Geoscience Forum The Chamber organizes the Geoscience Forum, the largest northern minerals conference ‘North of 60’ each November. Held in Yellowknife, the GeoScience Forum provides an opportunity for the industry to catch up on mining and exploration developments, new geological research results, and issues the north is facing. The Forum provides a venue for sharing new ideas in the minerals industry, new sites being discovered, and what new technologies are being developed. Events include informative talks and meetings, a trade show, and lots of opportunities for conference networking. Web Page
Nunavut Mining Symposium The Chamber also participates in the organization of the Nunavut Mining Symposium held annually in Iqaluit, Nunavut. This Symposium attracts representatives professionals from Inuit organizations, regulatory agencies, various levels of government, and exploration and mining companies. Events include conference sessions, a one-day trade show, hospitality suites, entertainment, and a gala dinner and awards evening to celebrate the mining and exploration industry in Nunavut. Web Page
NWT MAX Awards
Nominations for the 2018 Mining and Exploration (MAX) Award are now open! The nominations were launched during NWT Mining Week!
The Government of the Northwest Territories, in partnership with the NWT and Nunavut Chamber of Mines, is seeking nominations for the 2018 NWT Mining and Exploration (MAX) Awards. The annual MAX awards celebrate and encourage excellence within the NWT’s largest industry - and all facets of northern life with which it interacts.
Nominations are due October 1, 2018 and may be submitted online through the Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment’s (ITI) engagement portal or in-person to the Chamber.
Nominations are being sought in five categories:
- Distinguished Service
- Economic Leadership
- Environmental & Social Responsibility
- Indigenous Achievement
- Special Achievement
The awards will be presented November 22 as part of the Yellowknife Geoscience Forum.
Inaugural 2017 MAX Awards
In 2017, the NWT & Nunavut Chamber of Mines announced the inaugural 2017 MAX Awards recipients, recognized for their excellence in mining and exploration in the Northwest Territories. The first year’s recipients were selected by a committee of representatives from the GNWT and NWT and Nunavut Chamber of Mines. MAX Award recipients have all played an enormous role in responsible and successful resource development; generating opportunities and demonstrating leadership in their respective categories. Their contributions include finding and developing resources, engaging with the public and governments, ensuring Indigenous participation, creating jobs and business benefits, and training northerners, all of which adds to the well-being of the Northwest Territories. Recipients of the 2017 MAX Awards were:
- Distinguished Service – Aurora Geosciences
- Economic Leadership – Ekati Diamond Mine and Diavik Diamond Mine
- Environmental & Social Responsibility – Diavik Diamond Mine and TerraX Minerals
- Indigenous Achievement Awards – Joe Rabesca and Darrell Beaulieu
- Special Achievement Awards – Mine Training Society and Altaf Lakhani
The 2017 MAX Awards coincided with the Chamber of Mines’ 50th anniversary and the 45th Annual Geoscience Forum, and were presented Thursday, November 16, 2017 at the Explorer Hotel in Yellowknife. Below are the 2017 recipients.
Indigenous Achievement Award
This award celebrates and recognizes NWT Indigenous leaders, organizations, or companies in the mining or mineral exploration sector who have demonstrated excellence in any of the following areas:
- Best practice
- Capacity-building in their home community or region
As Tlicho Grand Chief in the mid-1990’s, Rabesca recognized that resource development presented an enormous opportunity for the Tlicho.
Exciting diamond discoveries had just been made on Tlicho traditional lands. Resource development was on their doorstep, and their recently-settled land claim would mean more control of land and resource management. Joe took the lead on negotiating benefits with Ekati and Diavik for the Tlicho, and forging a way forward for the Tlicho Investment Corporation. Ultimately, this work would result in contracts in the hundreds of millions, and countless wellpaying jobs for his people.
Distinguished Service Award
This award recognizes an individual or organization who has achieved one or more of the following:
Made a substantial contribution to mineral exploration and mining development in the NWT over a number of years.
Made outstanding contributions to the NWT minerals industry in the fields of:
- Geochemistry research
- Any other related activities
Aurora Geosciences earned the Distinguished Service Award for their leading work in geoscience — including training hundreds of geoscience professionals who cut their teeth with the company over decades. Their story has deep roots in the NWT, and their impact has been felt from Nunavut to Alaska as leaders in their field across the North.
Environmental and Social Responsibility Award
Environmental Responsibility Diavik Diamond Mine
This award honours outstanding achievements in two areas:
- Outstanding initiative, leadership, stewardship and accomplishment in protecting and preserving the natural environment
- Establishing good community relations during an exploration program or operation of a mine
Nominations may be for an individual or organization.
Diavik was recognized for reducing greenhouse gas using wind power at their remote mining operation.
This included the innovative step of constructing four turbines to help reduce diesel use and reduce their carbon footprint.
This was a globally innovative solution — they operate the world’s northernmost diesel-wind hybrid power system.
TerraX Minerals, a junior exploration company focused on its Yellowknife City Gold Project, was honoured for building great relationships with communities.
From sponsoring training, to community outreach, TerraX has made the effort to involve communities throughout their exploration program.
Special Achievement Award
NWT Mine Training Society
This award recognizes exceptional contributions to the NWT minerals industries.
This could include long-term contributions, cutting-edge innovations, brilliant leadership, or any other contributions deemed worthy of celebration.
The Mine Training Society was recognized for getting countless NWT residents the skills they need to succeed in mining — and beyond.
Since 2003, their partnership with the GNWT, Government of Canada, and mineral explorers and developers has provided training and career counselling services responsive to the business landscape.
Special Achievement Award
As a leader at the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor), Altaf Lakhani dedicated 30 years to working with northern and Indigenous communities to
successfully promote economic opportunities. In the mining world, he’s best known as the architect of the Community Readiness Initiative. This program was developed to aid communities across the North to help them capitalize on opportunities associated with mining and exploration.
Economic Leadership Award
Ekati Diamond Mine and Diavik Diamond Mine
This award highlights work which has made significant contributions to the NWT’s economy in mineral exploration or development recently, or historically.
Eligible nominees may be:
- Service companies
This progress can be related to the development of a specific project or to the overall activities of the nominee.
These diamond mines were recognized for the pivotal role they play in the NWT economy. This includes $14 billion in spending on northern business since 1996. Almost half was spent on Indigenous-owned companies. This has meant 28,000 person-years of employment to northern residents, and several hundred million dollars in taxes and royalty payments to governments.
Mining Week in Yellowknife is a promotional event sponsored by the Chamber, to celebrate our industry with the public. Mining Week - June 2-9 in 2018 - allows us to show the public some of what we do and how our industry benefits northerners and Canadians in general.
Several events - free and open to everyone - are held, including the annual Chamber of Mines Miner's Picnic on Saturday June 2 from noon to 3 p.m. at the Yellowknife Multiplex fieldhouse parking area. The picnic coincides with the 61st annual WSCC mine rescue competition.Other events during the week included rock walks showcasing local geology, Farmers Market geology tent, Northwest Territories Geological Survey tour and Resources and Energy Development Information (REDI) event. Poster here!