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Northern mining execs lauded for industry contributions

Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum handed out awards on May 13
Samantha Espley, Roy Slack and Stephen Hardcastle have been recognized by the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum in 2024.

Three standouts in the Canadian mining industry were celebrated by their peers last week in Vancouver, B.C.

Samantha Espley of Sudbury, Roy Slack of North Bay, and Stephen Hardcastle, also of Sudbury, were recognized by the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM) during the organization’s annual convention, held May 12-15.

Espley, a past president of the CIM, received the Diversity & Inclusion Award.

A mining engineer with more than three decades in the industry, Espley has experience with companies including Vale, INCO, Glencore, Noranda, Falconbridge, and Denison.

She’s a non-executive board member of Paramount Gold Nevada, Northern Graphite Corporation, and Canadian Academy of Engineering, and chair of the CIM Health and Safety Society. Espley is additionally a senior mining advisor for Stantec.

She’s received multiple accolades over the years, including WIM Trailblazer, Top 100 Global Women in Mining, CIM Distinguished Service, U of T Mid-Career, PEO Engineering Management, Engineers Canada Leadership, and the Governor General’s Gold Medal.

Her full profile is available here.

Slack, also a past president of CIM, received the Mining Safety Leadership Medal.

In his more than 40 years in the industry, Slack is perhaps best known for starting the North American operations of Cementation, the mine contracting and engineering firm, in 1998.

Slack retired in 2019, but remains on the board of Cementation today, as well as the board of Torex Gold.

For his contributions, he was awarded the Engineer’s Medal for Entrepreneurship by the Professional Engineers of Ontario, appointed to the Province of Ontario’s first Prevention Council to advise the government on workplace safety, received an honorary doctorate from Nipissing University, and inducted into MineConnect’s Hall of Fame.

Slack was named a CIM Distinguished Lecturer for the 2023-24 year.

His profile is available to read here.

Hardcastle received the District Distinguished Service Award.

A former recipient of the CIM's Vale Medal for Meritorious Contributions to Mining, Hardcastle is a consultant with the Sudbury branch of BBE Group, which specializes in mining ventilation, refrigeration, cooling, and heating.

Previous to his role with BBE, Hardcastle spent 32 years as a senior researcher with CanmetMINING, the federal government’s mining research centre.

Hardcastle has been described as driven by a need to protect workers while making mines more efficient and basing decisions on sound science and economics.

He’s considered an authority on controlled recirculation, ventilation on demand (or for production), diesel particulate monitoring, and heat stress among others. 

Read his full profile here.

CIM also recognized the Northern Gateway Branch, based in North Bay, with the Mel W. Bartley Outstanding Branch Award.

Read more about its activities here.

Its volunteers are active in the community, training students through their annual Mining Matters interactive classrooms, and holding a number of fundraising activities throughout the year.

Finally CIM recognized two Sudbury-area mines, both operated by Glencore’s Sudbury Integrated Nickel Operations, for having the best safety record through the year.

Fraser Mine won the national John T. Ryan Trophy Safety for Metal Mines, while the company’s Nickel Rim South Mine won the metal mines award for safety for Ontario.