2018 Special Achievement Award

From time to time, PDAC presents a Special Achievement Award that recognizes exceptional contributions to the mineral industry.

Jean DescarreauxDescarreaux-Family-Photo-Resized

For founding the Quebec Mineral Exploration Association (AEMQ) and developing the mineral exploration sector in Quebec

Jean Descarreaux is best known for his role in developing the Quebec mineral exploration sector. In 1975 he co-founded the Quebec Prospectors’ Association (now the Quebec Mineral Exploration Association, or AEMQ) to promote exploration and entrepreneurship in the province. He then spearheaded a successful effort to convince former Premier René Levesque to adopt legislation allowing flow-through shares to be issued in Quebec. The popular tax incentive for exploration helped finance several mineral discoveries including Balmoral, Casa Berardi, Elèonore and Lamaque.

Jean became the first French-speaking resident of Quebec to obtain a doctorate in geochemistry when he graduated from Laval University in 1973. He pioneered the use of lithogeochemistry as a prospecting tool to outline alteration halos around mineralized zones, thereby increasing the size of exploration targets. He later complied a massive lithogeochemical database designed to help geoscientists compare their rock samples with those found in the vicinity of known orebodies and deposits, and digitized all of Quebec’s lake sediment data.

Jean was the founding president of Claude Resources (purchased by Silver Standard Resources for $337 million in 2016), co-founder of Cartier Resources and advisor to several junior companies. He participated in the discovery of gold and base metal deposits in Quebec, including Golden Pond and Estrades, and in 1986 was awarded the Discovery of the Year award by the AEMQ.

Jean served on the PDAC’s board of directors from 1978-1984 and on the board of the Mineral Research Institute of the Université du Montréal and McGill University from 1984-1986. In 1983 he became the first chairman of the Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue (UQAT). Under his leadership, UQAT grew and eventually established its own school of engineering.

Today, AEMQ has 1,200 individual members and 225 corporate members and offers an annual research award in Descarreaux’s name. Jean died in March 2017 at the age of 76. His legacy is Quebec’s strong, vibrant mineral exploration sector.

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