In memory of a rising geology superstar
Mining Explorers 2019 – Published Nov. 1, 2019
Last updated 8/7/2020 at 7:53am
On Aug. 8, 2011, I landed at the exploration camp at ATAC Resources' Rackla Gold property, a place buzzing with excitement and activity from the recent discovery of Carlin-style gold mineralization. Finding out more about this intriguing new find was the highlight of my tour of Yukon mineral projects that year.
This is where I first met Julia Lane, a 25-year-old geologist tasked with explaining "Carlin-style gold mineralization" to me and my media colleagues and what this unique geology meant for ATAC Resources and its work at Rackla.
Being young, enthusiastic and photogenic, I initially assumed that Julia was a geological underling selected as a spokesperson for ATAC. It did not take long, however, for me to be deeply impressed with her solid understanding of Carlin-style gold and the geology of the enormous Rackla property.
The only thing that may have outshined Julia's geological acumen was her passion for mineral exploration and ability to imbue this excitement into anyone who listened to her talk about the work being carried out at Rackla.
Over the years since I first met Julia, she spread her deep geological knowledge and passion with the wider mining community while discussing ATAC's Carlin-type gold discoveries and their characteristics at conferences across Canada and the United States. As a result, many others have gained the respect and admiration of this geologist I met on that August day in the Yukon.
As a result of her excellent work and understanding of the various mineralized systems across the enormous Rackla Gold belt, by the age of 29 Lane had earned the post of vice president of exploration for ATAC.
On Aug. 6, 2019, however, the North of 60 Mining sector lost this rising geology superstar to a tragic plane crash while flying from Rackla to the Yukon community of Mayo.
While I did not know Julia well – having only spoken with her during that first visit to Rackla and a few times at mining conventions – I felt a deep sense of loss at hearing the news that she was one of the two people aboard the downed plane.
This sense of loss for someone I did not know personally speaks to the lasting impression Julia left on the mineral exploration sector in the Yukon and beyond – an influence established with her bright eyes and cheerful smile, and then solidified with a remarkable understanding of geology.
This ability to light up a room and then impress with knowledge seemingly beyond her years is reflected in the words of some of her closest colleagues.
"Julia's infectious enthusiasm and passion will be deeply missed by ATAC and the entire exploration community," said ATAC Resources President and CEO Graham Downs, summing up how many of us who had the opportunity to meet her feel.
"Julia was beloved by everyone who had the opportunity to work with her and was deeply respected across the industry," said Rob Carne, former president of ATAC Resources.
Mining Explorers 2019 is dedicated to the memory of Julia Lane, a rising geology superstar who will be missed by family, friends, colleagues and one journalist whom she impressed with the enthusiasm of youth and knowledge that seemed to defy it.