Starting out as a university professor, Dr. Norman B. Keevil would eventually harness his scientific and academic achievements into building a mining empire with interests spanning across Canada, from Newfoundland to British Columbia. A leader in the teaching and the study of geophysics in the 1940s, Dr. Keevil published forty-five scientific papers during his tenure at the University of Toronto. He left academia in the late 40s after developing a method of airborne magnetic surveying that forever altered the nature of mining. In 1954, he used this to find the Temagami Mine copper deposit, one of the richest strikes in Canadian mining history.
The Temagami Mine was just the beginning for Dr. Keevil. With his ability to recognize viable mining properties combined with his business and financial expertise, he formed a company that, in 1986, acquired Cominco Ltd. to become Teck Cominco Ltd., one of the largest and most diversified mining companies in the world.
Dr. Keevil was a prominent supporter of the study of geoscience in the secondary and post-secondary institutions of Canada. He funded a Research Chair for Exploration Geoscience at the University of British Columbia and provided scholarship funding in Earth Sciences for the University of Western Ontario. He also served as Chairman of the Mining Association of Canada and as a Director of Expo 86. Dr. Norman B. Keevil was inducted into the Canadian Business Hall of Fame in 1991.