AME BC Announces 2014 Award Recipients

Leaders in Mineral Exploration and Mine Development to be Recognized at January 27 Gala

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Dec. 9, 2014) - The Association for Mineral Exploration British Columbia (AME BC) is pleased to announce the 2014 recipients of its annual awards presented to individuals or teams for significant contributions to the mineral exploration and development industry. The AME BC Awards Celebration of Excellence Gala will be held at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, January 27, 2015 during Mineral Exploration Roundup at the Vancouver Convention Centre West. Tickets are available through registration at

This year's recipients are as follows:

Peter Ogryzlo is the recipient of the H. H. "Spud" Huestis Award for excellence in prospecting and mineral exploration. He is recognized especially for his contributions to the discovery of two additional ore zones at the Huckleberry Copper Mine, 85 kilometres southwest of Houston in west-central British Columbia. These newly-defined resources have led to major open pit and plant expansions to extend the mine life - first from 2007 through 2012, and then from 2012 through 2021.

Bob Gallagher and Jim Currie are recipients of the E. A. Scholz Award for excellence in mine development. They are being acknowledged for their key roles in the early stages of resource and economic evaluation, mine design and construction of the New Afton copper-gold mine near Kamloops, BC. Their cooperative spirit and enthusiasm led to the successful development of the largest underground panel block caving operation in Canada.

David Elliott is the recipient of the Murray Pezim Award for perseverance and success in financing mineral exploration. He has made a significant contribution over his 40-plus year career by financing many mineral exploration companies, particularly at the early stages. Over his career, he has provided seed capital and follow-on financing for hundreds of mineral exploration and development companies, both public and private.

Jim Excell, Dan Johnson, Jeff Stibbard and Mike Rylatt are the recipients of the Hugo Dummett Diamond Award. They are acknowledged for their key roles in advancing the Ekati Diamond Mine in the Northwest Territories from concept to reality, on budget, without any major injuries and with an exemplary record of northern and community involvement. Ekati, which opened in October 1998, was Canada's first diamond producer.

Duane and Morgan Poliquin are the recipients of the Colin Spence Award for excellence in global mineral exploration. This father and son team is being recognized particularly for its roles in the recent discovery and advancement of the Ixtaca gold-silver deposit for Almaden Minerals Ltd. at its Tuligtic property in eastern Mexico. This is one of the most significant greenfield discoveries of recent times, following several years of diligent research and exploration efforts focused on an underexplored area.

The Aboriginal Mentoring & Training Association is recognized with the Robert R. Hedley Award for excellence in social and environmental responsibility. From 2009 through 2014, AMTA achieved its mission "to be the best team in Canada empowering First Nations to create economic health for themselves and their communities through skills training, education and career opportunities" as more than 1,000 of its candidates gained employment with more than 350 employers.

Geotech Drilling Services Ltd. is the recipient of the David Barr Award for leadership and innovation in mineral exploration health and safety. Geotech Drilling has emerged as a leader in developing and nurturing a safety culture within its crews that has been transferred from client to client. In 2013, Geotech Drilling recorded 308,848 hours without a lost workday incident and is also being awarded the Safe Day Everyday Gold Award by AME BC and the Prospectors & Developers Asssociation of Canada.

John Thompson and the late Bob Cathro are recipients of Special Tributes for their contributions to the Vancouver mineral exploration and mining community. John Thompson has been an energetic supporter of the exploration and mining community since arriving at Vancouver in 1991. He has advanced economic geology research, mentored students who are now active in the industry, supported volunteer professional activities at local, provincial, national and international levels, and has played pivotal roles in the creation of Geoscience BC and the Canada Mining Innovation Council. The late Bob Cathro (1935-2014) was a pioneering western Canadian mineral exploration geologist and industry leader through his co-founding of Archer, Cathro & Associates Ltd., contributions to geological publications and service to AME BC (formerly the BC & Yukon Chamber of Mines).

Dan Jepsen is the recipient of the Gold Pan Award for his service to the mineral exploration community through his work with the association as past Executive Director from 2002 to 2006 and President and CEO from 2006 to 2008. Bogart Cross is the recipient of the Frank Woodside Past Presidents' Award for his service to the industry through supporting the Vancouver Mining Exploration Group, AME BC, MineralsEd and other industry initiatives.

Finally, AME BC has awarded Outreach Education Funding to MineralsEd for coordinating Kids & Rocks hands-on classroom workshops for children and students in Kindergarten through Grade 3 in Vancouver area schools, and to the Britannia Mine Museum toward supporting education programs for 12,500 Kindergarten to Grade 12 students and for the development of new exhibits.

For more details about the awards, view the backgrounder at and visit

About AME BC:

AME BC is the lead association for the mineral exploration and development industry based in British Columbia. Established in 1912, AME BC represents, advocates, protects and promotes the interests of thousands of members who are engaged in mineral exploration and development in BC and throughout the world. AME BC encourages a safe, economically strong and environmentally responsible industry by providing clear initiatives, policies, events and tools to support its membership.

Contact Information:

For further information and to register as accredited media
for Roundup 2015, please contact: AME BC
Jonathan Buchanan
Director, Communications & Public Affairs