Generous Barrick Gold Gift a Boon to Marathon and Northern Ontario

January 17, 2010 - Thunder Bay, ON) Lakehead University and the Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM) are pleased to accept substantial gifts from Barrick Gold Corporation - Hemlo Mine. The value of the Barrick Gold gift is $150,000, but with matching funds from the Ontario Trust for Student Support (OTSS), the total value of the gift is raised to $235,000. This donation makes a significant contribution to learning and healthcare in Northern Ontario.

The gift will be used to establish an endowed Barrick Gold Graduate Scholarship valued at $100,000, with $50,000 coming from Barrick Gold and $50,000 from matching funds through OTSS. This Scholarship will be awarded to a Lakehead graduate student with financial need who is focused on mining issues with preference given to persons of Aboriginal heritage.

As well, a total of $100,000 will go to support the work of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine. This portion of the gift is made up of a number of components:

  • Creation of a $10,000 Learner Suite in Marathon with exam rooms, office and study space, and a Learner/Resident suite;
  • A technology infrastructure upgrade of $15,000 at the Wilson Memorial Hospital and the Marathon Family Health Centre in Marathon;
  • A NOSM Student Bursary of $70,000 (with $35,000 coming from Barrick Gold and $35,000 in matching funds from the OTSS), which will be available to NOSM learners with roots in Marathon;
  • A $25,000 Award to help fund recruitment initiatives for family physicians who wish to set up a practice in Marathon; and
  • $15,000 to support a Rural Remote Health Medical Conference.
Jamie Sokalsky, EVP and CFO, Barrick Gold Corporation

"As a part of the communities where we operate, Barrick Gold seeks to help build the priorities those communities set for themselves," said Jamie Sokalsky, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Barrick Gold Corporation. "So it's very satisfying to support the expansion of expertise and delivery in health care. I know that health care is a major priority in Northwestern Ontario, and I am confident the projects announced today will make a difference to a wide number of people across a wide part of the region. Operations like our Hemlo mine give us roots in this community, and so this opportunity was one we were happy to have.  Barrick Gold has a long tradition of supporting higher education. Having been born, raised, and educated at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, it's very satisfying to me personally to be able to announce this investment today on behalf of Barrick Gold."

"The availability of significant financial support is often the single most influential factor for students of excellence when choosing a university. Lakehead is uniquely positioned to offer Northwestern Ontario students advanced training in fields that will benefit the current mining renaissance taking place throughout the North. Barrick Gold is demonstrating real leadership in the field and in the region with this comprehensive gift," says Dr. Brian J.R. Stevenson, President, Lakehead University.

From Front to Back: Dr. Andrew Dean, Dean, Faculty of Science and Environmental Studies, Lakehead University; Dr. Brian Stevenson, President, Lakehead University; Dr. Roger Strasser, Dean, Northern Ontario School of Medicine; Roger Souckey, Employee Relations Superintendent, Hemlo Mine; Jamie Sokalsky, EVP and CFO, Barrick Gold

Dr. Roger Strasser, Dean of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, is grateful to Barrick Gold for helping to advance the dream of a healthier North. "Contributions supporting NOSM's distributed model of medical education and student bursaries are long-term investments in better health care for Northern Ontarians."  He continued, "We are very grateful to Barrick Gold for being part of the solution, and for the support they have shown NOSM, our learners, our partners in Marathon, and the Medical School's mission to educate high quality physicians and health professionals."

Lakehead University is pleased to partner with corporations like Barrick Gold that share its belief in responsible resource development and in improving access to education and services throughout Northern Ontario.



Geology alumni newsletter

The first edition of the Geology Department alumni newsletter is now available and can be downloaded here. Or visit the Geology alumni web page.

Geology reunion at PDAC

After the PDAC meeting in Toronto this year, alumni of the Geology program at Lakehead University gathered at the Air Canada Centre to enjoy a Raptors game (see photo gallery). Over 90 people attended the event which was hosted by Dr Jim Franklin, Lakehead's first Professor of Economic Geology, and generously sponsored by Eric Zakrewski of True Grit Consulting Ltd. (seen below with the Raptor). During the game alumni from our first class mingled with current undergraduate students. We are already making plans for next year and hope to see even more alumni there!

