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True to Our Word​

Posted on January 26, 2023

With a combined 75 years of mining experience and billions of dollars of resource revenue generated, JDS Associate Robert “Bob” Quartermain & JDS Founder and CEO Jeff Stibbard were the perfect pair for the recent “Mining Legends Speaker Series” at Vancouver’s Fairmont Pacific Rim hotel in September

The duo also share a passion for aviation: Jeff was appointed “Honorary Colonel” in the Royal Canadian Air Force in 2016; and, Bob earning the distinction three years later. 

Mining history was regularly made with Bob flying in bush planes to Indigenous territories, often sealing negotiations and forming partnerships with a handshake. “That’s what I did throughout my career to make sure we were true to our word,” he said at the speaker series. “I think equity and respect across all of your platforms is a key thing that you have to do.”

While exploring and developing the “Brucejack Gold Mine” project in northern B.C., Bob said that his faith & trust in his relationship with the Nisga’a Nation resulted in “an ultimate good outcome for everyone” when Brucejack became Canada’s fourth-largest gold mine with annual production of 350,000 ounces.

Bob, the 2020 Mining Hall of Fame inductee, exploded on the mining scene with his pivotal role in the discovery of Ontario’s Hemlo gold camp in the early 1980s. He began his career as a geologist for Teck Corp. and gained invaluable experience at Hemlo and other major projects across Canada. In 1985, he was recruited to manage Teck’s associated junior and mid-sized companies, among them, Silver Standard Resources.  Under his leadership, Bob grew Silver Standard from a market cap of $2 million into a global silver powerhouse valued at more than $2.5 billion. 

As well as being a longstanding advocate for Indigenous rights and involvement in the resource industry, Bob is a generous philanthropist with a focus on education, social justice and wildlife habitat preservation. In 2005, he contributed $1 million to establish the Quartermain Earth Science Centre at his alma mater, the University of New Brunswick.  In 2015, he became a founding trustee of the ARC Foundation, focused on providing resource tools to educators in teaching diversity in schools. “By creating tools for educators, they can support students to live their most authentic lives,” Bob says.

As a gay man, Bob understands how important authenticity, diversity and respect are in the companies he has built. “We’ve created safe and respectful places for people to come to work, because being part of a minority I understand how important it is to feel equal and have a safe working environment. We have to be able to open up our organizations and find those places where we can get better equality…and that has to come through education and conversation, but it needs to be respectful, and I think that’s the key.”

(Image courtesy of Pretium Resources) (Brucejack Mine, Northern B.C.)