk away from the mine. That move set off a series of fiery operational problems that would take a skilled mine operator years to put out: entire 170-ton haulage trucks loaded with ore were abandoned undumped, on the haulage ways; the mill was simply turned off, clogging pipelines and filling sumps; there was even 1 ½ ft of water in the mine’s warehouse and a couple of hundred feet of it in the huge pit three years after being abandoned.

This, it turns out, was a perfect situation for a 49-year-old mining engineer who thrives on tackling challenges – Clifford Hugh Frame, our 11th annual Mining Man of the Year. He assembled a group of 454 employees who have successfully extinguished those operational fires. Now they are fine-tuning the big operation.

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The Northern Miner 1983 “Mining Man of the Year” C. Henry Brehaut – by Allan Jones

Since 1915, the Northern Miner weekly newspaper has chronicled Canada’s globally significant mining sector.

The fact that 45-year old C. Henry Brehaut, new president of Dome Mines chose to do laboring jobs underground following graduation as a mining engineer, was somehow characteristic of the enthusiasm and drive that years later would make him the man most responsible for bring into production Canada’s newest and biggest gold mine.

This new mine, of course, is Detour Lake in Northeastern Ontario, which under Mr. Brehaut’s over-all guidance and direction as vice-president operations for the Dome Group, was brought on stream a full two months ahead of schedule and $8 million below the $139 million budgeted for that huge and very impressive project. This is precisely why we have chosen him our MINING MAN OF THE YEAR.

For partners Campbell Red Lake Mines, the operator and of which Mr. Brehaut is also the new president, and Amoco Canada Petroleum Co., the Detour Mine is expected to turn out 100,000 oz. gold per year for the next two to three years, rising to 200,000 oz. per year by 1988. Ore reserves currently stand at 30.6 million tons, grading 0.113 oz. gold to a depth of 1,800 ft., but Mr. Brehaut is confident this figure could double in future years, with the greatest additional reserve potential coming from continuation of the orebody at depth.

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The Northern Miner 1979 “Mining Man of the Year” Norman B. Keevil Jr.

Since 1915, the Northern Miner weekly newspaper has chronicled Canada’s globally significant mining sector.

The past decade has not been easy for Canada’s mining community. While many of the biggest and the best were forced to retrench in the face of soft markets, tight money and tough government restrictions, new mines were few and far between.

Throughout these tough times, however, one company consistently has bucked slow-growth trend. Over the last five years, Teck Corp, the brainchild of veteran geologist Norman Keevil has brought not one but three new mines to fruition (1975: Newfoundland Zinc: 1976: Niobec niobium and 1978: the Afton copper-gold mine and smelter).

The company will kick off the coming decade with the start up of yet another large project – it’s Highmont copper-molybdenum mine in B.C. Three more Canadian development proposals (B.C.’s Bullmoose coking coal deposit and its Schaft Creek copper-molybdenum-gold property along with Ontario’s Montcalm nickel-copper deposit) are waiting in the wings.

Teck’s oil and gas operations are expanding most recently with the $30.8 million purchase of 25% of Coseka Resources. The company also has spread its wings internationally, benefiting from its partnership with Frankfurt- based Metallgesellschaft AG, which owns just under 20% of Teck.

Spearheading this wave of expansion is executive vice-president Norman B. Keevil Jr., a credit to his father’s ambitions and The Northern Miner’s MAN OF THE YEAR.

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The Northern Miner 1980 “Mining Man of the Year” Donald E. G. Schmitt – by M.R. Brown

Since 1915, the Northern Miner weekly newspaper has chronicled Canada’s globally significant mining sector.

He knows gold, believes in it and did something about it – especially for Pamour Porcupine Mines (which he heads) and for the entire Timmins-Porcupine district. It is, in part, for this reason that we have chosen Noranda’s senior vice-president – mines. Donald E. G. Schmitt as our Man-of-the-Year.

But his contributions to the mining industry are being felt far beyond the confines of the rejuvenated Timmins camp and include education, mine safety and C.I.M. work.

A dedicated mining engineer who has won his spurs as a hardrock miner, he has played a key role in building up and strengthening Noranda’s far flung mining empire to its present world status.

