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TORONTO, NOVEMBER 8, 2022 – The Canadian Mining Hall of Fame (CMHF) will welcome three new mining industry leaders in 2023 in recognition of their inspiring achievements and visionary leadership to elevate the stature of Canadian mining at home and abroad:

  • Jim Cooney
  • Alexander John Davidson
  • Douglas Balfour Silver

During the 2022 induction season, the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame recognized its 200th member since inception in 1989. These 200 members all played a role in establishing Canada’s mining industry as the global leader it is today.  They embody the important role mining plays in society, contribute positively to the industry from different perspectives, backgrounds and skills, and have inspired future generations to make our industry even better. The 2023 inductees will soon join these 200 incredible members. 

“Our 2023 inductees are multidimensional; their contributions span many areas of the industry and their impacts set new standards,” said Janice Zinck, Chair of the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame and Executive Director, Geoscience and Mines, Department of Natural Resources and Renewables, Nova Scotia. “The mining industry is at the forefront of the world’s energy transition and Canada is well-positioned to lead the supply of future-facing minerals and metals. What gives Canada a competitive advantage is our leadership examples, in part set by our 2023 inductees, who fiercely championed a better, more responsible, sustainable and successful industry.”

As a non-miner in the mining world, Jim Cooney championed his strongly held convictions of sustainable development and pioneered the application of policies and procedures to improve the industry’s social and environmental performance as it adapted to changing times. Few modern-era geologists have experienced a more productive quest for mineral wealth than Alex Davidson. From 1993 to 2009, he contributed to the remarkable success of Barrick Gold as it grew from its North American base into the world’s leading gold producer. The career accomplishments of Douglas Silver also reflect the mutual benefits of wealth-generating opportunities across the Canadian and US border. Silver launched the Denver Gold Group (DGG), one of the world’s leading investment forums for precious metals producers that features a dominant contingent of Canadian-listed companies.

The CMHF will welcome these three new members at the annual Canadian Mining Hall of Fame Annual Gala Dinner & Induction Ceremony to be held on May 24, 2023 at The Carlu in Toronto. Tables of ten will be available for purchase in March 2023 at


Jim Cooney (b. 1942)

Jim Cooney was a non-miner in the mining industry, having studied philosophy and political science at Georgetown University and East Asian studies at the University of Toronto. From the mid-1990s until his retirement in 2006, he was a thought leader in a broad range of national and international forums that helped mining associations and other organizations draft and adopt sustainable development policies and practices. He introduced the term “Social License to Operate” in 1997. This concept quickly gained prominence in the mining industry and eventually all industries. In 1982 Cooney was hired by Placer Development as manager of government affairs. From 1986 to 1988, he was on an Interchange Canada assignment as resource policy analyst with the office of the Federal Economic Development Coordinator. During that time, Placer Development merged with Dome Mines. In 1988, Cooney returned to Placer Dome as director of international and public affairs. He was inspired by the 1987 Brundtland report, Our Common Future, which introduced the world to the concept of sustainable development, which he advocated the mining industry should adopt. In 1998, Placer became the first mining company to fully embrace sustainable development in principle and in practice. Under Cooney’s guidance, Placer implemented two pathfinding sustainability initiatives at Las Cristinas and South Deep mines, which received commendations from the World Bank for leadership in community development by a mining company. In recognition of his leadership and achievements, Cooney received the CIM’s award for excellence in sustainable development (2011) and AME Robert R. Hedley Award for social and environmental responsibility (2016).

Alexander John Davidson (b. 1951)

Born in Montreal, Alexander John Davidson graduated from McGill University in 1976 with a M.Sc. degree in Economic Geology. Soon after he led an exploration program for a predecessor of Cameco and drilled the discovery hole at the McArthur Lake uranium deposit in Saskatchewan. In 1980 he joined Falconbridge Copper in Ontario, where he contributed to the discovery of the high-grade Winston Lake zinc deposit, which produced from 1988 to 1999. Davidson joined Barrick Gold in 1993 and became part of a top-tier team led by Peter Munk and Robert Smith (both CMHF inductees). His vision and team leadership skills helped Barrick meet the challenge of expanding total resources while continually replacing mined ounces on an annual basis. As Executive Vice President of exploration and [later] corporate development, Davidson helped expand Barrick’s gold resources through a series of world-class discoveries and strategic mergers and acquisitions. Davidson’s achievements helped elevate the stature of Canadian mining at home and overseas and earned him industry honours including the PDAC’s Prospector of the Year Award (2003), the CIM’s A.O. Dufresne Award (2005) and the SME’s Charles F. Rand Gold Medal (2019). 

Douglas Balfour Silver (b. 1955)

Douglas Balfour Silver was raised in New Jersey and graduated from the University of Arizona with a Masters degree in Economic Geology, rising to prominence in the early 1990s as president and owner of Balfour Holdings, a leading mineral economics and management consulting firm. His pioneering expertise in valuations improved the due diligence process, set market values, and ultimately contributed to the drafting of industry valuation standards, such as the CIMVAL Code. Silver made many contributions to Canada’s mining industry, notably in the mineral royalty and streaming sector. In 2005, he launched International Royalty Corporation (IRC) and grew revenues from US$400,000 to US$50 million by 2007 and sold the company for $749 million in 2010. Silver next joined private-equity firm, Orion Resource Partners., and built another large royalty portfolio that ultimately sold for $1.1 billion to Canadian company, Osisko Gold Royalties, and participated in hundreds of millions of dollars in Canadian mining investments. He also supported Canadian mining through the Denver Gold Group, which he conceptualized and founded to introduce gold companies to gold institutional investors. The DGG has long been dominated by Canadian-listed companies, and its annual conference continues today as one of the world’s principal forums for gold investment discussion. Silver has received numerous awards for his many achievements, notably from the Society of Mining Engineering, Metallurgy and Exploration (SME), and also was a 2018 inductee into the U.S. National Mining Hall of Fame.      

About the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame

Founded in 1989 by the Northern Miner, the Mining Association of Canada, the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada and the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum, the CMHF is a charitable organization that recognizes outstanding achievement in the mining industry, celebrates individual leadership and inspires future generations in mining. Members are selected through a fair, inclusive and accessible process driven by the CMHF Board of Directors and its member associations. For more information, please visit:

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Media Contact:

Morgan Murphy