Robert Elver Mineral Economics Award


Robert Elver Mineral Economics Award

For the most significant contribution to the mineral economics field

Origins & Conditions


Born in Toronto in 1934, Robert Elver is celebrated as one of Canada’s foremost mineral economists. After graduating from the University of Toronto, Elver joined the Mineral Resources Division of the Department of Mines and Technical Surveys, where he would spend his entire career.

Elver was instrumental in bringing Canadian involvement to international metals committees, such as OECD and Economic Commission for Europe, especially in steel. He enhanced mineral development domestically as well, and was instrumental in reviewing mining public policy in the 1970s.

His death on July 16, 1979, following a brief illness, led to the creation of the Robert Elver Mineral Economics Award, which honours a CIM member who has made significant contributions to the field of mineral economics in Canada.

The Robert Elver Mineral Economics Award criteria and other information:

  1. The Robert Elver Mineral Economics Award is awarded for significant contribution in the mineral economics field in Canada.
  2. The award is to be presented from time to time as circumstances warrant.
  3. All nominations must be accompanied by a brief description of the meritorious contribution and its value to the mineral economics field in Canada.
  4. The CIM Chief Executive Officer shall refer all such nominations to the Awards Committee of the Mineral Economics Society, which includes the three immediate Past Chairmen of the Society.
  5. The Committee shall present its report and recommendations to CIM Council not later than the last Council meeting held prior to the next annual CIM Convention.
  6. No member of the Awards Committee shall be party to the nomination of any candidate.
  7. When reasonably possible, the recipient shall be expected to receive the Award in person at the annual CIM Convention following the announcement of the Award, or at such other place and time agreeable to CIM Council.


There is only one recipient of this award every year. This award is solely for individual nominations (no teams).



Fred Pletcher

Fred Pletcher is chair of the Mining Group and a partner at Borden Ladner Gervais LLP. He works out of BLG’s Vancouver office. He has over 30 years’ experience advising on a broad range of mining transactions and issues, both domestically and internationally. He is recognized as a leading mining lawyer by all major ranking publications, including Chambers, Best Lawyers, IFLR 1000, The Legal 500, Lexpert and Reuters. He has degrees from Columbia University (LL.M), University of Toronto (LL.B.) and Harvard University (A.B.) and was called to the British Columbia bar in 1993. He has served as an adjunct professor at the Allard School of Law at the University of British Columbia, a trustee of the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation; and a director of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. He is a frequent speaker and author on mining law issues.


Robert Elver

Robert Elver Mineral Economics Award (50th anniversary)

Dr. Robert Bruce Elver joined the federal Mineral Resources Division as a ferrous industry specialist not long after graduating in applied geology from the University of Toronto in 1957. He worked with the government until his untimely death in 1979. During that time, he was a representative at meetings of international bodies including the Steel Committee of the OECD and the Steel Committee of the Economic Commission for Europe. He became progressively more involved in Canadian regional economic development and pioneered work in mineral resource evaluation. In 1971 he became coordinator of the office of Mineral Policy Review at a time when an integrated federal-provincial approach to mineral resource development was clearly needed. Shortly afterwards, he was appointed director of the Mineral Economics Division of the Mineral Policy Sector of what had become Energy, Mines and Resources, Canada (now Natural Resources Canada). 

Dr. Elver participated in the activities of CIM, both in the Ottawa Branch and nationally. Importantly, in 1974, he sought the approval of CIM Council to form the Mineral Economics Committee (now the Management and Economics Society) and became its founding chairman.