The 20th annual gala dinner for the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame took place on January 17 at the Royal York Hotel in Toronto, and over 700 people joined together to celebrate the achievements of the five outstanding inductees.
Master of Ceremonies Pierre Lassonde, chairman, Newmont Mining Corporation, led the night with humour as great moments in Canadian minerals history were remembered.
The five inductees were:
Carroll O. Brawner, co-founder of Golder Brawner and Associates (today Golder Associates), is world-renowned for his contributions to open-pit mining and geotechnical engineering. During his years as a consultant, he provided technical guidance on the design and construction of many of the world’s largest surface mines. Having earned a reputation as the best person to solve and prevent geotechnical problems, Brawner became an authority on the design, construction and maintenance of stable tailings dams. Since becoming a professor of mining engineering at the University of British Columbia in 1978, he has continued to work as a specialist consultant and a member of international review boards and panels.
Johannes J. Brummer was one of Canada’s most accomplished exploration geologists. Throughout a career that began in Africa’s Copperbelt and spanned five decades in Canada, he continually pioneered the development of innovative exploration techniques, contributing to the discovery of at least 10 mines on two continents. Working with Falconbridge Nickel Mines in the 1960s, he helped find three new deposits in the Manitoba nickel belt. In the 1970s, as exploration manager for Canadian Occidental, he was instrumental in discovering the uranium potential in Saskatchewan, including the discovery of the two McClean Lake uranium deposits and the JEB deposit. Finally, in the 1980s, his discovery of kimberlites in the Kirkland Lake area established him as one of the pioneers of Canadian diamond exploration.
Ernest Craig was the first general manager of Falconbridge Nickel Mines, building a mine and a townsite in the late 1920s that became the foundation of today’s Xstrata Nickel. Through his leadership and management, Craig helped transform a remote Ontario countryside into a world-class mining and metallurgical complex, including building the town and servicing it with a hospital and school. His accomplishments didn’t stop there. With his brother Robert, he helped design the Craig bit, a detachable drill bit that tripled drilling productivity. After his retirement, he consulted for Ventures Limited, saw merit in a nepheline syenite deposit in the Peterborough area, and was appointed president and general manager of American Nepheline (now Indusmin Ltd.).
Chester F. Millar kicked off an illustrious career in the mid-1960s by discovering a copper-gold deposit that became the Afton mine near Kamloops. In the early 1970s, he headed to the western United States, where he pioneered the use of heap leaching to process low-grade gold ores and demonstrated the method at several open-pit mines. One of the mining industry’s most successful company builders, he helped transform Glamis Gold and Eldorado Gold from junior exploration companies into substantial gold producers. He contributed to the early growth of Alamos Gold and Castle Gold, and provided guidance to many other junior companies.
David A. Thompson contributed to the spectacular growth and prudent financial management of what was to become Teck Cominco Ltd. As vice president of finance for Teck Corporation in the late 1980s, he helped structure the transaction in which Teck joined forces with foreign partners to buy 31 per cent of Cominco Ltd. Fifteen years later, in 2001, the two companies merged to become a world leader in the production of zinc and metallurgical coal and a major producer of copper, gold and specialty metals. Regarded as one of the shrewdest strategic thinkers in the Canadian mining industry, Thompson structured deals throughout the 1990s that allowed Teck to expand its metallurgical coal interests, leading to the consolidation of the company’s coal assets and those of Fording and Luscar into the Elk Valley Coal Partnership. As CEO of Cominco in the late 1990s, he helped transform it into a world leader of zinc production.
CIM is a proud sponsor of the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame, supporting the recognition of the keen individuals who have shaped today’s industry.