1932 Early on in the Great Depression, Walter Segsworth, a mining engineer, calls a meeting at the King Edward Hotel in Toronto to fight a proposed Engineers Bill put forth by the Ontario government that would require prospectors filing a work assessment to have the report signed by a mining engineer. They raise $168.45 and go on to lobby government. The bill is never passed.


1933 The name of the association is changed to the Ontario Prospectors and Developers Association (OPDA). Membership swells to 900. No fee is required and throughout the 1930s annual meetings are held in the Oak Room at the King Edward Hotel. The meetings are followed by dinner ($1.25 per person) and dancing.

1938 The association fights and defeats Section 32-B of the Income Tax Act that would treat all prospectors’ equity in a property as income and taxable immediately along with any shares the person might receive.



1941 Walter Segsworth and a few members gather at the house of George and Viola MacMillan to discuss the upcoming general meeting. George is nominated president. Viola notes at the time that “George will make a very good president. I’ll see that he does.” Viola is elected Secretary-Treasurer.


1942 Through the efforts of Viola, the annual meeting is expanded to a full-day convention that includes speakers, a four-course banquet and dancing. A $1 membership administration fee is introduced.


1943 The OPDA Convention is expanded to a two-day affair in February and the first edition of the association’s bulletin comes out. The motto: “We Lead.”


1944 With 1,700 members, the convention outgrows the King Edward Hotel and is moved to the Royal York Hotel. Viola takes over as president.

1948 For the first time at the convention, government geological and geophysical maps are displayed.



1954 The association’s office moves from 67 Yonge Street to a new building at 25 Adelaide St. West.


1957 The association changes its name to the Prospectors and Developers Association (PDA). Geophysics is all the rage at the convention, especially when it came to presentations and discussions on the Bathurst Area of New Brunswick.

1959 The convention is held jointly with the Geological Association of Canada (GAC) and the Mineralogical Association of Canada (MAC), two organizations the OPDA helped to form in 1947 and 1955 respectively.


1964 Viola steps down as President and is convicted for wash trading in connection with one of her companies in what became known as the Windfall scandal. She would later receive a full pardon and be made a member of the Order of Canada.

1965 No convention is held and the association almost disappears as the Ontario Securities Commission pushes forward to eliminate junior mine financing. The association survives thanks to Alex Mosher, Bill Dennis and a few others.


1966 The first annual hockey game is held at Maple Leaf Gardens between the Prospectors No-Stars and the Keevil team, the Teck Terrifics. Funds raised went toward bursaries.


1969 Claude Taylor is hired as full-time General Manager. PDA Digest is published for the first time.



1972 A record 2,830 registered delegates attend the convention, along with 350 students.


1975 Under the leadership of President James Walker and Vice-President Ed Thompson, regular director meetings are scheduled on the second Tuesday of every month.


1977 The PDA’s campaign to get a 100% flow-through share write-off is passed into law and remains effective for the next two years.


1978 The annual awards are introduced with the first being the Bill Dennis Prospector of the Year Award.



1983 Former PDA President John Hansuld and his company Canamax Resources Inc. organize the first issuing of flow-through shares. Between 1984 and 1990, $3.75 billion would be raised through flow-through share financing.


1987 Tony Andrews is hired as Managing Director and the association’s name is once again changed, this time to the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada.



1992 For the first time ever, the convention is opened to the world and attracts a total 2,300 delegates, 37 of which are from other countries.


1994 The association’s first strategic plan is undertaken.


1997 The convention moves from the Royal York Hotel to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

Mining Matters

1997 Mining Matters, a charity affiliated with the PDAC that educates students about rocks, metals, minerals and mining is established.

1998 The PDAC takes part in the Mining Standards Task Force and the subsequent revision of National Instrument 43-101.


2000 The convention is transformed for one year into the 2000 Mining Millennium—a joint venture between the PDAC and CIM.


2003 The PDAC introduces e3 Environmental Excellence in Exploration, a field-proven guide of methods for exploration activities, community engagement and environmental practices.

2006 The convention attracts 14,500 attendees from 100 countries and is now without question the largest international showcase for mining and exploration in the world. The Aboriginal Program is launched at convention. The PDAC Convention moves to the South Building of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.


2007 The PDAC celebrates its 75th anniversary, the Student Industry Mineral Workshop (S-IMEW) is launched in Sudbury, Ontario, and the Skookum Jim Award for Aboriginal achievement in the mineral industry is introduced.


2008 Former PDAC Past President Patricia Dillon and Assembly of First Nations National Chief Phil Fontaine sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that lays the foundation for cooperation between the two organizations. The PDAC also moves its office to 135 King Street East.

2009 The PDAC expands e3 to e 3Plus, a set of eight principles and three toolkits that exploration and mining companies can use to heighten their social responsibility, environmental stewardship, and health and safety.



2010 PDAC plays a major role in defeating Bill C-300.


2011 Ross Gallinger is hired as Executive Director.


2012 A record-breaking number of attendees (30,369) attend the convention from 125 countries. The association develops a new strategic plan, and embarks on a rebranding process, that includes the creation of a new logo.

2013 The PDAC launches its new brand at the PDAC 2013 Convention that features a new logo, website, quarterly magazine named Core, along with the association’s first ever Annual Report.

2014 For the first time in the history of the PDAC Convention, Canada's Prime Minister, The Right Honourable Stephen Harper, attends and takes part in a 45-minute Q & A session on the state of the minerals and developments industry with PDAC President Rodney Thomas in front of 600 invited guests at the MTCC.

2015 Andrew Cheatle is hired as Executive Director.


2016 PDAC 2016 welcomed 16 Mines Ministers from around the world to the inaugural International Mines Ministers’ Summit (IMMS). Led by Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, the Honourable Jim Carr, the IMMS provided an important setting for the international mining community to meet and collaborate, and was co-hosted with the World Economic Forum (WEF).


2018 The association celebrates the Government of Canada’s announcement that the Mineral Exploration Tax Credit (METC) is renewed until 2024. PDAC launches its new Strategic Plan that centres on enhancements in four key areas: leadership, engagement, competitiveness and influence. Lisa McDonald is appointed as Executive Director.


PDAC 2021 Virtual Convention

2021 The annual convention was held entirely virtual for the first time in its 89-year history. At the PDAC 2021 Virtual Convention, all attendees had access to a customized platform where they could navigate through various exhibit halls, network with colleagues, and join sessions that were available on-demand shortly after airing.