To learn more about graduates of the Geology Program at Lakehead please visit our "Where are they now?' page or our new alumni section.



Lakehead Geology Graduate and Family Featured in the National Post

Lakehead Geology Graduate and Family Featured in the National Post

Lakehead geology graduate Katarina Bjorkman and her family are featured in a story about modern prospectors that ran this summer in the National Post. A compelling read, the story details the lives and gold fever of father Karl, sister Jessica and her five younger siblings (except high-school age Karla), and mother Nikki - who are all employees of the family business, Bjorkman Prospecting.

To learn more about this all-in-the-family Northwestern Ontario enterprise, read Gold Runs in Their Veins


Lakehead Grad Receives Hugo Dummett Award for Diamond Exploration

Robert Lucas (B.Sc. Geology 1979) and colleagues, Brooke Clements and Pierre Bertrand, have been awarded the Hugo Dummett Diamond Award by the Association for Mineral Exploration, British Columbia, for their excellent work in diamond discoveries in Quebec. The award was created to honour those who have made a significant contribution to diamond exploration, diamond technology, the diamond discovery process, or diamond mine development. Lucas, Clements, and Bertrand were leaders of the exploration team that discovered the diamondiferous Renard kimberlite cluster in Quebec in 2001.

The Renard project has recently demonstrated the potential to produce approximately 30 million carats of diamonds over a 25‐year mine life and is poised to become Quebec's first diamond mine.

To learn more, read AME BC Announces 2010 Award Winners: Industry Leaders to be Recognized at Mineral Exploration Roundup Awards Dinner.


Lakehead Professor Emeritus, Dr. Roger Mitchell, Honoured with Mineral Species Name and Joint-Principal Editor Appointment

The CFI Awards $312,292 to Lakehead University to Support Science Researchers

(January 21, 2011, Thunder Bay, ON) The Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI)
announced today that it has awarded $312,292 to Lakehead University to support projects led by researchers Philip Fralick and Aicheng Chen. This award will fund the purchase of a field-emission based scanning electron microscope with an EDXA spectrometer (FE-SEM EDXA). This piece of equipment is crucial to the work of Lakehead scientists in many fields including geology, chemistry, engineering, physics, biology and more. This new SEM will allow Lakehead researchers to work at the nanometer scale that is necessary for the most promising lines of future research.

Dr. Fralick, Professor of Geology, and one of the most recognized researchers in the world working on the genesis of iron ore deposits, requires an FE-SEM-EDXA to more fully explore the role of organisms in the formation of iron ore deposits. With the resolution of a new FE-SEM EDXA, details in the mineralized outer rinds of what appear to be iron oxide-coated fossilized bacteria will be possible to analyze. In addition, a number of studies being undertaken by Professor of Chemistry, Dr. Chen, and his research group, hold potential for developing economically significant nanostructured catalysts for green chemistry applications.

Drs. Fralick and Chen are preparing to work collaboratively to unravel the nanometer-scale processes on which some of the most promising bioremediation techniques in use today are based. Their work will provide the foundation for the design of more efficient treatment methods for water contaminated with heavy metals.

"The investment announced today at Lakehead University will further enhance our country's reputation as a destination of choice for outstanding researchers," said Dr. Gilles G. Patry, President and CEO of the CFI. "They will make our universities even more competitive when it comes to attracting the best and brightest researchers from around the world."

Dr. Rui Wang, Vice-President (Research, Economic Development & Innovation), welcomed the CFI's investment. "This new microscope will provide Lakehead's researchers the much needed state-of-the-art tools to continue their leading-edge research in a number of important fields, such as mining and green chemistry. It will also enable Lakehead University to serve our region and industry with expanded capability. We are extremely grateful to CFI for its decade-long support to Lakehead's endeavour of research and innovation."

Lakehead University's award is part of a total of $61,291,274 in new funds to support 246 projects at 48 institutions across Canada, announced today by the CFI. This project was funded through the Leaders Opportunity Fund, which provides infrastructure support to Canadian institutions so they can attract and retain the very best of today and tomorrow's leading researchers at a time of intense international competition for knowledge workers.

For a complete list of the projects awarded today, please visit