British Columbia's mineral exploration industry honoured Dawson City prospector Shawn Ryan on Wednesday night for his work in identifying gold and other mineral deposits in the Yukon.

Ryan, who operates Ryanwood Exploration with his wife Cathy Wood, received the 2009 H.H. "Spud" Huestis Award for B.C and Yukon prospector of the year at the Mining Exploration Roundup in Vancouver.

Ryanwood Exploration is noted for discovering the Golden Saddle gold deposit, which is now part of Underworld Resources' White Gold property south of Dawson City.

Underworld's early estimates show there could be close to 1.5 million ounces of gold at the White Gold site.

While Ryan noted the award has his name on it, he told the audience of mining executives and dignitaries that his wife deserves equal credit.

"She's the 'Wood' in Ryanwood … she is the one who's had the real pioneering spirit," Ryan said.

"We lived in an old 1901 tin shack for six years, with no running water and electricity, as we plugged away."

Ryan, who is noted for being self-taught in prospecting, has been working in the Dawson City area with Wood for more than a dozen years.

Ryan is also noted for his ability to combine modern technology and methods with long days working in the bush to collect samples.

He credited his father, geologists in the mining industry, and the staff of the Yukon Geological Survey for his success, adding that he feels like he's bringing a Stanley Cup of sorts home to the Yukon.