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Modern mining pioneer to be honoured this winter

Robert Gannicott is being inducted into the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame.

“He was so enthusiastic for his work.”

The man behind what was once known as Aber Resources, the framework for the largest diamond producer in the country, Dominion Diamond Corporation, is being honoured for his life achievements.

He was one of the main movers of building the diamond business in Canada,” says Bill Roscoe, Chair of the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame. “He was there on the grounds, he was there in 1991, with Aber, in the middle of the staking rush and the discovery of the Diavik diamond pipes.

With Aber, he really built the foundation for Dominion.

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Gannicott passed away last year at the age of 69, after a battle with leukemia. In his 69 years, Bob fought for the people. He had a heavy hand in increasing the local employment of Indigenous people.

Bob came over from the UK in the sixties and he had a job lined up at the Giant Mine in Yellowknife. He just had a connection there. With the people, more specifically Indigenous people, and really just everyone.

Roscoe would add that Bob likely had a key hand in the hiring process for Ekati, helping the local residents and Northerners gain employment.

Gannicott would work for several years in Yellowknife before going back to University to study Geology. Roscoe says that it was Gannicott’s inquisitive mind that helped him lead the charge with Aber.

He was always asking questions, always. Questions you wouldn’t expect to hear.

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He really was the driving force when they acquired Harry Winston and they vertically integratedEventually they sold the company and the name changed to Dominion. They bought Ekati, which was a very opportunistic thing to do. It was great for the business.

Roscoe pinned down what qualifies a person for the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame.

Seems for Bob Gannicott it was an open heart and an opportunistic mind.

Bill Roscoe told one final story of Bob before we ended our conversation.

He loved what he did, he really did. He was drilling holes on a cliff face in Greenland. He’d be working in the pouring rain for 10 hours and he’d finally decide ‘oh, maybe it’s time for lunch,’ and then he’d go back to drilling. He was so enthusiastic for his work.

The ceremony is in Toronto this upcoming January. If by chance you’d like to attend to honour Mr. Gannicott, tickets can be bought here.

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