VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Dec. 06, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Association for Mineral Exploration (“AME”) is pleased to announce its 2017 award recipients. AME will salute its leaders at the AME Awards Celebration of Excellence Gala on January 24 during the AME Roundup 2018 conference. Tickets are available through registration at

“It is an honour to congratulate the industry leaders who are receiving AME’s 2017 awards,” said Diane Nicolson, Chair of the AME Board of Directors.  “Each has made a significant contribution to our industry, setting the stage for its future success. The theme of AME’s 2018 Roundup conference is a New Generation of Discovery, and these individuals and teams, through their efforts in exploration, development and outreach are representative of that theme, having made or facilitated the discovery and creation of new mines which will bring benefits to communities throughout British Columbia and Canada. The Awards Gala at Roundup is an opportunity for us all to acknowledge and celebrate their accomplishments.”

This year’s award winners are:

Ron Burk, Ken Konkin and Ken McNaughton, recipients of the H. H. “Spud” Huestis Award for excellence in prospecting and mineral exploration in B.C. and/or Yukon. They are being honoured for their pivotal roles in discovering the Valley of the Kings (“VOK”) deposit at Pretium Resources Inc.’s Brucejack mine in northwest B.C.

Joseph Ovsenek, David Prins and Kevin Torpy, recipients of the E.A. Scholz Award for excellence in mine development in B.C. and/or Yukon. They are honoured for commitment and leadership in advancing the Brucejack mine to production.

Ron Netolitzky, recipient of the Murray Pezim Award for perseverance and success in financing mineral exploration in B.C. and/or Yukon. He is honoured for an illustrious career spanning five decades as a company builder and financier, and also as a geologist, prospector, consultant, entrepreneur, developer, advisor, mentor and outspoken advocate on behalf of independents and Canadian junior resource companies.

Patrick Evans, Jonathan Comerford and Carl Verley, presented with the Hugo Dummett award for excellence in diamond exploration and development. They are recognized for advancing Mountain Province Diamonds from a junior exploration company to a partner with De Beers Canada, co-launching the Gahcho Kué mine in the Northwest Territories.

Robert Sibthorpe, recipient of the Colin Spence Award for excellence in global mineral exploration, for his role in a mineral exploration program at Roxgold Inc.’s Yaramoko property in Burkina Faso that led to the discovery of high-grade gold-bearing quartz veins and commercial production by 2016.

Brent Murphy and Elizabeth Miller, recipients of the Robert R. Hedley Award for excellence in social and environmental responsibility for their significant contributions and advances in the realm of social and environmental responsibility related to Seabridge Gold Inc.’s KSM project in northwest B.C.

Janice Fingler, honoured with the David Barr Award for excellence in leadership and innovation in mineral exploration health and safety for her dedication in leading AME’s Environment, Health & Safety Committee as a strong voice for health and safety in the mineral exploration community.

Mona Forster and Royanna Wild, recognized with the Gold Pan Award for their exceptional meritorious service to the mineral exploration community through AME.

Maureen Lipkewich, Gary Nordin and Sheila Stenzel, honoured with the Frank Woodside Past Presidents and Past Chairs Award for their distinguished service to the association and/or contribution to the mineral industry.

The two recipients of AME’s Outreach Education Fund are Britannia Mine Museum for its education programs and MineralsEd for its Kids & Rocks classroom workshop.

A backgrounder follows.


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

For further information, please contact Jonathan Buchanan, Director, Corporate Affairs, AME, at 604.630.3923 or


AME ANNOUNCES 2017 Award Recipients

Leaders in Mineral Exploration and Mine Development to be Recognized at January 24 Gala

The Association for Mineral Exploration (AME) is pleased to announce its 2017 award recipients. AME will salute its leaders at the AME Awards Celebration of Excellence Gala on January 24 during the AME Roundup 2018 conference. Tickets are available through registration at


Ron Burk, Ken Konkin and Ken McNaughton are the recipients of the 2017 H. H. “Spud” Huestis Award for excellence in prospecting and mineral exploration in British Columbia and/or Yukon. They are being honoured for their pivotal roles in discovering the Valley of the Kings (VOK) deposit at the Brucejack mine in northwestern British Columbia. The Brucejack mine entered commercial production for Pretium Resources Inc. in July 2017 and is expected to produce more than seven million ounces of gold over the next 18 years.

