Seven awards will be presented by the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada at this year's awards banquet. Awards recipients are selected by the association's board of directors. The awards ceremony will take place on Monday, March 3, at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel, Toronto.
The exploration team of Aurelian Resources Inc. will be presented with the Thayer Lindsley International Discovery Award. This award recognizes an individual or a team of explorationists credited with a recent significant mineral discovery anywhere in the world.
The Aurelian team is being recognized for its epithermal gold-silver discovery at the company's Condor property in south-eastern Ecuador and, more specifically, at the Fruta Del Norte project on the property. The deposit stands at 58.9 million tonnes grading 7.23 g/t gold and 11.8 g/t silver for 13.7 million ounces of contained gold and 22.4 million ounces of contained silver.
Aurelian co-founders Patrick Anderson and Keith Barron and exploration manager Steve Leary will accept the award on behalf of the other members of the team. They are Jaime Galarza; Jorge Lema; Federico Mera; Vinicio Pazmay; Alan San Martin; Carlos Santa Cruz; and Julio Soto.
Osisko Exploration Ltd. has been selected to receive the Bill Dennis Prospector of the Year Award. Named in memory of a past-president of the PDAC, the award recognizes Osisko's expansion of an existing gold resource on the Canadian Malartic property in Quebec's Abitibi gold camp and the company's ambitious moves towards production, planned for 2010. The inferred mineral resource for the property now stands at 8.43 million ounces of gold with a grade of 0.935 g/t.
Osisko is also being recognized for its careful consultation and planning with residents of the town of Malartic. Most people in the town support development of the mine and look forward to the economic benefits that will undoubtedly be theirs upon the mine's construction and operation.
Accepting the award on behalf of Osisko will be company president and CEO Sean Roosen and executive vice-president and COO Robert Wares.
Lundin Mining Corporation has been chosen to receive the association's Viola R. MacMillan Developer's Award. Commemorating the memory of the PDAC's longest serving president, this award is given to a person or company demonstrating leadership in management and financing for the exploration and development of mineral resources.
Lundin Mining has shown impressive and rapid growth into a mining and exploration company and today boasts extensive international holdings in zinc, copper, cobalt, lead, gold and silver. The company owns six operating mines in Portugal, Sweden, Ireland and Spain; has a market capitalization of over $7 billion; and employs about 1,500 people. Lundin Mining also has an extensive exploration portfolio that includes the world-class Tenke Fungurume project in the DRC and Ozernoe in Russia.
Accepting the award will be Lundin's chairman, Lukas H. Lundin.
Long-time director Maureen Jensen will be honoured with one of two Distinguished Service Awards being presented in 2008. Mrs. Jensen receives this award for her long and exemplary service to the PDAC and to the mineral industry in general. She has been a PDAC director for 18 years, during which time she has also served as a member of several committees, including the association's executive and lands and regulations committees. Mrs. Jensen chaired the CIM Toronto Branch and the TSE Committee on Best Practices and Reporting Guidelines for Mineral Exploration and is past president of the Association of Professional Geoscientists of Ontario. She was a member of the Mining Industry Standards Task Force, set up in the mid-1990s to improve reporting and public disclosure standards for exploration and mining companies in Canada.
Donald Mustard has been selected as a recipient of the Distinguished Service Award for his distinguished contributions to Canada's minerals industry and to this country's geoscience community. Notable among these have been his support of geoscientific research, his tireless work for industry associations, and for his mentoring of a cadre of professional geoscientists. Mr. Mustard served as president of the Canadian Geoscience Council in 1990, having been a member of the same council for several years. He was also president for three terms of the British Columbia and Yukon Chamber of Mines (now the Association for Mineral Exploration B.C.). An enthusiastic supporter of LITHOPROBE, Canada's national geoscience research project, Mr. Mustard was a member of the steering committee during the project's development phase and, subsequently, a member of the board of directors overseeing the project.
Fonds Restor-Action Nunavik (FRAN) is a Quebec-based initiative that is raising funds for the remediation and restoration of abandoned exploration sites in the Nunavik Region of the province. The program has been chosen for the e3 Environmental Excellence in Exploration Award, established by the PDAC to honour an individual or organization demonstrating outstanding initiative in the protection and preservation of the natural environment.
FRAN involves companies working in Quebec, the provincial government, and the Inuit community. While its principal goal is to clean up old exploration sites, the founders of the program see it as their mission to demonstrate that exploration companies today take their social and environmental responsibilities seriously. Hopes are that this initiative will serve as a model for other Canadian jurisdictions. Within six months of the program's creation in March 2007, over 30 companies had committed a total of more than $1.5 million, and clean-up work was already underway on 18 sites earmarked as top priority.
Accepting this award will be André Gaumond, president of Virginia Gold Mines Inc., who set up this program and is managing its progress.
Athabasca Basin Development Limited Partnership (ABDLP) will be presented with the inaugural Skookum Jim Award. This award has been established by the association to recognize and honour excellence and achievement by a Canadian aboriginal-run business that supports the Canadian mineral industry.
The name of the award commemorates one of Canada's earliest aboriginal prospectors. Skookum Jim was the leader of the group that made the discovery of the Yukon Klondike goldfields, a landmark discovery that laid the foundation for this country's great mining tradition.
The ABDLP was established in 2002 and is owned by seven communities in the Athabasca region of northern Saskatchewan. The population of the communities is over 90% first nation and aboriginal, the communities themselves spread out over a region with little or no road access and below average in many economic indicators. The partnership maximizes the hiring of aboriginal people, and its six divisions are set up to provide services principally to exploration and mining companies. These include security and janitorial; winter road maintenance; freight and transportation; camp construction; linecutting; and underground mining services.
Now into its sixth year of operation, the ABDLP employs over 600 people, and its consolidated revenues for the year ended March 31, 2007, had exceeded $50 million. Annual profit has increased 6200% since its founding, and the partnership declared its first distribution of 3% of total equity in 2007 (distributions go to the communities for investment).
Accepting the award on behalf of the Athabasca Basin Development Limited Partnership will be board chairman Glen Strong of the Northern Hamlet of Stony Rapids.
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