“He had provided solid leadership for our organization,” says Noranda’s chairman and president, Alfred Powis.

“He basically loves mining, has spent a lifetime at it, and has done one hell of a job at it,” was the panegyric comment of William James, Noranda’s executive vice-president and president of Kerr Addison Mines and long-time business associate.

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The Northern Miner 1985 “Mining Person of the Year” Paul Penna – by M.R. Brown

Since 1915, the Northern Miner weekly newspaper has chronicled Canada’s globally significant mining sector.

The past year has been a dismal one for the Canadian mining industry. Metal prices have remained soft even for gold. Earnings generally are going to down. And so are dividends.

But not for Agnico-Eagle Mines, a company that is fast developing into one of this country’s top ranking gold producers. Its grade, output and earnings are away up and costs way down. And there are dramatic ore developments taking place on its Telbel property. Too, it has just raised its dividend payout.

Behind this success story is an ex-mine promoter turned a top mining executive – Paul Penna, our Mining Man of the Year.

It’s always difficult to single out particular individual from an industry as broad and diversified as mining, for different people have different criteria. But in this case we feel would have come up with the same choice either on the basis of the company’s performance or that or that of the man himself. Both make Cinderella stories.

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The Northern Miner 1996 “Mining Man of the Year” David Walsh and John Felderhof – by Vivian Danielson

Since 1915, the Northern Miner weekly newspaper has chronicled Canada’s globally significant mining sector.

The following year, it was discovered that the Bre-X core samples had been salted (falsified) and the company’s stratospheric share prices became worthless. Bre-X is infamously known as the most elaborate and biggest mining scandal of all time. To this day, no one has ever been held accountable.

David Walsh died in 1998 of an apparent stroke claiming his innocence until the end. John Felderhof was cleared of illegal insider trading in July, 2007.

The Busang gold deposit in Kalimantan, Indonesia, is known around the world as one of the most important gold discoveries of the century. A few years ago however, it was a small prospect being explored in a remote region by a little-known junior from Calgary, Alta., Bre-X minerals (BXM-T).

The Busang story came to the mining forefront earlier this year when the company’s Southeast zone discovery was described as having the potential of “30 million ounces plus, plus, plus”. This find, however, was not the result of overnight success. Rather, the discovery was the culmination of years of hard work and teamwork between two Canadian – David Walsh, an entrepreneur and financier, and John Felderhof, a geologist and mine-finder.

While Busang became the mining story of 1996, it is a tale that may not have materialized without the single-minded dedication of the Walsh-Felderhof partnership. On a shoe-string budget and with little encouragement or interest from majors, the men were exploring in Indonesia long before it was fashionable.

The industry was skeptical of the venture, at least in the early days, and the region’s geological puzzle was as difficult to put together as the funds for exploration.

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The Northern Miner 1981 “Mining Man of the Year” Peter Allen – by Laura Reid

Since 1915, the Northern Miner weekly newspaper has chronicled Canada’s globally significant mining sector.

Peter Allen, president and chief executive officer of the Little Long Lac group of companies, smiles self-consciously as the photographer maneuvers around his office, snapping picture after picture. Mr. Allen obliges the request for “just one more shot,” but when the session is finished, he breaks into a spontaneous grin of relief.

Except when facing a camera, Mr. Allen smiles easily – and with good reason. He is seemingly only a few steps away from  realizing his ambition to take Little Long Lac, whose fortunes have changed as frequently as the price of gold, into the mining major leagues. This year, with the gold price stalled at $US400 an oz., he has doubled his company’s operating income compared with 1980’s. This financial feat follows the start-up of two new gold mines in the past three years. And at a boyish 41, Peter Ackerman Allen is the youngest Man-of-the-Year ever selected by The Northern Miners.

He may also be the least-known recipient. Certainly the group of companies that he controls has been well-publicized in the past year, through its successful but initially controversial policy of selling gold forward., through subsidiary’s Willroy Mines’ $21.4-million lawsuit against New Cinch Uranium, through $12 million in dividend payments while other companies were cutting or dropping them altogether, and through the corporate reorganization completed in the fall.

