2016

Laxman M. Amaratunga on May 16, 2016. A retired professor of engineering at Laurentian University, he was known as “Dr. Lucky.” He joined CIM in 1982, two years after immigrating to Canada, and was a CIM Fellow and CIM Life Member. Laxman also served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Mineral Processors society (CMP).

Robert Buchan on Aug. 10, 2016, at his home in Peterborough, Ontario, at the age of 84. A geologist, Robert moved to Sudbury in 1954 to work at Falconbridge Nickel Mines. He joined CIM in 1958 and became a Life Member in 1996.

Robert Gannicott at the age of 69 on Aug. 3, 2016, in London, England. One of the pioneers and champions of Canada’s diamond industry, he is best known for his work at Dominion Diamond Corp., where he worked from 1992 until his death. He was CEO until 2015, overseeing key deals including the purchase and then sale of the Harry Winston diamond retail business and the acquisition of the Ekati mine near Diavik. (For a full obituary, see “Dominion Diamond co-founder Robert Gannicott dead at 69” on page 34 in the September/October 2016 issue of CIM Magazine.)

Peter H. Grimley in Orangeville, Ontario, on June 1, 2016, at the age of 83. He joined CIM in 1970 and was a CIM Life Member.

Walter Arthur Kropp on April 17, 2016. He was a CIM member since 2003.

Serge Lévesque at the age of 59 on April 9, 2016, in Quebec City. His last role was director of technical services at Stratum Group. Prior to that he worked at Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd and Langlois mine. He joined CIM in 1978.

Albert Roy MacLean at the age of 88 on Jan. 26, 2016, in Sydney, Nova Scotia. A CIM Life Member, Roy began his career as a mining engineer at Dominion Steel and Coal Corporation and was employed for over 40 years with DEVCO, retiring in 1992. He co-founded the Men of the Deeps, North America’s only coal miners’ chorus. Albert joined CIM in 1951.

Ken Meikle in August 2016. He was a CIM member since 1982.

Donald M. Morrison on Aug. 14, 2016. He joined CIM in 1959 and was a CIM Life Member.

Terrence (Terry) Mulligan on Nov. 6, 2016, at the age of 83. Terry served as the president and CEO of the Mining Suppliers Association of BC for 22 years. He became a CIM member in 1958 and was a CIM Life Member.

Frank Petkovich in Sudbury, Ontario, on Oct. 26, 2016. He entered the mining industry as a research metallurgist for Falconbridge Nickel Mines, where he ended up working for 34 years, rising to the level of management. He was a CIM Life Member, first joining in 1956.

Frank A. Perrino on Feb. 25, 2016. He joined CIM in 1966, becoming a Life Member in 2010.

Anant Prasad, CIM Life Member, on July 6, 2016, at the age of 80. Anant worked with geotechnical engineering firm Terracon for 14 years and retired in 2015 as the company’s vice-president of HSE and HR. He also served in senior technical and managerial roles at Imperial Oil, Kaiser Resources, the province of Alberta, and the Iron Ore Company of Canada. He joined CIM in 1967.

Harold E. Rudd, CIM Life Member,in Toronto on Jan. 31, 2016 at the age of 101. After a stint with the Canadian Army in WWII, which took him to England, he worked at Macleod Cockshutt Gold Mines for many years before working for Patino NV Mines, serving as president from 1976 until 1980. After retirement, Harold worked as a mining consultant for Watts, Griffis and McOuat. He joined CIM in 1948.

– Compiled by Tom DiNardo and Cecilia Keating

David Robertson, a giant of geology

David Robertson headshotDavid S. Robertson, a well-respected geologist and CIM Past President (1993-1994), passed away Oct. 27, 2016, in Toronto.

Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, on March 3, 1924, David graduated from the University of Manitoba in 1946 with a degree in physical chemistry and geology and went on to receive his PhD in geology from Columbia University in 1949. After graduating, he became an assistant professor at the University of Virginia.

David moved to Sudbury, Ontario, in 1951 to run the geological research laboratory of Inco. Then in 1953, he moved to Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo, where he was in charge of a post-WWII Marshall Plan mapping initiative. He returned to Canada in 1955 and joined the consulting firm GMX Corporation, of which he became the president in 1958. During his time with GMX, he led an exploration team that discovered numerous uranium deposits in Elliot Lake, Ontario.

In 1965, David founded David Robertson & Associates, a mining consulting practice based in Toronto with offices around the world. His firm became well-known for its work in uranium and potash.

David retired from the firm in 1987. For the next 20 years, he continued working as an independent consultant and served on the boards of junior and senior mining companies. He was the founding chairman of Ashton Mining of Canada and Meridian Gold.

David was a towering figure in the mining industry. In 2014, he was inducted into the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame. He was also particularly involved in CIM, serving as CIM President from 1993 to 1994 and eventually becoming a CIM Life Member.

“For me, Dr. Robertson was a strong inspiration and also a great source of validation in my early years at CIM,” said executive director Jean Vavrek. “He continued to stay connected and provide feedback and encouragement until recent years.”

David is survived by his daughters Jennifer, Joanna (Tony) and Julia (James), and grandchildren Colin, Alexandra, Gemma, Lachlan, AJ and Graeme. He is also leaving behind his younger brother George, nieces Susan (Frank) and Pam (Bruce), and grandniece and grandnephew, Lauren and Thomas.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in David’s memory to the CIM Foundation for the David S. Robertson Scholarship Fund. For more information, please contact Deborah Sauvé at 514-939-2710 ext. 1334 or dsauve@cim.org.

– Tom DiNardo

Lud Strah, a founding father of CMP

Lud Strah headshotLudwig (Lud) Strah passed away at the Temiskaming Hospital on Oct. 26, 2016, at the age of 83. He was born in 1933 and raised in Rouyn-Noranda, where his father worked for Noranda. Lud prepared himself for a career in mining by graduating from the Haileybury School of Mines (HSM) in 1953 and obtaining his Professional Engineer designation in 1971.

He started out as a miner and then as a shift boss at the Quemont mine in Quebec and then moved to Elliot Lake, Ontario, to work as an engineer for Denison Mines. After brief stints with Siscoe mines and Sorel Steel, he took a position with Mine Equipment Ltd. as a sales representative, which provided an opportunity to learn about mining operations countrywide. In the late 1960s he acquired Lecky Machinery and NorLecky Manufacturing, and in 1970 formed Continental Mine Equipment Ltd.

Lud always considered involvement in CIM an important element in career development. At the national level, he assisted Bernard Coulombe on efforts to increase membership and was an active member of the Haileybury CIM branch. He was one of the founders of the Canadian Mineral Processors society (CMP) and was a faithful participant at its annual conference. Lud was also a strong supporter of HSM, where he was a founding member of its alumni association and established a scholarship in the name of Continental Mining Equipment.

My last encounter with Lud and his wife Patricia was last year when they came to our home for Christmas dinner. After the meal, I happened to ask if he could name three people who were particularly helpful in establishing his career. Without hesitation he named Alex Ballachey of Quemont, David Rankin of Mine Equipment and Oswald Walli of HSM.

Lud will be especially missed by his dear wife Patricia, his lovely children Nancy Gorman and Michael Strah, along with his precious grandchildren Rachel Sillers and Almita Strah, and his brother-in-law Bob Leng.

– Don Worth, FCIM

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