The Northwest Territories and Nunavut Chamber of Mines paid tribute to leaders in mining and exploration at the inaugural Mining and Exploration (MAX) Awards last week.
The ceremony recognized people and companies who demonstrated responsible resource development, created jobs, trained northerners and championed Indigenous participation in mining.
The Thursday night event coincided with the with the chamber’s 50th anniversary, and took place during the 45th Annual Geoscience Forum.
Tom Hoefer, executive director of the chamber, said it was a “wonderful evening.”
He said the plan is to make the MAX Awards an annual event with.
More than 200 people attended the $135-a plate event at the Explorer Hotel. Winners were given a framed certificate.
Hilary Jones, general manager of the Mine Training Society, won a special achievement award.
Her organization works with Indigenous governments and other governments to train Northerners in mineral processing, and surface and underground mining.
She said it felt great to be recognized by her peers in the industry.
Hoefer said that since its start in 2004, the training society has “done a really exemplary job in the country for creating success.”
Award recipients were chosen by the chamber of mines and the government of Northwest Territories.
“Awards for Environmental and Social Responsibility, Indigenous Service, and Economic Leadership, and the many worthy candidates associated with them, confirm that the benefits and social conscience of our territory’s mineral development industry extends well beyond extracting rocks from the ground,” stated Industry, Tourism and Investment minister Wally Schumann on Monday.
“I would offer my congratulations to all of the winners on their awards, and more broadly their contributions to our territory’s economic prosperity, and overall well-being.”
The keynote speech was delivered by Patrick Evans, Dominion Diamond Corporation’s new CEO.
Evans “spoke very positively about the future of Ekati,” said Hoefer.
Stewart Muir, the executive director of Resource Works, an organization that promotes the mining industry in British Columbia, also spoke.
This year’s MAX Awards winners:
- Distinguished Service – Aurora Geosciences
- Economic Leadership – Ekati Diamond Mine and Diavik Diamond Mine
- Environmental & Social Responsibility – Diavik Diamond Mine and TerraX Minerals
- Indigenous Achievement Awards – Joe Rabesca and Darrell Beaulieu
- Special Achievement Awards – Mine Training Society and Altaf Lakhani