P. Jerry Asp, Alex G. Balogh, Hans T.F. Lundberg and Eberhard Scherkus will be inducted into the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame in 2020. Courtesy of Canadian Mining Hall of Fame.

“A large company executive, a bridge-builder between Indigenous peoples and the mining industry, a tech visionary from the past, and a mine-builder responsible for [expanding] a company” is how Jon Baird, chairman of the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame (CMHF), described this year’s new members.

 Jerry Asp, Alex G. Balogh, the late Hans T.F. Lundberg, and Eberhard (Ebe) Scherkus will be inducted into the CMHF on Jan. 9 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre and will join ranks with 186 current members.

“We’ve come up with a very diverse group, in other years it’s been more uniform,” Baird said in an interview with CIM Magazine. “Just a look at the Mining Hall of Fame will show you the diversity of people because it is a diverse industry.”

The CMHF was founded as a charitable organization in 1988 by the Mining Association of Canada, PDAC, the Northern Miner, and CIM. Each year the CMHF Board of Directors selects inductees who demonstrate the excellence of the Canadian mining industry through their achievements and leadership. Nominations come from by members of the industry and provincial mining associations.

 Jerry Asp, of the Tahltan Nation, has spent decades advocating for Indigenous Peoples’ inclusion in the mining industry. Since 1965, Asp has focused on navigating his community’s concerns about development on traditional lands and the industry’s potential employment and business opportunities for the community. During the 1980s mineral and mining boom in British Columbia’s “Golden Triangle,” Asp founded the Tahltan Nation Development Corp. (TNDC) to negotiate partnerships with mining companies for projects such as Goldcorp’s Golden Bear mine. TNDC is now the largest Indigenous-owned and operated heavy construction company in Western Canada. Asp also helped found the Canadian Aboriginal Minerals Association and the Global Indigenous Development Trust.

Related: Kate Carmack, James M. Franklin, James W. Gill, Sandy Laird and Brian Meikle nominated to Canadian Mining Hall of Fame

Alex G. Balogh helped transform Noranda and Falconbridge into two of Canada’s most successful mining and metallurgical companies. In the 1970s Balogh introduced Noranda’s continuous smelting and converting process at the Horne smelter in Quebec. He went on to become chairman and deputy chairman of Falconbridge and Noranda respectively from 1994 through 2003. Balogh’s experience goes beyond his work with Noranda and Falconbridge, as he has also served on the International Council on Metals and the Environment, National Advisory Committee of the Minerals and Metals Industry, the Council of Governors for the Canada-Chile Board of Trade and has mentored young geoscientists.

The late Hans T.F. Lundberg is considered “Canada’s first ambassador of exploration,” and a pioneer in developing and applying geophysical and geochemical methods to the industry. After moving to Canada from Sweden in 1926, Lundberg spent the remainder of the decade conducting ground geophysical surveys, the first of its kind in Canada. Among his greatest accomplishments were his application of airborne geophysical methods throughout the 1940s and his airborne radiometric surveying of the 1950s. Lundberg introduced science and technology to mineral exploration and “encouraged many young geophysicists and geochemists to advance these new branches of science,” which would eventually become standard practices in the industry.

(Read more about Hans T.F. Lundberg and other pioneers of exploration geophysics in Mining Geophysics: A Canadian Story)

Eberhard (Ebe) Scherkus grew up in Val d’Or, Quebec, and helped transform Agnico Eagle Mines Limited from a regional, single-mine company to a top global producer of gold with nine mines across Canada, Finland and Mexico. Scherkus joined Agnico Eagle in 1985 as a project manager, helped develop the LaRonde Mine and expand it more multiple times. Scherkus was appointed COO of Agnico Eagle in 1998 and was president and CEO from 2005 until his retirement in 2012. Within the mining industry, he has become known as a generous mentor, an environmentally responsible leader, and a “builder of bridges” with Canadian and international stakeholders.

“What we’re trying to do, in part, is to inspire future generations in mining,” Baird said. “Showing the world these achievements by Canadians, I think, sets the standards of excellence [in the global industry].”