During a distinguished career spanning more than a half-century, Mike Muzylowski contributed to the growth of Canada’s mining industry as a gifted geologist and mine-finder, innovative financier and respected senior mining executive. His diverse talents were instrumental in the discovery and development of 16 mineral deposits that became producing mines – 13 in Manitoba, two in Nevada and one in the Northwest Territories – and the building of numerous mining companies, notably Granges Inc. and its subsidiary, Hycroft Resources and Development. Along with long-time partner Douglas McRae, he helped to open the doors to European and other foreign financial centres and establish the credibility of foreign investment in Canadian mineral exploration.
Muzylowski left the family farm near Oakburn, Manitoba, to attend the University of Manitoba, where he earned a BSc degree in geology. In 1955, he joined Hudson Bay Exploration and Development Company (HudBay) and spent five years as a field geologist before advancing to senior positions, including senior project geologist, chief geophysicist and assistant superintendent of exploration and development. Several of his Manitoba drill targets became HudBay producers, notably the Anderson Lake mine in the Snow Lake camp and the Centennial mine near Flin Flon.
In 1970, Muzylowski was recruited by the Swedish parent of Granges Exploration Aktiebolag to manage its North American exploration efforts. A few years later, he commissioned an airborne geophysical survey that revealed anomalies beneath Trout Lake, near Flin Flon. Subsequent drilling confirmed a copper-zinc deposit with associated precious metal that became the prolific Trout Lake mine. In 1984, he accepted the post of president and CEO of Granges Exploration Ltd. after financier Doug McRae negotiated a deal to purchase the company from its Swedish parent. The two formed an enduring and productive partnership and built Granges into a mid-tier producer with revenues that grew from $4 million to $65 million (the company was acquired by Australian mining giant MIM in 1989). In addition to the cornerstone Trout Lake mine, Granges explored and developed other deposits in Manitoba, including two gold-silver deposits that later became the Puffy Lake and Tartan Lake mines. Muzylowski and McRae also built Granges subsidiary Hycroft into a profitable producer after developing the Crofoot and Lewis gold mines in Nevada. The dynamic duo was among the first to access capital in foreign financial centres, raising a total of $400 million for Granges and Hycroft during the 1980s, and paving the way for other Canadian companies to attract foreign investment capital.
For these and other achievements, Muzylowski was honored as “Developer of the Year” in 1988 by the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada. He has since contributed to the growth of other companies, notably Winspear Resources and DRC Resources (predecessor to New Gold Inc.). His faith in Manitoba’s mineral potential continues in his present capacity as president of Callinan Mines Limited, which holds royalty and net profit interests in the 777 copper-zinc mine in Flin Flon.