2023 Trailblazer Award Winners

Trailblazer Award

Chafika Eddine

Chief Sustainability Officer, Orla Mining Ltd.

Chafika’s compass is profoundly engaged towards corporate responsibility, business ethics and human rights. Her mixed background fuels her intention and efforts to contribute to a more inclusive and respectful world. Chafika accounts for over 30 public speaking events advocating for responsible and sustainable governance, sharing her 25 years of experience in the mining industry working at the executive level as well as in the field with Indigenous and remote communities. Her positive influence is also channeled by her academic investigations on the affirmative impact of gender diversity in systemic improvement and risk management. Chafika has lived and worked in South, Central, North America and Europe and  has received multiple awards throughout her career, the most recent being the 100 Global Inspirational Women in Mining (WIM-100) recognizing her significant contribution to the visibility of gender inclusion and business ethics. She was named one of the most influential Latin in Canada in 2018; and in 2020, she was a panelist at the Ryerson University sharing her experience to celebrate People of Color’s success.


Chafika is the Chief Sustainability Officer for Orla Mining, a Fellow Member of the Chartered Corporate Governance Institute of Canada, a board member of Solis Minerals and she was previously a sustainability and corporate governance consultant with mandates in countries such as Brazil, Bolivia, Canada, Chile, Mexico, Panama, and Peru. She has also worked at Hudbay Minerals, Bear Creek Mining, AngloGold, and Anglo American in roles primarily focused on governance and sustainability management. Through her career she has created several women-focused programs to open pathways for local suppliers empowering female participation. When she moved to Canada, she created a wine/travel club for women which in 2007, inspired by Chafika’s philanthropic initiatives, resulted in the Global Change for Children Foundation – an organization she co-founded with other women to fund programs in more than a dozen countries. Chafika has a master degree in Community Development from the University of Victoria, a law degree from Brazil and is completing a Doctoral program at the Royal Roads University.

Chafika was nominated by Stellamaris Tile.

Indigenous Trailblazer Award

Freda Campbell

Community Relations Director, Skeena Resources Limited

Freda Campbell embodies the future of the mining industry through her dedication to empowering the Indigenous workforce, innovation in Indigenous community engagement, and mentoring the next generation of Indigenous leaders.  Freda has worked in the mining industry for both proponents and Indigenous Nations for over 25 years. She is a member of the Tahltan Nation, Crow Clan, and Dekama Family, and has lived in Tahltan Territory, in communities directly affected by mining for over 15 years.  Freda’s commitment to the Tahltan Nation and her vision for the mining industry makes her a trailblazer. Freda currently resides in Dease Lake BC and is the Community Relations Director for Skeena Resources Limited. 

Freda was nominated by Nalaine Morin.

Indigenous Student Trailblazer Award

Sponsored by Sprott

Emma Plant

Geodesy and Geomatics student, University of New Brunswick

Emma Plant is in her final year of Geodesy and Geomatic Engineering at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton. She is of Ojibwé heritage and is a part of the Pic Mobert first nations band. Throughout her undergrad she worked as a surveyor within the mining industry to monitor  the movement of mines to ensure it was a safe working environment for everyone. When she is not focusing on her career and academics, Emma spends her free time playing sports. This has given her the opportunity to help grow and empower women in her community through volunteering at kid camps and coaching women’s leagues. After graduation she plans on working for Natural Resources Canada to gain experience with working with First Nation Communities which can later be transferred into the mining industry.

Student Trailblazer Award

Sponsored by Dundee Precious Metals

Kathryn Cheng

Geology Specialist student, University of Toronto

Kathryn Cheng is a fourth-year undergraduate student at the University of Toronto pursuing a Geology Specialist. As the Chair of the Women in Mining University of Toronto Student Chapter for the past two years, Kathryn has organized two events to promote the involvement of young women and visible minorities to join the geosciences industry. These events have reached audiences across Canada and internationally. She has also been the president University of Toronto Undergraduate Earth Sciences Association for two years, where she has organized a mentorship program to help facilitate students transitioning from university to the industry and implemented a diversity, equity, and inclusion executive position to help foster a more inclusive
environment in earth sciences.

Kathryn has a wealth of research experience, from conducting research at the Ontario Science Centre to earth science laboratories at the University of Toronto. Namely, Kathryn was an undergraduate research assistant in the Mineral Resources and Tectonics Laboratory and the Economic Geology Laboratory. Most recently, Kathryn joined the Trace Metals and Metal Isotope Laboratory as a research fellow and undergraduate researcher. Kathryn has also
worked as a summer student geologist at Angus Gold Inc., where she conducted biogeochemical field sampling.

Kathryn co-hosts a podcast, Earth News Interviews, where she has discussed issues including gender inequality, socioeconomic disparities, and the gender-wage gap in the geosciences. Kathryn aspires to attend graduate school and continue to mentor and encourage women to join the geosciences community. In her spare time, Kathryn enjoys hiking, listening to podcasts, and volunteering.

Rick Hutson Mentorship Award

Rachel Pineault

Vice President Human Resources and Community Engagement, Treasury Metals

Ms. Pineault has over 25 years of progressive senior management experience in the mining industry. She is currently the Vice President of Human Resources and Community Engagement at Treasury Metals.  Prior to joining Treasury, she was the Vice President of Human Resources at Battle North Gold. Previously, she was Director of Human Resources – Canadian Operations, for Kirkland Lake Gold, Vice President, Human Resources and Aboriginal Affairs at Detour Gold, and Head of Human Resources and Aboriginal Affairs for De Beers Canada – Victor Mine. Ms. Pineault holds a Certified Human Resources Executive (CHRE) designation. Rachel is currently on the Advisory Board of Laurentian University’s International Goodman School of Mining. Ms. Pineault has proven success in developing and implementing human resources and community initiatives to drive organizational effectiveness.  She is a sought-after speaker, a motivational team leader, and an industry expert with an enviable history of HR accomplishments on both corporate and operational levels. Rachel is dedicated about developing the next generation of passionate and driven industry leaders.

Rachel was nominated by Stephanie Labelle.