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The Northern Miner 1995 “Mining Man of the Year” Albert Chislett and Christopher Verbiski – by Vivian Danielson

Since 1915, the Northern Miner weekly newspaper has chronicled Canada’s globally significant mining sector.

Much ado is made of the sophisticated technology that is available to help find mineral deposits. While these techniques are unquestionably valuable, they will never render obsolete “boot-and-hammer” prospecting of the type that led to the discovery of the Voisey’s Bay nickel-copper-cobalt discovery near Nain, Labrador.

The chain of events leading to the discovery began when two prospectors spotted a rust-colored outcrop covering the side of a hill near Voisey’s Bay while performing regional reconnaissance for Diamond Fields Resources (TSE).

After landing on the gossanous outcrop and breaking open fresh rock which revealed stringers of chalcopyrite, the prospectors realized they had found a prospect with real potential. They sat on the hill and started envisioning what the surrounding countryside was going to look like in 10 years, with a mine and a road.

That Voisey’s Bay went on to become the mining story of 1995, worldwide, comes as no surprise to the two prospectors who made the original discovery: Albert Chislett, 46, and Christopher Verbiski, 27. Both men live in St. John’s, Nfld., where their company, Archean Resources, is based. And both have extensive experience working on exploration projects in Labrador and Newfoundland.

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The Northern Miner 1998 “Mining Man of the Year” Hugo Dummett – by Vivian Danielson

Since 1915, the Northern Miner weekly newspaper has chronicled Canada’s globally significant mining sector.

BHP executive catalyst for Ekati mine

The unsung hero behind the opening of Canada’s first diamond mine is a modest gentleman who never hesitates to praise the accomplishments of his team and his partners. Yet Hugo Dummett, The Northern Miner’s Man of the Year for 1998, has the unusual distinction of being a catalyst for both the discovery and development of the Ekati diamond mine, which made Canadian mining history when it was officially opened on Oct. 14.

In the early days of the diamond discoveries at Lac de Gras in the Northwest Territories, Dummett was the face of BHP Diamonds, the unit of Australian mining giant Broken Hill Proprietary (BHP-N) that today holds a 51% operating interest in Ekati. His faith in the project, in the people working on it, and in the science behind it never wavered, even when skeptics called the project a pipe dream, the people obsessed, and the science fanciful.

Born in Springs, Transvaal, South Africa, Dummett obtained his bachelor of science in 1964 from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. He worked as an exploration geologist for Anglo American and other large corporations before emigrating to Australia in 1970, where he joined a small exploration group and pursued post-graduate studies at the University of Queensland. In 1977, he came to the U.S. as a senior geologist for Superior Oil’s minerals division. He joined BHP in 1989 and rose through the ranks to his current post as president and group general manager, exploration.

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The Northern Miner’s 1994 “Mining Man of the Year” Louis Gignac – by Vivian Danielson

Since 1915, the Northern Miner weekly newspaper has chronicled Canada’s globally significant mining sector.

Back in 1986, before Louis Gignac accepted the opportunity to head up a public mining company holding the crown jewels of Quebec’s government-owned Soquem, he wanted assurances that the company would be truly private and not in any way an instrument of government policy.

After securing this hands-off pledge, Gignac set out to build a gold mining company that was entrepreneurial in nature and primed for the big leagues. At the onset, Gignac made it clear that his growth plans for Cambior (TSE) would not be restricted to the Quebec projects inherited from the Soquem privatization.

“We will go wherever the opportunity arises,” Gignac told The Northern Miner at the time of Cambior’s public offering. These proved to be prophetic words. Cambior’s roots are still firmly planted in Quebec, where a number of its mines are situated. But the operating experience gained in Quebec also gave the company the expertise and the confidence to compete on an international level. Today, much of the company’s gold production comes from outside North America, and its current development and advanced exploration projects reflect an aggressive diversification into base metals.

For his role in shaping Cambior into one of Canada’s foremost mining companies and for other industry achievements, The Northern Miner has named Louis Gignac, 44, its “Mining Man of the Year” for 1994.

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