MNN Awards

The annual MNN Awards recognise the Australian mining sector’s standout performers for the previous financial year. The 2023 MNN Awards will focus on FY23 across four categories: Deal of the Year, Explorer of the Year, CEO of the Year and Emerging Leader of the Year.

Nominations are submitted by the industry which allows the MNN team to come up with a shortlist of finalists. A panel of industry experts then decide on the winners. Trophies will be presented to the winners at the inaugural MiningNews Select event on 18 September at Pan Pacific Perth.

The awards will recognise outstanding companies and individuals across the following categories:

Awards Categories

Nominations are now closed. 


The CEO of the Year Award recognises standout value creation and strong company and industry leadership in the 2023 financial year.

Nominees are..

Luca Giacovazzi, Wyloo Metals

Chris Gale, Latin Resources

Dale Henderson, Pilbara Minerals

Darren Stralow, Bellevue Gold

Dean Tuck, Dreadnought Resources

WINNER: Darren Strallow, Bellevue Gold

Explorer of the year

The Explorer of the Year Award will recognise a company and its leadership team for a significant new discovery made, or advanced to a meaningful status, during the 2023 financial year.

Nominees are:

WA1 Resources for the Luni niobium discovery in Western Australia

Azure Minerals for the Andover lithium discovery in Western Australia

Rumble Resources for the Earaheedy maiden zinc resource in Western Australia

Dreadnought Resources for the Yin rare earths discovery in Western Australia

Patriot Battery Metals for the Corvette lithium discovery in Quebec

Great Boulder Resources for the Side Well maiden gold resource in Western Australia

Gascoyne Resources for the Never Never gold discovery in Western Australia

WINNER: Azure Minerals, for the discovery of the Andover Lithium Deposit


The Deal of the Year Award is a corporate development award recognising successful execution of a strategy, and/or realisation of value, from a significant transaction during the 2023 financial year.

Nominees are..

Genesis Minerals for the acquisition of the Leonora gold operations

Wyloo Metals for the takeover of Mincor Resources

Ramelius Resources for the takeover of Breaker Resources

Catalyst Metals for its consolidation of the Marymia gold belt

WINNER: Genesis Minerals, for consolidation of Leonora Gold District



The Emerging Leader of the Year Award will go to a first-time CEO with less than three years in a role who has demonstrated strong potential to be a future industry leader.

Nominees are..

Alex Rovira, Brightstar Resources

James Champion de Crespigny, Catalyst Metals

Rowena Smith, Australian Strategic Materials

Luke Creagh, Ora Banda Mining

Graham Arvidson, Australian Vanadium

WINNER: James Champion de Crespigny, Catalyst Metals

2023 Judges:


Cian Caffrey

Cian is a Perth-based executive director of RFC Ambrian. He has been involved in M&A, IPOs and strategic reviews and has also contributed to a number of RFC Ambrian’s in-depth research and sectoral analysis publications.

Hedley Widdup

Hedley is a geologist and investment manager of Lion Selection Group. He is also one of the best-regarded mining commentators in Australia and a regular speaker on the conference circuit.

Rebecca Prain

Rebecca is a geologist and managing director of Cube Consulting, as well as a non-executive director of Silver Lake Resources.

Allan Trench

MNN’s long-time Strictly Boardroom columnist, Allan is also MBA Director and Professor at the UWA Business School, a non-executive director of several ASX-listed minerals companies – and the Perth representative for CRU Consulting, a division of independent metals and mining advisory CRU Group.

Liam Twigger

A deputy chairman of Argonaut, Liam has extensive experience in providing strategic corporate advice and in the execution of M&A. He is also the chairman of LSE/TSX-listed SolGold and ASX-listed Lunnon Metals.

John Sykes

John is undertaking a multidisciplinary doctorate at the Centre for Exploration Targeting, UWA and a sessional lecturer on the MBA program at UWA Business School. He is also a strategist for MinEx Consulting and a director of Greenfields Research, as a well as one half of MNN’s weekly Strictly Boardroom column.

Kristie Batten

 Kristie has been with MNN for 15 years, including the past 11 years as editor.

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