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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The Northern Miner’s – 1978 “Mining Man of the Year” John (Jack) Gallagher – by M.R. Brown

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

The most exciting exploration undertaking of 1978 in this country, unquestionably, has been the bold and costly Beaufort Sea project of Dome Petroleum. This has not only caught the imagination of North American investors, it is attracting worldwide interest. There are many who believe that this single play holds the greatest potential of any oil exploration theatre in the world.

It is for this reason that the Northern Miner has chosen that company’s driving force, John P. Gallagher, chairman and chief executive officer, as our MAN OF THE YEAR.

“Jack Gallagher is a tremendously imaginative man,” James B. Redpath, a long-time president of the parent Dome Mines, told this reporter, adding that while exploration-oriented, he was always “looked over his shoulder for cash income, at which he has also been very, very successful”.

Founded in 1950, ‘Dome Pete’ is now a name that comes up wherever oil men meet. The financial fraternity, too, considers it to have more ‘sex appeal’ than any company in the business today. It could well be the big newsmaker of 1979. the company’s early history is interesting, for it represents the first move by an Canadian mining company to get ito the oil exploration business, whereas today there is a flood of them.

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The Northern Miner’s – 1977 “Mining Man of the Year” Stephen B. Roman

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

This was the first Mining Man of the Year Award given by the Northern Miner.

It’s always difficult … and dangerous, to single out a Man of the Year, because different people have different criteria. One could easily include an executive who has done the best he could in a particularly depressed segment of an ailing industry. Still, one really has to admire a person who somehow had the foresight and/or good fortune to sidestep heavy involvement in depressed base metals and concentrate on the booming areas of uranium, coal, oil and gas.

Stephen Roman’s Denison Mines capped the year with the largest-ever uranium sale by any producer (N.M., Dec. 22, 1977) when it consummated a deal with Ontario Hydro for the supply of 126 million pounds of uranium oxide between the years 1980 and 2011. The value of the contract was not disclosed because of various adjustment formulae, but it’s estimated to be worth in excess of $5 billion.

This will involve more than doubling current capacity to some 15,000 tons per day by 1984 or 1985 with the re-opening of several properties in the Elliot Lake area. In addition, Denison has been busy exploring various extensive optioned properties in the currently hot Northern Saskatchewan uranium play.

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The Northern Miner’s 1986 “Mining Man of the Year” Patrick C. MacCulloch – by Nicholas Tintor

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

Walking through the Toronto offices of Selco, the minerals division o f BP Canada Inc., one gets a nagging suspicion that many eyes are following you. On closer examination, one’s suspicions are proved correct for most of the offices are walled in glass. The glass is a physical manifestation of a management philosophy based on open communication — and no secrets. A philosophy espoused by Patrick C. MacCulloch, vice-president of mining and minerals at BP and head of Selco.

It’s also no secret that under his leadership, Selco has quietly made capital project commitments during the last two years exceeding $250 million — project commitments which will propel Selco into the realm of a major precious and base metals producer during the next decade.

For this reason, the publisher and editorial staff of The Northern Miner have chosen Patrick C. MacCulloch as The Northern Miner’s Mining Man of the Year for 1986.

During the present period of depressed base metal prices, Selco emba rked in 1985 on a $125-million expansion program at its Selbaie copper-zinc mine 60 km northwest of Joutel, Que. It was an expansion which raised the collective eyebrows of the Canadian mining community. In fact, The Northern Miner Magazine questioned in May “At first you have to wonder if it isn’t all a big mistake. A base metals mine at today’s prices?”

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The Northern Miner’s 1988 “Mining Man of the Year” John Hansuld – by Peter Kennedy

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

In an industry where the brightest geologists often go unrewarded with even one major discovery, the development of a gold mine is considered an achievement not to be taken lightly. So when a junior resource company like Canamax Resources (TSE) succeeds in bringing four new gold mines into production within two years, observers could be forgiven for thinking that it has found a way to circumvent the usual obstacles which stand in the way of ambitious exploration companies.

John Hansuld would probably laugh at the suggestion that he has an “in” with Lady Luck. The 57-year-old Canamax President and Chief Executive Officer has spent too many years in the business to credit his overnight success to mere luck.