Ron Burk completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Toronto and his master’s degree at Queen’s University before working for many years as an exploration geologist for Teck, focused on target generation and property evaluations in Canada, Mexico and South America. In 2004, he joined Silver Standard Resources Inc. as Chief Geologist. Ken Konkin, graduated from the University of British Columbia in 1984, and worked as a consulting geologist, including on numerous projects in the Golden Triangle, prior to joining Silver Standard in 1995. Ken was the project manager for all of the Snowfield and Brucejack surface exploration programs completed by Silver Standard and Pretium. Ken McNaughton is a geological engineer who completed his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of Windsor in 1981 and 1983, and began working at Silver Standard in 1991 as the Exploration Manager, ultimately becoming its Senior Vice-President, Exploration. He moved over to Pretium shortly after its listing as a public company where he is currently the Chief Exploration Officer. In their time together at Silver Standard from 2004 until 2011, the three recipients achieved great success making significant new discoveries in Argentina, Peru, Mexico and British Columbia. They formed an efficient team who had a common passion for exploration, but with each also bringing his own unique perspective and talents to the table.

Silver Standard’s exploration activities on the property began at the Snowfield project in 2006. For the first three seasons, the company drilled off a large low-grade resource of copper-gold porphyry mineralization. In 2008, a review was started covering the Brucejack portion of the property which was known to host a small silver/gold resource at West Zone and a number of precious metal showings. The compilation of the historic database was completed in 2009 and contained a large number of high-grade gold samples spread over the length of the property. This study included the documentation of about 16,000 surface samples and a limited amount of historic drilling outside of West Zone. Remarkably there were over 100 chip samples with assays exceeding one ounce per ton gold, only one of which was directly associated with what would become VOK.

In the summer of 2009, an initial drill program was completed to test for bulk tonnage gold mineralization drilling several zones located over the length of the property with holes spaced at 100- and 200-metre centres. That program intersected extreme grade gold values almost immediately, including hole SU-012 which ran 16,948.5 grams per tonne gold over 1.5 meters, and would later become known as the discovery hole for VOK. However, the discovery came not in any single drill hole, but in the early recognition of the potential of the high-grade mineralization being intersected by the widely spaced drilling. Extreme grade gold intervals became an instant hallmark of the deposit. Understanding how they related to the system would take several more years of intense study to achieve.

That first program totalled 37 drill holes and was followed up in 2010 with a 73-hole program that was designed in part to test the continuity of the mineralization at VOK. In late 2010, Pretium was formed to acquire and advance the Brucejack project. Ken McNaughton and Ken Konkin moved over to Pretium in January 2011. Over the next few years, Pretium would complete almost 600 more surface drill holes and 800 underground drill holes, numerous academic studies, and a bulk sample program to define the existing resource and reserves. Amazingly, fewer than eight years elapsed from the recognition of the deposit in 2009 until the first gold was poured in June 2017. For their roles in discovering the VOK deposit, Ron Burk, Ken Konkin and Ken McNaughton are worthy recipients of the H. H. “Spud” Huestis Award for 2017.


Joseph Ovsenek, David Prins and Kevin Torpy are the recipients of the 2017 E.A. Scholz Award. This award is given to those who have made a significant contribution towards the development of a mining operation in British Columbia and/or Yukon.

The Brucejack mine is a 2,700 tonne-per-day high-grade underground gold mine located in northwestern British Columbia, approximately 65 kilometers north of Stewart. With life-of-mine gold grade of 14.1 g/t, a total gold reserve of 8.7 million ounces, a discounted (5%) post-tax net present Value of US$1.53 billion and a projected all-in sustaining cash cost of US$446 per ounce gold, Brucejack is truly one of the top Canadian mining development success stories of the past decade.            

The Brucejack area had been a focus for exploration by various operators since the 1960s, with extensive drilling and underground development completed at the property’s West Zone, near the area of the current mine. Following intersections of bonanza grade gold mineralization from step-out drilling in 2009 and 2010, Pretium was formed to acquire and advance the project in late 2010. Aggressive drilling programs in 2011 and 2012 continued to demonstrate the presence of high-grade visible gold, so existing underground workings were rehabilitated to facilitate excavation of an underground ramp leading from the historic West Zone area to the new VOK deposit. By 2014 the accelerated exploration program had delivered enough data for completion of a final feasibility study, and project engineering began along with mine permitting activities.

