About the Award

The Frank Arnott Award is an international competition where teams of mineral geoscience university students collaborate and innovate to transform geoscience data sets into their interpretation of the subsurface geology and mineralisation targets.

The intent of the Frank Arnott - Next Generation Explorers Award  is to provide students with industry relevant learning experiences utilising modern, pre-competitive datasets from around the world.  The outcome will build a sustainable supply of enthusiastic, skilled geoscientists that can steer the mineral industry going forward.


An industry where future geoscientists are proficient to solve tomorrow's mineral exploration challenges.


Building a sustainable global challenge to expose young geoscientists to the collaborative challenges needed to find the next generation of mineral deposits.

Who can participate? The Frank Arnott - Next Generation Explorers Award challenge is open to students who are either currently enrolled in an undergraduate earth science degree or post-graduate research at the time of registering for the challenge. This award encourages participating teams to be multi-disciplinary in that they comprise of earth scientists, engineers and data scientists, etc.

What are the benefits to participants? Opportunities to collaborate with multi-disciplinary groups from own academic institution and/or from other universities, gain hands-on experience working with modern data types encountered in real world scenarios/future employment, improve leadership and team-based soft skills, receive feedback and recognition by the mineral exploration industry, expand industry networks and employment opportunities.

Datasets for interpretation: Students will be able to select from a set of provided regional high quality datasets from around the globe.

Judging: Independent judges will evaluate the results using predetermined criteria which speak to Innovation in data integration and visualisation, application of methodologies new to earth sciences, exploration significance of team findings and discernible evidence of collaboration within the team.

Frank Arnott - Next Generation Explorers Award will proudly be hosted by the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada, the leading voice of the mineral exploration and development community. With over 7,500 members around the world, PDAC’s work centres on supporting a competitive, responsible mineral sector. PDAC is known worldwide for it's annual PDAC Convention—the premier international event for the industry—that has attracted over 25,000 people from 135 countries in recent years.  

The presentations of the top finalists and the awards ceremony for the Frank Arnott - Next Generation Explorers Award, will take place during the PDAC convention, March 2021.