While he is undoubtedly the driving force behind Canamax, there are other reasons why The Northern Miner has named John Hansuld as Mining Man of the Year for 1988. He has made a significant contribution to the industry as an active director of the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada and the Mining Association of Canada. Hansuld was also instrumental in helping to establish the flow- through financing mechanism that carried the industry through some lean years.

In 1987, Hansuld said Canamax would open a mine a year for the next five years. So far, he’s been right on target despite a variety of setbacks which include taking an $8 million write down at the troubled Ketza River mine. Canamax’s 50% interest in Ketza River is being sold to Belmoral Mines for $5.5 million.

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The Northern Miner’s 1989 “Mining Man of the Year” James Gill (Louvicourt Gold Deposit) – by Peter Kennedy

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

As a rookie scuba diver and recent explorer of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, James Gill, 40, is already dreaming of looking for hidden treasures in shipwrecks deep beneath the Caribbean.

But even if the president of Aur Resources (TSE) fulfills that ambition, it is unlikely he will find anything to rival the gem of a massive sulphide deposit his company uncovered on a group of waterlogged mining claims east of Val d’Or, Que., earlier this year.

The Louvicourt Twp. discovery is already regarded as the largest of its kind since the Texas Gulf find near Timmins, Ont., in 1964 and its impact will probably be felt well into the 21st century. 0000,1000 It has made Gill a household name in mining circles and The Northern Miner’s choice as Mining Man of the Year.

The significance of the Louvicourt Twp. discovery on claims owned by Aur and Societe Miniere Louvem (TSE) was immediately indicated by the trading activity that followed its announcement and the decision by three of North America’s biggest resource companies to invest in the Val d’Or partners. Teck Corp. (TSE) and Cominco Ltd. (TSE) now have 21% of Aur. Noranda Inc. (TSE), with an option to take control, has a 14% stake in Louvem.

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The Northern Miner’s 1990 “Mining Man of the Year” Chet Idziszek and Murray Pezim (Eskay Creek) – by Vivian Danielson

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

A dozen different companies optioned and explored the Eskay Creek property north of Stewart, B.C., over the past half century before its real potential began to emerge in the fall of 1988. That’s when Murray Pezim, 70, Canada’s best known mining promoter, backed a recommendation by Chet Idziszek, 43, and his team of geologists to drill the Eskay Creek project brought to Pezim for financing by a little known junior called Calpine Resources.

Today Eskay Creek is recognized as being among the most significant of discoveries made in Canada since the Hemlo gold deposits were found in Ontario in the early 1980s. The two projects have some interesting parallels, not the least of which is the fact that Murray Pezim played a significant role in advancing each of these geologically unique and truly world-class discoveries.

The Eskay Creek discovery also focused attention on the under-explored and often underestimated mineral potential of northwestern British Columbia. And it underscored the important but often thankless role played by the Vancouver Stock Exchange in providing funds for juniors to carry out high-risk exploration.

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The Northern Miner’s 1991 “Mining Man of the Year” Margaret (Peggy) Witte – by Vivian Danielson

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

When Margaret (Peggy) Witte launched her initiative to acquire and revitalize the Pamour group companies in late 1990, it was perceived in some circles as being overly ambitious if not foolhardy.

Gold prices were weak, and skeptics pointed out that she was acquiring aging, labor-intensive gold mines with production costs near US$400 per oz. And the investment community had little interest in the money-losing Giant and Pamour mines or in the complex structure of the various companies. But Witte surprised critics by completing the $35-million acquisition during a period of weak financial markets. By the summer of 1991, she managed to merge the companies into a new entity, Royal Oak Mines (TSE), which produces 200,000 oz. gold annually from operations in Yellowknife, N.W.T., and Timmins, Ont. More importantly, the restructured company is now profitable, debt-free, positioned for growth, and attracting investor interest. For this remarkable turnaround and for other accomplishments, The Northern Miner has named Witte, 38, its “Mining Man of the Year” for 1991. She is the first woman to receive the award.

Those who know Witte attribute her success to qualities that know no gender; intelligence, determination, hard work, and the ability to lead and inspire. She is charismatic without being flamboyant, and her dynamism is tempered by a practical, down-to-earth attitude that inspires confidence. She is backed by a solid team of mining professionals, including long-time business partner Ross Burns, Royal Oak’s vice-president of exploration.

