MNN Awards winners announced

THE winners of the 2020 MNN Awards have been announced today.
MNN Awards winners announced MNN Awards winners announced MNN Awards winners announced MNN Awards winners announced MNN Awards winners announced

Staff reporter

Congratulations to our 2020 winners:

CEO of the Year: Mark Zeptner, Ramelius Resources

New/Emerging Leader of the Year: Alex Dorsch, Chalice Gold Mines

Explorer of the Year: De Grey Mining for the Hemi gold discovery

Deal and/or Merger of the Year: Saracen Mineral Holdings for the acquisition of 50% of KCGM


Ramelius managing director Mark Zeptner was the first company or person to be nominated in the same category two years' running.

The WASM graduate was voted as CEO of the Year after Ramelius smashed its FY20 guidance, acquired Spectrum Metals and increased its market value by 236%.

He narrowly beat out runner-up, West African Resources executive chairman Richard Hyde, who has overseen the successful early start-up of the Sanbrado mine.

Chalice Gold Mines MD Alex Dorsch is the New/Emerging Leader of the Year for overseeing the transformational discovery of the Julimar project, all while advancing another potential gold discovery in Victoria.

At only 33, he's at the helm of a A$350 million company with nearly $55 million in cash and investments at June 30.

The runner-up by a narrow margin was Alkane Resources MD Nic Earner, who had a stellar year due to the Boda discovery, exploration success at Tomingley, the advancement of its WA gold investments and the demerger of its Dubbo zirconium project.

The most hotly contested category was Explorer of the Year, where there were nine nominees.

The winner was De Grey Mining's Hemi discovery, which has transformed the once-struggling explorer into a billion dollar company.

The Hemi deposit is seen as having the potential to hold more than 5 million ounces of gold, which would make it Australia's most significant new gold discovery since Gruyere.

In second place was Chalice's Julimar project, a first-hole discovery that has opened up a new WA mineral province.

Newcrest Mining and Greatland Gold's Havieron gold-copper discovery in WA's Paterson Province and Alkane's Boda gold-copper porphyry discovery in New South Wales were equal third.

Saracen's US$750 million acquisition of 50% of the iconic Kalgoorlie Super Pit was the clear winner in the Deal and/or Merger of the Year category.

It is the only time in MNN Awards history that one nominee got 3 votes from every judge.

The transformational deal saw Saracen raise a third of its equity, but its shares have since doubled and the company is now a member of the ASX 100.

The win is the second in a row for Saracen after MD Raleigh Finlayson took out CEO of the Year last year. It also makes the company the first MNN Awards two-time winner.

Northern Star Resources' acquisition of the other half of the Super Pit was the runner-up.

At the start of June, we asked readers to submit nominations, which were then used to formulate a shortlist for each of the four categories.

This was the biggest field of nominees in the MNN Awards' four-year history, with the editorial team struggling to narrow down the shortlist.

The number of nominees and the spread of the votes only highlighted what a strong year it was for the Australian resources sector.

MNN's editorial team spent the past month profiling all of the nominees, which can be viewed here.

The judging panel comprised MNN editor Kristie Batten, senior reporter Michael Quinn, Aspermont managing editor Richard Roberts, MNN columnists Barry FitzGerald, Allan Trench and John Sykes, Cube Consulting general manager Rebecca Prain, CSA Global MD Jeff Elliott, Lion Selection Group investment manager Hedley Widdup and PCF Capital MD Liam Twigger.

Voting was conducted via a Brownlow Medal style system, using a 3-2-1 allocation of votes to come up with clear winners in each category.

Trophies will be presented to the winners in the coming weeks.

MNN congratulates all the winners and nominees.