The PDAC Prospector of the Year Award

The Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) represents the interests of the Canadian mineral exploration and development industry. The association was established in 1932 in response to a proposed government regulation that threatened the livelihood of Ontario prospectors.

Today, 76 years after its founding, the association is a national organization with 6,000 individual members (including prospectors, developers, geoscientists, consultants, mining executives, and students, as well as those involved in the drilling, financial, investment, legal and other support fields) and 950 corporate members (including senior, mid-size and junior mining companies and organizations providing services to the mineral industry).

The Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada did not give out awards for most of its first 50 years of existence. That was to change, during the presidency of Ed Thompson (1977-78). Mr. Thompson got the idea of setting up the PDAC’s awards, when he attended the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum awards ceremony, in 1977.

“It’s important to acknowledge the special contributions of people and nobody was really honoring prospectors or people who were developing mines,” he said.

The first award was the Bill Dennis Prospector of the Year Award. Other awards have been added over the years including the Viola R. MacMillan Developer’s Award, the Distinguished Service Award, The E3 Environmental Award, the Special Achievement Award and more recently the Mary-Claire Ward GeoScience Award, Thayer Lindsley International Discovery Award.

Over the next few months, I will be posting profiles of the many winners over the past quarter century in random order. The first posting will be about the three individuals who discovered the enormously rich Hemlo gold deposit in northern Ontario.

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