In 2015, as the permitting process was concluding, a competitive and flexible construction financing package was assembled. In March of that year, Pretium received its provincial environmental assessment certificate, and a positive federal environmental assessment decision followed in July. With the receipt of the major project permits, a production decision, and a substantial portion of the construction financing completed, development activity ramped up in September 2015. Construction of the mine, access road and a 57-kilometre transmission line was completed by early 2017, and the first gold was poured in June. Pretium has advanced the Brucejack project from exploration to commercial production in an impressive timeline through a period of exploration and development financing difficulties, in a logistically challenging location, while demonstrating positive and respectful engagement with First Nations, all levels of government, stakeholders, contractors and employees. This is a testament to the high level of coordination and the unwavering dedication of the management team.

The success of the project reflects the commitment and leadership of Pretium President and CEO Joseph Ovsenek, VP Operations David Prins and General Manager, Brucejack Mine, Kevin Torpy. They are very deserving recipients of the 2017 E.A. Scholz Award for excellence in mine development.


Ron Netolitzky is the recipient of the 2017 Murray Pezim Award for perseverance and success in financing mineral exploration in British Columbia and/or Yukon. He is being honoured for an illustrious career spanning five decades, not only as a company builder and financier, but also as a geologist, prospector, consultant, entrepreneur, developer, advisor, mentor and outspoken advocate on behalf of independents and Canadian junior resource companies. He remains actively engaged in the exploration industry as a Director of several publicly listed companies and is the Board Chairman of Skeena Resources Limited, which is currently advancing three significant projects in the Golden Triangle area of northwest B.C.

Ron is a highly accomplished Canadian and international geologist who has always remained an independent-minded prospector at heart. But he has excelled, and continues to excel, at sourcing funds to take projects to more advanced stages. In the 1980s, with Delaware Resources and later Consolidated Stikine Resources, he recognized and helped realize the potential of the Snip and Eskay Creek properties which became two of Canada’s most successful high-grade precious metal mines. He has also contributed to the growth of many other junior companies, and has been instrumental in multiple significant merger-and-acquisition events. Under his leadership of Loki Gold (later Viceroy Resources) during the 1990s, the Brewery Creek project in Yukon was transformed into a successful open-pit heap-leach gold mine. This was no small feat, considering the sub-Arctic climate at this location.

Ron graduated from the University of Alberta with a B.Sc. in geology in 1964 and a M.Sc. from University of Calgary in 1967. He founded Taiga Consultants Ltd. in 1970 and was active as a consultant during the Saskatchewan uranium rush before venturing into junior mining exploration and development from 1985 onward. Most of Ron’s financings over the past 32 years have been non-brokered private placements in which he has participated substantially as an investor, in many cases becoming a controlling shareholder.

Previous recognition for Ron’s many achievements include his receipt of PDAC’s Bill Dennis Prospector of the Year Award in 1990, AME’s E.A. Scholz Award for excellence in mine development in 1996 and induction into the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame in 2015. AME is pleased to add to these accolades by presenting him with the 2017 Murray Pezim Award.


Patrick Evans, Jonathan Comerford and Carl Verley, key individuals at Mountain Province Diamonds (MPV), are presented with the Hugo Dummett Award for Excellence in Diamond Exploration and Development for 2017. They have all played direct roles in advancing MPV from a junior exploration company to a partner with De Beers Canada, co-launching the large new diamond mine, Gahcho Kué, a remote fly-in/fly-out operation located 280 kilometres northeast of Yellowknife, Northwest Territories.

Carl Verley was a founding member of MPV and has been a director of the company since 1986. Carl was responsible for getting the company to explore for diamonds in 1992, just after the discovery of Ekati. Canamera Geological was contracted to do the exploration on behalf of MPV. By 1994 Carl and Canamera geologists reviewed the sampling and geophysics completed to date and selected anomaly 5034 for drilling. Drilling of this anomaly led to the discovery of the first kimberlite that would become part of the Gahcho Kué mine. As the project advanced, expenses escalated and raising money became difficult. In 1997, MPV formed a joint venture with De Beers with the latter as operator.

