The Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) represents the interests of the Canadian mineral exploration and development industry. The association was established in 1932 in response to a proposed government regulation that threatened the livelihood of Ontario prospectors. The William (Bill) W. Dennis Prospector of the Year Award is presented to individuals or groups who have made a significant mineral discovery, offered noteworthy contributions to the PDAC, or have been involved in some important service or technological invention or innovation that helped improve the Canadian prospecting and exploration industry.
Originally looking for diamonds, in 1993, Albert Chislett and Chris Verbiski instead, discovered one of the world’s major nickel sulphide deposits near Nain, Labrador. The deposit was eventually bought by Inco Limited and most experts confirm the deposit will be a major source of nickel and regional prosperity for generations to come.
Mr. Chislett was born in Islington, Trinity Bay, Newfoundland in 1949. After studying business administration at Ryerson Polytechnical Institute in Toronto, and working in the accounting department at Swift Premium in Ontario for five years, he established a successful construction company in St. John’s and operated it for 15 years.
His interest in geology and mineral exploration began in the late 1980s, stemming in part from his love of the outdoors. In 1988 he started operating an independent mineral exploration company and began prospecting full time. He was soon one of the most active prospectors in the province, and was the first to receive a provincial Prospector’s Assistance Program grant.