We at CMJ are saddened by news that Meridyth (Dit) Holt lost his battle with cancer on July 31, 2007. He was a pioneer and a gentleman of the Canadian mining industry.
Holt was a long-time member of the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada, serving as its president and sitting on many of its committees. He was a driving force behind development of the Holt-McDermott gold mine near Kirkland Lake, Ont., where he grew up. His employer and mine owner American Barrick (now Barrick Gold) followed his advice that the mine management live in Kirkland Lake, and opened an exploration office in the town. Holt was also instrumental in establishing the Mining Hall of Fame in Elliot Lake, Ont. His friends will remember Holt as a man who loved Kirkland Lake, the game of golf, his banjo and sharing his many experiences in the industry.
The mine that honours the man, the Holt-McDermott mine, began production in 1988, and Holt was there for its opening. But no resource lasts forever, and it was closed in late 2004. It is a measure of respect for the man that his name remains on a project that is being given new life by the current owner, St Andrew Goldfields. St Andrew bought both the Holt-McDermott property and the adjacent, former Holloway gold mine, and has plans to restart production, naming the project Holloway-Holt.
Holt will be missed by his large families – both the one he headed (including great-grandchildren) and the mining industry, which should put forth his name for the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame.