2023 Mining & Exploration (MAX) Awards Presented

21 November 2023

Yellowknife, NT (November 21, 2023) The 2023 Mining and Exploration (MAX) awards were presented to recipients at a banquet on November 16, held during the annual Yellowknife Geoscience Forum. The awards and recipients are below, with additional details in the Backgrounder, appended.



Presented to the following recipients for …

Economic Leadership

MET/Nuna for their work to reclaim the former Snap Lake diamond mine site, the first diamond mine in the NWT to go through remediation, with active closure work scheduled to be completed during 2024.

Indigenous Achievement

Inuvialuit Petroleum Corporation for their work to advance development of the
M-18 gas well in order to secure supply of local natural gas to the region for decades to come, providing many good, permanent jobs for residents and cost savings in heating and fuel, and reduce GHGs by thousands of tonnes each year, while imposing no signi?cant impacts on the environment.

Women in Mining

Grace Mackenzie, a Tlicho member for her work in, and with, the minerals industry to passionately share her experience, knowledge and commitment to cultural respect and equity, and provide informed guidance to mining industry professionals and their employees across the Northwest Territories.

Distinguished Service

Nellie Cournoyea for her vision, hard work and determination, to see Indigenous northerners and the regions benefit from non-renewable resource development; and for showing us that you can achieve anything if you are determined and willing to put the work into it.

Special Achievement (posthumously)

Don Bubar for his strong exploration expertise, his vision for strong Indigenous participation in the mining sector, and his commitment to environmental sustainability even at the early exploration stage. Also for his work to advance the Nechalacho/Thor Lake rare earth elements project south of Yellowknife through the environmental approvals process.

Environmental, Social & Governance

Ekati, Diavik and Gahcho Kué Diamond mines, Pine Point Mining and Gold Terra Resources for their unflinching and significant contributions to support emergency efforts during the unprecedented wildfire emergency the NWT experienced. Whether it was major cash donations to emergency relief organizations, devoting staff to assist with wildfire support, or pitching in to ensure shelves didn’t go empty in communities, the recipients demonstrated their commitment to NWT residents and communities.

WSCC Safety

Sheila Chernys of Burgundy Diamonds’ Ekati Mine went above and beyond in her dedication to safety, demonstrated leadership, and impacted and influenced the northern safety culture. Her efforts included taking on the role of chair of the Northern Mine Health and Safety Forum, participating on the Mines Safety Round Table for the mining industry in Canada, and helping organize the 2023 Northern Mine Rescue Competition.

Click below for the full release with pictures and fulsome descriptions of each award recipient.