Norman Keevil, CEO and chair, Teck Resources Ltd. | BCBusiness

Norman Keevil, CEO and chair, Teck Resources Ltd. | BCBusiness
Return to: B.C. Entrepreneur of the Year 2012

Congratulations to Norman Keevil, CEO and chair, Teck Resources Ltd., and 2012 Pacific Region Entrepreneur of the Year for Lifetime Achievement.

Considering his father’s standing as an esteemed professor of geophysics at the University of Toronto, it’s no surprise that Teck Resources chair Norman Keevil started learning about rock formations and mineral deposits at an early age.

Growing up in Ontario in the 1940s, Keevil took long walks along the shores of Lake Ontario with his dad, Norman Sr., who enjoyed passing down his wealth of geological knowledge. “He’d show me all the fossils and tell me stories about them,” Keevil recalls.

As it turned out, those childhood chats formed the bedrock of the father-and-son partnership behind Teck Resources, one of the most successful mining companies in Canada’s history. After high school, the younger Keevil studied geology at U of T and went on to earn a PhD in geophysics from the University of California at Berkeley. By then his father had left teaching behind for a full-time career in consulting and mineral exploration, culminating in the discovery of high-grade copper near the family cottage at Lake Temagami in Ontario.

Teck Corp. was formed in 1962 with the merger of four resource companies, Teck-Hughes Gold Mines, Canadian Devonian Petroleum, Lamaque Gold Mines and Howey Consolidated Mines. By the time the younger Keevil took the reins as CEO in 1981, Teck had grown to more than $250 million in assets. Today the company has operations around the world and a market value approaching $20 billion.

Now 74, Keevil has stepped away from day-to-day operations and takes an “eyes-on, hands-off” approach to his role as board chair. The Ernst & Young Lifetime Achievement Award he’s receiving this year is the latest in a long list of accolades he’s received for business and community leadership, notably an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from UBC (1993), induction into the Mining Hall of Fame in (2004), Canadian International Business Leader of the Year (2008) and, earlier this year, appointment to the Order of B.C. Keevil also donated $7.5 million toward the Norman B. Keevil Institute of Mining Engineering at UBC.