Skip to content

Northern women lauded for mining industry contributions

Women in Mining Canada announces 2024 Trailblazer Award winners
From left, Amy Lefebvre of Timmins, Raiyana Umar of Sudbury, and Rachel Cranford of North Bay have received Trailblazer Awards from Women in Mining Canada for their contributions to the mining industry.

Three Northern Ontario women have been recognized by Women in Mining Canada for their contributions to the mining industry.

The organization's Trailblazer Awards recognize women who “embody the trailblazing spirit, which refers to the leadership mindset needed to make extraordinary personal strides to navigate the Canadian mining industry.”

Amy Lefebvre of Timmins, Raiyana Umar of Sudbury, and Rachel Cranford of North Bay are all being recognized.

Joining them are D. Jean Hutchinson of Kingston and Marge Fraser of the Tahltan Nation in British Columbia.

Lefebvre, who is currently studying environmental science at Western University, received the Indigenous Student Trailblazer Award.

She's completed two summer internships and two work studies in geoscience, presenting her work at sector conferences for PACROFI and PDAC.

Lefebvre is an executive member of the University of Western Ontario Environmental Science Association, where she collaborates with peers on the development of earth science-related activities.

She is currently completing her specialization in environmental science with an honours in geology, and anticipates continuing her work in earth science post-graduation.

Umar, a fourth-year chemical engineering student at Laurentian University, received the Student Trailblazer Award.

Passionate about technical challenges in mining, Umar completed a 16-month internship as a high-pressure metallurgy process engineer at Hatch, engaging in projects to enhance metal recovery.

She serves on the board of the Laurentian Women in Engineering Club, organizing events that promote inclusivity and offer networking opportunities for female engineering students, and is actively involved in mentorship programs, guiding and supporting aspiring women engineers.

Upon graduation, Umar's goal is to work as a process engineer in the mining industry, and her future goals include earning her doctorate in mining engineering.

Cranford, a principal and operations leader for mining, mineral and metals at Stantec, received the Rick Huston Mentorship Award.

She holds an undergraduate degree in commerce and has recently completed her MBA.

Cranford is also an active volunteer in the community, organizing North Bay's annual Mining Week activities and serving as a judge during the local FIRST robotics competition.

“Driven by her passion for growth and development, Rachel is continuously looking for opportunities to broaden her own learning and sharing that with others,” WIM writes. “She is committed to nurturing talent and elevating those around her, creating space for everyone to bring their full selves to the team, to lead with their strengths and find a fulfilling career in mining.”

Women in Mining Canada is a national non-profit industry group advocating for diversity and inclusion in the mining industry.