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September 13, 1999
(Mines and Energy)

Government geoscientist awarded national medal

Roger Grimes, Minister of Mines and Energy, is pleased to announce that Bruce Ryan, a geoscientist with the Geological Survey of Newfoundland and Labrador (a division within the department), has been awarded the first national Provincial Geologists Medal.

The presentation was made today at the annual Energy and Mines Ministers Conference, held this week in Charlottetown, P.E.I. In making the presentation, Donald MacKinnon, P.E.I.'s Minister of Development and co-chair of the conference, read the citation acknowledging Mr. Ryan's contribution to our understanding of the geological evolution of Labrador.

The Provincial Geologists Medal was created to recognize just such outstanding work by a geoscientist in one of Canada's provincial or territorial Geological Surveys. Each province/territory submits a nominee for the medal, and all candidates are evaluated by an independent national selection committee representing industry, government and academia. This year, the first for the medal, Mr. Ryan was the unanimous choice of the selection committee.

Bruce Ryan was born in Birchy Cove, Bonavista Bay, and attended Memorial University of Newfoundland in the late '60s and early '70s. He began a serious affair with Labrador in 1972 when he was a student assistant to a geological field party working in the Torngat Mountains of northern Labrador. Bruce joined the Geological Survey, Department of Mines and Energy, as a full-time project geologist in 1976, and formally received his M.Sc (geology) degree from Memorial in 1977. He has spent his entire professional career mapping and studying the diverse geological environments and mineral occurrences of central and northern Labrador.

Mr. Grimes noted that Mr. Ryan's breakthrough work in the Nain area identified a previously unrecognized type of rock formation that would later be found to host the world-class Voisey's Bay nickel-copper-cobalt deposit. In fact, Bruce's landmark 1990 geological map of the Nain region, as well as his subsequent remarkably insightful model for the origin of the Voisey's Bay mineralization, was a fundamentally important guide for the exploration rush that followed the discovery of the deposit.

Bruce Ryan has received other recognition for his exemplary work over the years. The Geological Association of Canada presented him with its Boldy Award for his scientific paper on the Voisey's Bay deposit, and later selected him as the Robinson Distinguished Lecturer for 1996-97, which saw Bruce undertake a national lecture tour, presenting his lecture on the geology and mineral potential of northern Labrador in 24 cities and towns across Canada.

Mr. Grimes concluded: "The department is staffed by some of the finest experts around, and the national recognition of Mr. Ryan's research with the Geological Survey of Newfoundland and Labrador is indicative of the quality of work and expertise exhibited by many other geoscientists in the Survey. I am proud of Bruce's achievement and what it says about the department's commitment to generate wealth through the development of the province's mineral and hydrocarbon resources."

Media contact: Carl Cooper, (709) 729-4890.

1999 09 13 3:30 p.m.

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