Mining Safety Leadership Medal

For exceptional contribution towards improving mining health and safety results within the mining industry in Canada

Origins & Conditions


Sponsored by the CIM Council and awarded for the first time in 2018, the Mining Safety Leadership Medal recognizes the exceptional contribution by an individual or organization towards improving mining health and safety results within the mining industry in Canada through innovative means. To encourage new entrants to this arena, and thereby expand the number of contributors to mining safety and health, preference shall be given to those candidates who have not previously been recognized or received awards related to this area, especially within CIM.

For clarity, within the concept of this award, the following definition of mining safety and health is used:

Safety is measured in results such as injuries and fatalities.

Health is measured in recognized chronic or traumatic illness resulting from workplace conditions. It includes mental illness and leading and lagging indicators.

  1. The Mining Safety Leadership Award is bestowed for exceptional contribution towards improving health and safety within the mining industry, recognizing either an innovative initiative and/or achievement, or consistent achievements, over an extended period (at least three years).
  2. The award shall be presented annually and preference shall be given to an individual or organization who/that has not previously been recognized or received awards related to this area, especially within CIM.
  3. Nominations for the award shall be accompanied by signatures from at least ten (10) CIM national members.
  4. Each nomination is to be accompanied by a statement (no more than 500 words) clearly outlining the achievements and qualifications of the nominee.
  5. Adjudication of the award shall be undertaken by the Awards Committee of the CIM Safety Committee. This committee will consist of up to seven (7) members including:

    (a) Award champion: the CIM Safety Committee chair and/or designated committee member representative. This person will manage the receipt and review of nominations, help identify judges, etc.

    (b) Past recipient of the award

    (c) Members from at least three (3) societies (chair or designate)

  6. The Committee shall designate a recipient from among the nominees for presentation to CIM Council, no later than the last Council meeting held prior to the annual CIM Convention.
  7. The award shall be presented at the CIM Convention.
  8.  All nominations properly presented shall remain in good standing for a period of three (3) years unless formally withdrawn as indicated by the signatures of a majority of members responsible for the nomination.
  9.  Nominees must be CIM National Members.



Charles Levac

Charles Levac graduated in 1988 with a degree in metallurgical engineering from the École Polytechnique of Montreal. He has spent his entire career in the mining industry and has accumulated more than 30 years in several positions with Noranda, Falconbridge, Xstrata and Glencore. He has occupied different management roles from operation, maintenance, human resources, and finally HSE in copper, lead and nickel extraction to metal transformation. His focus has always been safe and sustainable operations while working at the Horne Smelter, the Brunswick Smelter and Raglan Mine. He is currently in an international Safety Leadership role supporting Glencore’s Koniambo Nickel SAS in New Caledonia. 

Levac participated in the joint Quebec Health and Safety Mining Association (APSM) from 2015 to 2019 and was co-chair the last three years. He always strives to improve safety standards and support his surrounding community to adopt safe behaviors and best practices. He is a strong believer in managerial courage to drive continuous improvement in health and safety performance.


Gordon Winkel

Retired as vice president from Syncrude Canada Ltd., Gordon Winkel joined the University of Alberta in 2010 and has supported the establishment of the David and Joan Lynch School of Engineering Safety and Risk Management. His work to improve safety and technology in the mining industry led to three Distinguished Lecturer Awards from CIM in 2002, 2008 and 2013.

Winkel chairs the J.T. Ryan Safety Committee for CIM. He adjudicates the Hatch-CIM Mining and Minerals Project Development Safety Award and is a member of the CIM Executive Safety Strategy Committee. He is also an executive advisor on the Alberta Mining Safety Association Board.

Winkel is a member on safety boards and committees across many industries, and works to provide support in risk management and organization effectiveness across North America.

Distinguished Lecturer 2008-2009

Lecture Abstract


The Innovation Imperative

The mining industry supplies the means for advancing our society’s capability while being challenged to provide results efficiently and responsibly and in a sustainable manner. The role of innovation in operating practice and technology development as a mechanism for generating improvements is imperative to the success of the mining industry delivering on these expectations for performance.

The presentation explores the different forms that innovation can take and the enabling factors that support organizations in achieving breakthrough improvements driven by both creative and technologically advanced solutions. The work of managing innovation to differentiate overall industry effectiveness and competitive advantage is examined. Leadership in innovation is also profiled with the development of initiatives that have the ability to coordinate research improvements across the industry to the benefit of all mining operations.