YMP Announces Ashley Kirwan and David Cataford as the 2020 Eira Thomas and Peter Munk Awards Winners

Toronto, Ontario--(Newsfile Corp. - February 14, 2020) - Young Mining Professionals ("YMP") is pleased to announce that the winners for 2020 of the YMP Eira Thomas and Peter Munk Awards are Ashley Kirwan of Orix Geoscience and David Cataford of Champion Iron Mines.

The YMP Awards, presented in association with The Northern Miner, recognizes two young mining professionals, a female and a male, who over the past year, and during their careers, have demonstrated exceptional leadership skills and innovative thinking to provide value for their companies and shareholders, as well as for themselves. The YMP Awards are named after two iconic entrepreneurs in the mining industry, Eira Thomas and the late Peter Munk.

The Awards will be presented to Ashley and David at the YMP Awards Gala on Saturday, February 29th, 2020, at 6 pm at the Shangri-La Hotel in Toronto, Canada as the kick-off event for the mining industry's Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada's Conference. Tickets are now on sale by following this link:

Click Here to Buy Tickets for the YMP Awards

Nominees for the Awards must be under 40 years of age in 2019 and active in some aspect of the mining industry. Voting on a selection of nominees was held in January by a committee representing the global YMP chapters and The Northern Miner.

YMP would like to thank our generous sponsors and supporters of the YMP Awards: Barrick Gold, KPMG, Cassels Brock and Rio Tinto, whose commitment to our industry's next generation is invaluable to recognizing the talented and committed professionals within the mining sector.

About this Year's Eira Thomas and Peter Munk Award Winners

Ms. Ashley Kirwan:

Ashley Kirwan is the Co-founder, President, CEO and Principal Geologist at Orix Geoscience Inc., a leading geological firm that partners with junior, mid-tier, and major mining clients to provide geological expertise and business strategy. The company is a leading geological firm in terms of culture, quality of work, and creative business partnerships and prides itself on diversity. With over 60 employees, 50% are female and 26% foreign-born.   

Raised in Sudbury, Ashley earned both a B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Geology at Laurentian University. In 12 years, Ashley has worked throughout North and South America, including Sudbury, Nunavut, Nevada and Ecuador; as an Exploration Geologist with Bridgeport Ventures Inc. in Nevada, and on both exploration and underground projects with QuadraFNX Mining Ltd. (now KGHM International) in Sudbury, Ontario. She co-founded Orix Geoscience in 2012 and has had an active role in growing the company from a start-up to a successful and sustainable business.

Since its inception in 2012, Orix has exponentially grown in revenue, employees, and projects during a market downturn. The company currently operates out of three offices (Toronto, Sudbury, and Winnipeg) and provides a full cycle of geological and geomatic services to junior, mid-tier and major companies. Corporate culture is a fundamental value at Orix. The company received the Employee Recommended Workplace Award from Morneau Shepell and the Globe and Mail in 2019.

In 2016, Ashley was named in the 100 Global Inspirational Women in Mining and was awarded the Distinguished Alumni Rising Star Award from Laurentian University in 2018. More recently Ashley was selected as one of the Top 40 Under 40 award winners for the City of Greater Sudbury.

Ashley is committed to leading a new generation of geoscientists in the mining industry, and with her team at Orix they are breaking boundaries for many women geoscientists.

Mr. David Cataford:

David Cataford is the CEO and Director of Champion Iron Limited, an iron ore producer whose flagship asset is the Bloom Lake mine in Quebec, Canada. David has been working in the iron industry and the Labrador Trough for the past 15 years.

David joined Champion Iron in 2014 as Vice President, Engineering, served as Chief Operating Officer from 2017 to 2019 before being promoted to his current role of CEO and Director in 2019. David played a key role on the management team, delivering the successful restart of the Bloom Lake Mine by managing its construction and commissioning and building a team composed of more than 400 top mining talents. Prior to joining Champion Iron, David held senior management positions within Cliff Natural Resources Inc.

His experience in iron ore mining includes mineral characterization projects at Bloom Lake and for AccerlorMittal at Mount Wright, as well as adapting the recovery circuit to meet new customer demands to maximize profit margins. David is also the co-founder of the North Shore and Labrador Mineral Processing Society.

David holds a bachelor's degree in mining engineering from Laval University.

About YMP

YMP is a global association of mining professionals that share the goal of advancing the global profile and leadership of the mining industry. YMP has chapters in Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, Sudbury, London UK, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Johannesburg. YMP was established to assist participants in obtaining the skills, support and knowledge to successfully advance their careers, develop a network of contacts within the industry and identify career and mining-related investment opportunities. YMP facilitates these objectives through scholarships, networking and social events, as well as high-profile guest speaker events throughout the year.

For more information on YMP, its chapters, the YMP Awards, YMP events and Career Connect, or the YMP Scholarship Fund please visit our website at www.youngminingprofessionals.com or email us at info@youngminingprofessionals.com.

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