2023 Viola R. MacMillan Award

This award, named in honour of PDAC’s longest serving President, is given to an individual or organization demonstrating leadership in management and financing for the exploration and development of mineral resources. 


Alamos Gold’s John A. McCluskey 

For showing leadership and a willingness to take risks in the acquisition and development of the Island Gold mine in Northern Ontario

Based on a thorough analysis of geological data, President and CEO John McCluskey and the senior management team of Alamos Gold were confident the Island Gold deposit owned by Richmont Mines was larger and richer than the published mineral reserves and resources would suggest. However, shareholders balked at the acquisition price paid with Alamos’ share price plummeting by 17% on the date of announcement of the acquisition in September 2017. 

But McCluskey and the Alamos team were right to bet on the exploration potential of the Island Gold. Since acquisition, Island Gold has grown dramatically: reserves and resources have almost tripled to 5.1 million ounces from 1.8 million ounces in 2017; the mine life has more than doubled to 18 years at higher production rates; and the exploration potential has expanded through the acquisition of a substantial land package surrounding the mine.

By taking a calculated risk, McCluskey realized his 20-year dream of building a leading intermediate gold producer. Five years after the transaction, Island Gold is valued at nearly three times its acquisition price and the operation continues to grow through a self-financed expansion that will transform Island Gold into one of the largest and most profitable gold mines in Canada. Once unappreciated and misunderstood, the mine and its expansion are helping support and sustain local communities in Northern Ontario. 

The Island Gold acquisition and development is the latest in a string of strategically driven acquisitions for Alamos, from the Mulatos mine in Mexico in 2003 to the Young-Davidson operation in northern Ontario in 2015. Island Gold may well turn out to be the company's best acquisition reflecting McCluskey’s vision, strategy and perseverance.


Bill Dennis Award

Chris Taylor and the Great Bear Resources Exploration Team


Skookum Jim Award

Glenn Nolan


Sustainability Award

The Lundin Foundation


Thayer Lindsley Award

Chalice Mining's Kevin Frost & Morgan Fréjabise