Mining person(s) of the year

The Mining Association of British Columbia (MABC) announced this year’s recipients of the Mining Person of the Year award: Jim O’Rourke and Robert Pease.


“This year MABC honours two outstanding contributors to BC’s mining sector,” stated John McManus, Chair of the MABC and Senior Vice President, Taseko Mines Ltd. “Both Jim and Rob have played major roles in ushering in BC’s mining renaissance, leading the developments of the Copper Mountain and Mt. Milligan mines, respectively, both now in construction.”

Jim O’Rourke was instrumental leading the Copper Mountain management team in completing the final updated feasibility study confirming the economics of the proposed Copper Mountain Mine development.  O’Rourke played a vital role in arranging a strategic alliance with Mitsubishi Material Corporation, an international diversified materials company.  This alliance was essential for the $438 million project to be financed that allowed for the development of the 35,000 tpd copper-gold porphyry Copper Mountain mine that is on track for production startup in June 2011. This new mine will bring 272 well-paying jobs to the community of Princeton, as well as economic growth to the region with spin-off benefits.  Through an Impact Benefit Agreement with the Upper Similkameen Indian Band, the Copper Mountain project will also bring important benefits to local First Nations.

As President & CEO of Terrane Metals, Robert (Rob) Pease successfully obtained in 2010 all federal and provincial approvals to develop the Mt. Milligan mine in central BC, while simultaneously leading the friendly takeover of Terrane Metals by Thompson Creek Mining, thus enabling the 60,000 TPD, 400-employee project to proceed to production by 2013. The Mt. Milligan Mine will be an important employer and economic driver for central British Columbia for potentially multiple generations.  The Mt. Milligan mine is only the second in the province to include a revenue sharing agreement between the Province and local First Nations.

“It is rare that MABC is in a position to honour two remarkable individuals in the same year,” added Pierre Gratton, President and CEO of MABC.  “The significant economic activity now taking place in Princeton and north central BC as a result of both projects is exciting. The successes of these men to successfully advance both mining projects will benefit British Columbians for decades to come.”