Junior explorer MOD Resources has taken out the “Craig Oliver Award” at this year’s RIU Explorers Conference in the WA port city of Fremantle.

The award is named after Craig Oliver, who was one of the directors that died in the Sundance Resources plane crash in West Africa in June 2010.

It is presented to an Australian mining company who is an “allrounder” that has excelled in exploration, mining, corporate, market results, environmental and community over the past 12 months.

The other 2019 small cap nominees were Bellevue Gold (ASX:BGL), Breaker Resources (ASX:BRB), DGR Global (ASX:DGR) and Western Areas (ASX:WSA).

MOD is close to completing a feasibility study for its flagship 60 million tonne T3 project in the central Kalahari Copper Belt, Botswana.

“I just think it’s a great credit not only to the MOD team in Western Australia but also in Botswana we have a superb, very unusual situation in that country,” managing director Julian Hanna said in accepting the award.

“We have a wonderfully skilled and very capable team of people developing our first mine and exploring an entire copper belt effectively.”

MOD has attracted the likes of cashed-up copper producer Sandfire Resources (ASX:SFR) as a suitor.

Sandfire tabled a $113m takeover bid for MOD in January after completing due diligence over a potential joint venture arrangement, partial sale, and market placement to support development of MOD’s T3 copper project.