After MPV amalgamated with Glenmore Highlands in 2001, Jonathan Comerford joined the board and has been Chair of the Board of Directors of MPV since 2006. In representing the major shareholders of MPV, Jonathan was successful in winning their support for financing MPV’s share in advancing the project through numerous equity infusions needed before financing was put in place for the mine build. Jonathan was also decisive in determining what was needed to move the project forward – a new CEO with more experience. In 2005, Patrick Evans was appointed CEO of the company, a position he held until 2017. Patrick was well connected in the mining and investment community and a consummate professional, a quality likely developed during his time in the South African Foreign Service. Previously holding the position of CEO at Southern Era, he also had experience managing joint venture relationships with De Beers. During his tenure with MPV Patrick successfully guided the Company through consolidations resulting in a 49 per cent position in the JV with De Beers as the only other partner; renegotiating the JV agreement with De Beers to establish an effective 50/50 joint venture; and pushing the project operator to advance the project through feasibility, the mine permitting and construction and ultimately commercial production.

The Mountain Province team members of Patrick Evans, Jonathan Comerford and Carl Verley are deserving recipients of the Hugo Dummett Award. Hugo Dummett was quick to recognize talents within individuals and to nurture those talents by building a strong loyalty in his team, particularly in keeping eyes on the goal. This is Patrick Evans’s strong suit. Hugo also appreciated individuals who could make hard decisions quickly for the best interests of the company, an attribute clearly demonstrated by Jonathan Comerford. Finally, Hugo always recognized the efforts of those in the trenches or in this case at the drill rig. Carl Verley identified the diamond opportunity, confirmed its success, and saw the company through many years to culminate in a new diamond mine for Canada. The combination of these attributes of Patrick, Jonathan and Carl directly contributed to the development of the Gahcho Kué Mine in the Northwest Territories.


The Colin Spence Award for excellence in global mineral exploration is presented to Robert Sibthorpe. Rarely does an exploration geologist have a hand in all aspects of exploration from selecting the project, designing the exploration program, raising the funding, negotiating land access with local communities and governments to personally managing the exploration activities until a NI 43-101 mineral resource has been completed. Yet Robert Sibthorpe provided major leadership on all of these tasks resulting in the discovery of high-grade gold-bearing quartz veins in the 55 Zone on the Yaramoko property in Burkina Faso. The project was acquired in late 2010 and, remarkably, commercial production was declared in October 2016, which is a testament to the role Bob played and the team that followed his tenure at Roxgold Inc.

Bob and his financial partner Al Fabbro acquired the Yaramoko project and two other projects from Riverstone Resources Inc. for their venture shell company. Bob was attracted to the high-grade gold Riverstone had discovered at the Bagassi South prospect because gold deposits in Burkina Faso were generally characterized as low-grade bulk tonnage deposits. Bob initiated property-wide airborne geophysical and soil geochemical surveys. His structural interpretation combined with anomalous gold-in-soil results led to his decision to test the 55 Zone even though conventional wisdom suggested a granite-hosted anomaly like the 55 Zone should not be a priority target in the Hounde greenstone belt. The soil anomaly was first tested by rotary air blast (RAB) drilling, and then reverse circulation drilling was utilized to test anomalous areas delineated by RAB drilling yielding 24.62 g/t gold over 6 metres in hole YMR-10-RC036. When drilling started, the area had a large number of artisanal miners providing Bob and his exploration team valuable mapping exposure to the quartz veins hosting the gold. By aggressively targeting its discovery, Roxgold was able to announce their first resource estimate by August 2012, with current (December 2016) proven and probable reserves sitting at 662,000 ounces at 11.46 g/t gold following mine depletion of 91,000 ounces.

Bob received his B.Sc. degree in geology in 1972 and an MBA degree in 1979 from the University of Toronto. He has had extensive experience in the mineral exploration sector, working in geology and business development with senior mining companies including Noranda, Falconbridge and Ivanhoe Mines. He also served as a research and corporate finance analyst in the securities industry for Midland Doherty Ltd., Yorkton Securities Inc. and Canaccord Capital Corp. He has been involved in the discovery or financing of numerous important mineral deposits, including Eskay Creek, Petaquilla, Oyu Tolgoi and Fire Creek.


