TORONTO — The Canadian Mining Hall of Fame will welcome five individuals who have made lasting contributions to Canada’s mining industry, including two who were foundational in the success of Barrick Gold Corp.
Brian Meikle, Sandy Laird, Kate Carmack, James Franklin and James Gill will be inducted into the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame in January 2019.
For the past 31 years, the CMHF has recognized outstanding achievement in the mining industry, celebrated individual leadership and inspired future generations in mining. Canadian mining leaders set the standard for the global industry and these individuals reflect the very best of mining excellence, determination and skill.
“The Canadian Mining Hall of Fame is proud to recognize these five outstanding individuals for their lasting contributions to the mining industry, both here in Canada and across the globe,” said Jon Baird, Canadian Mining Hall of Fame Chair. “Whether it was through historic discovery, ground-breaking research or delivering significant value to shareholders, each of these individuals made a profound impact on Canada’s mining industry and helped to shape it into the global leader it is today.”
Each of these individuals will be honored at the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame’s 31st Annual Dinner and Induction Ceremony on Thursday, Jan. 10 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. This premier event is a celebration of Canada’s global mining leadership and the individual achievement that has fueled it.
The greatest discoveries are transformative, and Brian Meikle is one of only a few modern-era geologists who achieved this pinnacle of success. In the 1960s, he contributed to the discovery and development of the Camflo gold mine in Quebec, and later was part of a talented team that made it a cornerstone of growth for Barrick Gold. In the early 1980s, he recognized the potential of the Mercur gold mine in Utah, which became a key link in the evolution of Barrick. Meikle’s crowning achievement was the 1986 Goldstrike discovery in Nevada, which grew to 60 million ounce of gold reserves and resources in several deposits. Goldstrike propelled Barrick into the world’s largest gold miner and generated immense wealth that has flowed back to benefit Canadian companies, shareholders and communities, including significant sums invested in Canadian hospitals, universities and other institutions that benefit Canadian society. Meikle passed away in 2016.
During his 39-year career with Placer Dome and Placer Development, Sandy Laird was directly involved in transforming at least 15 mineral projects into profitable mines. He was a driving force in the company’s project development group, which he headed from 1988 to 1995, and was later responsible for Placer Dome’s global operating and development subsidiaries. Many of the mines were large, technically complex, and in challenging jurisdictions. Laird earned a reputation for overcoming obstacles and delivering projects to high technical, social and environmental standards. He was a team-builder and a key participant in the growth of Placer into one of the world’s great mining companies before it was acquired by Barrick Gold in 2006.
The Canadian Mining Hall of Fame inducted the Klondike Discoverers as a group in 1999. These men — George Carmack, Robert Henderson, Skookum Jim Mason and Dawson Charlie — have historically been credited with the discovery that set off one of the world’s greatest gold rushes. The Klondike Gold Rush established Yukon and opened up the North, as well as Canadians’ eyes to its possibilities. New information has since revealed that Kate Carmack also played an integral role in making this discovery. As an Indigenous woman, Carmack’s traditional knowledge and skills allowed her and George Carmack, along with Skookum Jim Mason and Dawson Charlie, to live off the land in the Forty-Mile and Stewart River areas during their years of prospecting. Specifically, Carmack’s ability to sew and market her mukluks and mittens to fellow prospectors provided the means to support their work. Clouded in hearsay and sensational reporting at the time, most historians agree that it is not clear who made the actual discovery. Oral histories shared among local Indigenous communities suggest that Carmack herself found the first nugget of gold.
James M. Franklin
A distinguished geoscientist, James Franklin spent much of his career with the Geological Survey of Canada documenting the complex evolution of the Canadian Shield and the link to its phenomenal mineral wealth. During his more than 35 year career, his most outstanding contributions relate to volcanogenic massive sulphides, for which his geological understanding has been communicated throughout the industry and resulted in exploration successes. During his time as director of GSC’S Seafloor Minerals Program, they discovered modern massive-sulphide deposits on the mid-ocean ridges off the west coast of Canada. While GSC’s Chief Scientist from 1993 to 1997, he established the popular “Bacon and Eggheads” forum in Ottawa to inform and educate Canadian government on the importance of science to the country’s economy. Franklin is well known and respected as a supporter of various industry associations and causes, as well as a mentor of young geoscientists.
James W. Gill
James W. Gill secured a place in mining history through the exceptional success and staying power of Aur Resources, which he launched in 1981 with $250,000 of seed capital and a large land package in Quebec’s Val d’Or mining camp. Aur caught the attention of the entire industry in 1989 when it made the breakthrough Louvicourt copper-zinc discovery, which was at the time, the largest base metals discovery in Canada since Kidd Creek. Gill’s technical prowess and entrepreneurial savvy led to the eventual development of Louvicourt into one of Canada’s premier copper-zinc mines. Gill continued to acquire and develop mines in Canada and around the world until 2007, when he negotiated a $4.1 billion buyout of Aur by Teck Resources. Mining is part of Gill’s DNA, following the footsteps of his grandfather who was inducted into the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame in 2003.
Founded in 1988 by the Northern Miner, the Mining Association of Canada, the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada and the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum, the CMHF recognizes outstanding achievement in the mining industry, celebrates individual leadership and inspires future generations in mining. Members are selected through a fair, inclusive and accessible process driven by the CMHF Board of Directors and its member associations.