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Yukon geologist receives lifetime achievement award for mineral exploration

Yukon’s Susan Craig was awarded the Association of Mineral Exploration's Gold Pan Award for 'exceptional meritorious service to the mineral exploration community' this week.

Susan Craig says community engagement 'makes all the difference in the world'

'I’ve had so many people say to me, ‘What’s your secret?’' says Sue Craig. 'There is no secret. Just imagine this project’s in your backyard. What would you like to know?' (submitted by Susan Craig)

Yukon's Susan Craig was awarded the Gold Pan Award for "exceptional meritorious service to the mineral exploration community" from the Association for Mineral Exploration in B.C — a group that represents and advocates for members who are involved in mineral exploration.  

Every year, at the Mineral Exploration Roundup, the B.C. and Yukon mining industry recognizes one of its own for a lifetime of work. This year, a Yukoner was recognized at the annual Awards Celebration of Excellence Gala Wednesday.

"I feel very honoured," said Craig.

Craig received this Gold Pan Award for 'exceptional meritorious service to the mineral exploration community.' (Association of Mineral Exploration)

Craig says working with small communities and First Nations has been one of the highlights in her career in exploration and mine development.

"I've lived in small communities and know how important it is, especially when someone comes in, and wants to do something in your community," said Craig, who said community engagement is key in this field.

"That makes all the difference in the world."

Craig, left, at the first pour at Brewery Creek back in 1995. (Eleanor Van Bibber is holding the gold bar.) (submitted by Susan Craig)

Craig is an advocate of responsible development and the engagement of First Nations, for which she was awarded the Yukon Chamber of Mines Member's award in 2012. She founded Northern Freegold Ltd.

Before that, she was the land and environmental manager at NovaGold Resources where she was able to work on the Galore Creek Project in B.C. She's currently the director of government affairs and community relations for AuRico Gold and serves on several mining boards in the Yukon and in B.C.

"I've had so many people say to me, 'What's your secret Sue?'" said Craig. "There is no secret. Just imagine this project's in your backyard. What would you like to know?"

But she said she believes the mining industry has "come a long way," and that there are now more opportunities for Yukon's youth to enter the field. 

"There's a whole host of opportunities out there... We'd definitely like to be able to hire local people and put young Yukoners to work."

Craig is back in the Yukon to work on a new project with Metallic Minerals Corp. as its executive vice president

"I've learned and heard so many wonderful stories about the Yukon. Again, I love the rocks, but I probably like the other  part [of my job] more."  

with files from Sandi Coleman

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