Brent Murphy and Elizabeth Miller are the 2017 recipients of the Robert R. Hedley Award for their significant contributions and advances in the realm of social and environmental responsibility related to Seabridge Gold’s KSM project in northern British Columbia. Brent and Elizabeth have demonstrated a dedication to the integration of environmental and social design, balancing the financial viability of the proposed mine with the needs of the environment and surrounding society and cultures. They set a new standard for environmental stewardship and leadership in social engagement, going well beyond the parameters of the environmental assessment requirements.

Located in the upper Nass Valley, the proposed KSM mine is surrounded by the traditional territories of four First Nations and the Nisga'a Nation, and is near the Alaskan border. That setting presents unique challenges for environmental protection and gaining social licence to operate. Benefits agreements were negotiated with Gitanyow First Nation and Nisga’a Treaty Nation, and the project was accepted by Tahltan, Gitxsan and Skii km Lax Ha Nations. Tribal Nations and communities in Alaska were engaged to ensure their opinions were accounted for. The surrounding communities of Smithers, Terrace, Stewart, Dease Lake, Iskut and Telegraph Creek were consulted, and all of these parties continue to be openly consulted. The result of the engagement with stakeholders led to $500 million in design changes and training opportunities with the KSM project.

Brent Murphy as Vice President of Environmental Affairs and Elizabeth Miller as Manager of Environmental Affairs for Seabridge Gold have acted as a powerful team, dedicated to move their project forward in a sustainable way to the benefit of their neighbors as well as their shareholders. Through their achievements Brent and Elizabeth set a new standard for environmental stewardship and leadership in social engagement while protecting the project's economic feasibility. They truly understand that balance is not only achievable, but required.


Janice Fingler is the recipient of the David Barr Award for excellence in leadership and innovation in mineral exploration health and safety. Her strong leadership since joining the AME Environment, Health & Safety Committee in 2013 and chairing it since 2014 has enabled the committee to grow and be a strong voice for health and safety in the mineral exploration community, in B.C. and across the country. With fellow committee member Dave Thompson, she worked tirelessly to reorganize the Exploration Safety for Project Managers workshop to create dialogue with government officials to create a truly interactive workshop for participants. By strategically recruiting new members to the committees and harnessing the talents of existing members, AME in collaboration with the PDAC was able to deliver new initiatives such as the helicopter slinging training presentation developed by committee members Maria Gabriel and Kim Bilquist and delivered at AME Roundup 2017. Her true and honest dedication to advancing health and safety was also recently demonstrated by her leading an alert to all AME members ensuring that members were aware of online resources regarding forest fires so that they could make decisions to keep their people safe during the height of the wildfires this past summer. Widely recognized by her peers as a leader who has instilled a corporate commitment to health and safety through her own practice and role and AME, Janice is stepping down as chair of the committee, but her actions over the past few years will inspire new leadership in continuing to build a true culture of safety in the industry.


Mona Forster has volunteered at AME for more than 20 years and continues to support AME as a Past Board Chair and active advisor. Mona’s involvement in AME was focused on her being a Director from 2005 to 2012 and Board Chair from 2011 to 2012. Mona was also Chair of AME's Nominating Committee in 2012 and 2013 and a member of the Nominating Committee in 2016. Mona has also been actively involved in planning and supporting AME’s Roundup conference, and more recently her involvement has been focused on the Tax, Securities and Investment and the Communications and Marketing Committees. Mona's career in the mineral exploration industry started with Echo Bay Mines where she worked on site and in the exploration office. She then worked at URS, an engineering and environmental consulting office. Most recently she worked with Entrée Gold Inc., a mineral resource exploration company with development and exploration projects in Mongolia, United States, Peru and Australia. Currently, Mona is providing consulting services in strategic planning, budget development and business operations to a variety of clients.

Royanna Wild is an active member of AME’s Land Access and Use Committee and volunteers with the Kamloops Exploration Group (KEG). Her volunteer activities for KEG have led to the successful creation of its Outreach Program. She instituted the student delegate program at the annual KEG Conference. Royanna was a member of the team that started the popular annual KEG Lecture Series which brings together an audience of both industry and the public, and she spearheaded the popular Ask a Geo events in Kamloops. She was also involved with starting Mining Day in Kamloops. She is a tireless volunteer, often working in the background helping out where needed, on AME’s initiatives, for example, Discovery Day at Roundup. Royanna is a great ambassador of the industry, working with and encouraging an interest in geology in young people. She is currently the Corporate Lands Administrator at KGHM International, Ajax Project.


