2023 Bill Dennis Award

This award, named for a former President of the association, honours individuals who have accomplished one or both of the following: made a significant Canadian mineral discovery; made an important contribution to the prospecting and/or exploration industry. 


Chris Taylor and the Great Bear Resources Exploration Team

For the discovery of the Dixie gold deposit when others believed all the multi-million ounce deposits in Ontario's Red Lake camp had been found

The Dixie project in the Red Lake gold camp of northern Ontario has been subject to intermittent exploration since 1985. Industry consensus was that whatever potential existed there had been investigated and found wanting. 

But Great Bear Resources CEO, Chris Taylor and VP Exploration, Bob Singh figured there was a lot more gold to be discovered, starting with the previously identified Dixie Limb zone. They used a wealth of historical data, including a suite of more than 150 drill holes, to construct a new model of mineralization. Chris, a structural geologist, was so convinced previous explorers had misinterpreted the geology that he used his personal line of credit to finance early exploration. 

Their educated gamble paid off. The Great Bear team made its first major discovery – the Hinge zone – in August 2018 by targeting a regional fold axis. Shallow drill intersections, such as 16.4 metres grading 27 grams per tonne gold, caught the market's attention and allowed the company to raise $10 million for further work. 

Subsequent exploration and structural interpretation led to more discoveries in rapid succession. During 2019, Great Bear found the Bear-Rimini, Yuma, Auro, Yauro, Viggo and Gap zones. Follow-up drilling confirmed these discoveries were part of a larger continuous zone of gold mineralization later called the LP Fault Zone. Unlike the vein-hosted gold mineralization typical of Red Lake, the mineralization was sheet-like, containing high-grade zones within lower grade haloes.

In February 2022, Kinross Gold purchased Great Bear for $1.8 billion, or $29 per share, even before the technical team had a chance to estimate resources for Dixie. The senior gold producer plans to develop the project into a top tier, long-life mine. As an added bonus, Great Bear’s discovery has reinvigorated exploration in the Red Lake camp, where geoscientists now have access to a new model of mineralization to find more gold.


Skookum Jim Award

Glenn Nolan


Sustainability Award

The Lundin Foundation


Thayer Lindsley Award

Chalice Mining's Kevin Frost & Morgan Fréjabise


Viola R. MacMillan Award

Alamos Gold’s John A. McCluskey