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The Northern Miner’s 1992 “Mining Man of the Year” Charles Fipke – by Vivian Danielson

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

Some of Canada’s biggest and best mineral discoveries began as little more than faint hope in the hearts of a few determined prospectors and geologists. The recent diamond discovery in the Lac de Gras region of the Northwest Territories adds yet another tale of remarkable perseverance in the face of incredible odds.

The Lac de Gras area swept to international prominence in 1992, the result of a diamond discovery in late 1991 on claims held in this sub-Arctic region by Dia Met Minerals (TSE) and BHP Minerals Canada.

Geologist Charles Fipke, founder of Dia Met, is credited with the original discovery of the Point Lake kimberlite pipe where diamonds, including those of gem quality, were returned from subsequent drilling and a bulk-sampling program. The staking rush that ensued, one of the largest in Canadian mining history, continues today.

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The Northern Miner’s 1993 “Mining Man of the Year” Barrick’s Munk and Robert Smith – by Olav Svela

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

In 1983, a small oil exploration company bought a piece of an Alaskan placer mine and a half interest in the Renabie gold mine in northern Ontario. Gold production totaled a mere 3,000 oz. that year; revenue came in at roughly $1.7 million.

Ten years later, the ex-oil company, now a pure gold producer by the name of American Barrick, will crank out 1.6 million oz. and revenue in the neighborhood of US$675 million. By 1995, it should be producing 2 million oz., making it perhaps the largest producer in North America. In terms of market capitalization, American Barrick is Canada’s third-largest company, behind BCE and Seagram.

Barrick is by far the gold mining story of the past decade. This past year, it became abundantly clear its properties, already boasting reserves of 27 million oz. gold, are to rise considerably.

In recognition of the achievements of Barrick, The Northern Miner’s annual Mining Man of the Year award has two recipients in 1993 — Peter Munk, chairman and chief executive officer, and Robert Smith, president and chief operating officer.

“It is a distinct honor to be a recipient of this award,” Munk said. “But Robert Smith really deserves 100% of this, because Bob is the driving force behind American Barrick as an outstanding mining company. He recruited our team.”

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The Northern Miner’s 1997 “Mining Man of the Year” Pierre Lassonde and Seymour Schulich

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

They call themselves “miners in Gucci loafers,” — a suitable moniker for Pierre Lassonde and Seymour Schulich, considering that they make up one of Bay Street’s most financially successful gold mining partnerships. Now they have a new name: The Northern Miner has decided to name the longtime partners its 1997 “Mining Men of the Year,” in recognition of their exemplary performance and solid track record.

The two Toronto-based companies Lassonde and Schulich founded more than a decade ago to acquire gold royalties — Franco-Nevada Mining (FN-T) and Euro-Nevada Mining (EN-T)– have carved a highly profitable industry niche, producing impressive returns for shareholders. But the partners also earned their place in the rough-and-tumble mining world by meeting the challenges associated with finding and developing a new mine.

Earlier this year, Franco and Euro began construction of the Ken Synder mine in Nevada, an operation that promises to be one of the lowest-cost gold producers in the world. At the same time, the companies are keeping their hand in the exploration game by funding work in several of Canada’s foremost gold camps.

Throughout their careers, Lassonde and Schulich have demonstrated a commitment to their industry, and to society, by contributing time, energy and financial resources to many worthwhile causes.

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The Northern Miner’s 1999 “Mining Man of the Year” David Lowell and Catherine McLeod-Seltzer – by Vivian Danielson

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

Duo’s Pierina discovery epitomizes new generation of low-cost mines

At first glance, it seems an unlikely partnership. Yet the weathered, laconic geologist with several major discoveries under his belt and the down-to-earth, female stockbroker with a keen eye for opportunity collaborated to form a junior company, Arequipa Resources, that made one of the most important gold discoveries in South America this past decade.

Their Pierina discovery is now a highly profitable producer, epitomizing the new generation of low-cost gold mines able to make the grade in one of the bleakest gold markets of recent times. Officially opened on April 26, 1999, by owner Barrick Gold (ABX-T), it is now producing gold at a cash cost below US$50 per oz.

David Lowell and Catherine McLeod-Seltzer met in Santiago, Chile, in the early 1990s. She was a struggling stockbroker with Yorkton Securities, but one who knew the mining industry better than most of her peers. Her father, Don McLeod, was already a legend in Vancouver mining circles, known for his gregarious personality and gung-ho attitude toward finding, developing and operating mines. Following in footsteps that big wouldn’t be easy.