The Frank Woodside Past Presidents and Past Chairs Award is presented to three individuals for their distinguished service to AME and/or the mineral exploration industry.

Maureen Lipkewich co-founded the Mineral Resources Education Program of B.C., now known as MineralsEd, with Coquitlam school teacher Bruce Kiloh in 1991. She served as Director from its inception in 1991 until 2003, and continues to be involved as an honourary member of its Board of Trustees. Maureen is a lifelong member of B.C.’s mining community. She grew up in Merritt, married a miner and moved with her family to Kamloops, then Tumbler Ridge and Vancouver. Maureen was working as a volunteer with the Mining Association of B.C. in the late 1980s when she began to cross paths with teachers at career fairs who informed her that they did not have up-to-date and useful materials to teach about mining. She began to search for solutions that led her to the B.C. Ministry of Education, the B.C. Teachers Federation and the Social Studies Provincial Specialist Association, where she met Bruce Kiloh. They drafted a formal teacher-industry partnership dedicated to supporting teachers in their development of resources to teach about earth science, mineral resources and mining in school at all grade levels where there was opportunity in the curriculum.

Gary Nordin graduated with a B.Sc. in Geology from the University of Alberta, and has worked in the mining industry for more than 50 years. He is a founder, Director and Senior Geologist with Orestone Mining Corp. Prior to this, he co-founded and served as a Director of Polaris Materials Corporation from 2000 to 2009. Earlier in his career, Gary was a founding Director and Executive Vice President and Chief Geologist of Eldorado Gold Corporation. He has served on the Board of Directors of several publicly listed exploration and mining companies. Gary has been an ardent member and supporter of AME and has mentored and assisted many aspiring mineral explorers in their studies, exploration activities and most importantly nurtured their enthusiasm and passion for natural resource exploration in all its many facets.

Sheila Stenzel obtained undergraduate degrees in biology and earth sciences from St. Cloud State University, an M.Sc. in geology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a PhD in geology from Memorial University. Her industry and field geoscience experience includes working on a national uranium resource assessment project in South Dakota; working for the United States Geological Survey water resources division in Colorado; and working with Teck on a summer drilling program at the Daniel’s Harbour Zinc mine in Newfoundland while completing her PhD. Sheila first became involved with MineralsEd in 1999 as a volunteer workshop presenter and later became the program coordinator. She became the MineralsEd director in 2003. Sheila works directly with classroom teachers to develop curriculum and resources for the school program. She oversees the daily operations of the program, working throughout the year with a program coordinator and a team of teacher-partners and volunteers from industry to organize mining and geoscience workshops and field trips, as well as student and teacher programs at industry conferences throughout British Columbia.


Britannia Mine Museum is granted $10,000 to support the 2018 continuation of its well-established Education Program. The program annually reaches more than 10,000 Kindergarten to Grade 12 students through earth science focused exhibits and events. The goals are to inspire students to learn more about minerals, local geology and tectonic history and, in particular, the geological origins of the Britannia copper deposit, and to raise student awareness of earth science career opportunities. Support is also given to teachers in the appreciation and education of earth science where it appears in the B.C. curriculum. Program focus and additions for 2018 include conversion of the historic Assay Building on the museum site to accommodate public programming about modern mining and the completion of an exhibit that explores the legacy of the Britannia Mine, the remediation of Howe Sound and ongoing research and innovation in the Canadian mining industry. In addition, the museum will develop a summer kids’ day camp program themed around minerals and mining exploration, and plans to enhance Delving into Geoscience (DIG) Day during spring break by offering a variety of additional earth science related activities.

MineralsEd is granted $10,000 to fund the Kids & Rocks Classroom Workshop for 2018. This half-day classroom program introduces Lower Mainland students in Kindergarten to Grade 3 to the basic properties of natural materials. They are provided with a bag of about 25 rocks and minerals, a hand lens, hardness kit, streak plate, magnet and flashlight to experience and learn the basic physical properties of their specimens. During the course of the workshop, the students are introduced to how important non-renewable resources are in our daily lives. Early introduction and understanding of rocks and minerals are the foundation for young peoples’ appreciation of our dependence on non-renewable resources. The Kids & Rocks project is an important stepping stone in public awareness of the value of our mineral exploration industry.