Bill Mercer has geology degrees from University of Edinburgh (BSc) and McMaster University (PhD), with a career of about 45 years in industry. He is now consulting having had a 32-year career with Noranda/Falconbridge group working in over 30 countries and exploring for a wide variety of commodities. For 15 years he was the Vice President, Exploration, for Avalon Advanced Materials focused on critical metals.
Bill has a strong belief in the need for continuous improvement in exploration as it pertains to environmental, health and safety performance especially with respect to serious and fatal accidents. For this reason, he started, and continues to chair, the PDAC Health and Safety Committee since 2005. Bill started in 2012, and continued to run, the PDAC Health and Safety short course.
In 2009, he received the David Barr Award from the Association for Mineral Exploration in British Columbia for excellence in leadership and innovation in mineral exploration health and safety. As part of the Avalon team, he shared in receiving the PDAC Environmental and Social Responsibility Award. In 2015, he was the recipient of the “Award for Environmental Excellence” of the NWT and Nunavut Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists in recognition of his environmental efforts related to renewable energy use at Avalon’s Nechalacho rare earth project in Canada’s Northwest Territories. In 2013 Bill received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for his service to the Canadian mining industry. He is a Past President of the Canadian Federation of Earth Sciences and of the PDAC.