Lowell, meanwhile, was a geological legend, best known for his academic and industry expertise in porphyry copper deposits and a growing roster of major discoveries. The holder of a master’s degree in geology from Stanford University and a mining engineering degree from the University of Arizona, he has participated in more than 13 major feasibility studies and managed exploration programs all over the world. His biggest success was in Chile, where he co-discovered the huge Escondida copper deposit, now one of the nation’s largest and richest mines.

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The Northern Miner’s 2000 “Mining Man of the Year” Keith Minty – by Vivian Danielson

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

Price spike and exploration success aid turnaround at Lac des Iles

Few mines have endured a rockier road to production than Lac des Iles, Canada’s only primary platinum group metals (PGMs) mine. It is no understatement to say that many viewed its construction as the epitome of industry folly. It is no secret that many thought the maverick mine would never meet expectations. And given the track record since operations began, in the fall of 1994, it is no surprise that, until recently, skeptics mostly had it right.

Lac des Iles had more problems and produced more red ink than most mines, but it also had unrealized potential, and believers who saw the opportunity to prove the skeptics wrong. One of them was Keith Minty, president of North American Palladium (PDL-T), who launched a major exploration effort aimed at expanding the operation, situated near Thunder Bay, Ont. Corporate house-cleaning also took place under his guidance, which better-positioned the company to take advantage of the recent spike in PGM prices. Another major priority was a technical review aimed at improving mining and processing operations.

Lac des Iles is now firmly out of red and into the black, but that is only one of several reasons why The Northern Miner has chosen Keith Minty as its “Mining Man of the Year” for 2000. If mines are made rather than found, he deserves credit for helping Lac des Iles take its rightful place in Canadian mining history.

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The Northern Miner’s 2001 “Mining Man of the Year” Grenville Thomas – by James Whyte

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

Perseverance may not always find its reward, but for a mining man and explorationist that knows the North, the development of the Diavik diamond mine in the Northwest Territories is a rich reward for persevering for 30-odd years in the Arctic.

Grenville Thomas, our Mining Man of the Year, was the original driving force behind the Diavik project, now under development by Diavik Diamond Mines, a subsidiary of Rio Tinto (RTP-N), and Aber Diamond (ABZ-T), the company Thomas founded. As an explorationist, entrepreneur, and a well-liked and well-respected mining man, Thomas is seeing a long career culminate in one of the biggest successes in recent Canadian mining history.

Welsh-born Thomas came to Canada in 1964 as a young mining engineer and worked for Falconbridge, first at its Sudbury operations and later at the Giant gold mine in Yellowknife. Setting up shop as a consultant, he became a specialist in mineral projects in the Northwest Territories and ultimately assembled a stable of his own properties.

Thomas incorporated Highwood Mines (later Highwood Resources) in 1975, and by 1979 it was a publicly traded junior, with three of Thomas’s Territories prospects — the Thor Lake rare-metals deposit, the Thye Lake copper-nickel deposit, and the Victory Lake massive sulphide property — as its principal assets.

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The Northern Miner’s 2002 “Mining Man of the Year” Goldcorp’s Robert McEwen – by James Whyte

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

The Northern Miner’s Man of the Year in 2002, Rob McEwen of Goldcorp (G-T), has probably squeezed more shareholder value out of a small number of assets than anyone else in the gold business.

McEwen, as chairman and chief executive officer of the mid-tier gold producer, has built one of the strongest contenders in that field with an aggressive attitude coupled with an uncommon gift for timing. As a company, Goldcorp has used the resurgence of the gold market as a springboard to top-level status among comparable-sized North American gold producers.

McEwen’s association with the mining industry, and more particularly its financial-markets side, runs deep. His father, Donald, was a financial analyst and investment manager who started his own firm, McEwen Securities, in 1967, after a long association with Equitable Securities and before that, Crown Life. One of the firm’s first in-house offerings was Goldfund, an investment fund that held gold, gold equities, and gold-backed securities. The fund did much to make gold investment available to the individual investor.

The younger McEwen took over leadership of the companies his father had founded, with the keystone company, CSA Management, as the principal holder of control blocks in other companies, including the nascent Goldcorp Investments. Interestingly, today’s firm non-hedger put Goldcorp into the gold-lending business in 1987, at the peak of the flow-through era when gold mines were going into production at a fast pace.

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