G. Frank Joklik, president and chief executive officer of Kennecott Corp., has received the 1991 William Lawrence Saunders Gold Medal Award from the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical and Petroleum Engineers.

The award, established in 1927 to recognize distinguished lifetime in the mining industry, was awarded to Joklik during the AIME annual meeting in Denver.Joklik received a gold medal and a certificate that read, "In recognition of a career devoted to the efficient and profitable exploration, development and operation of world class mining properties and the rejuvention of Kennecott Corporation and the Bingham Canyon Mine."

Since Joklik took over operation of Kennecott in 1980, the company has undergone a substantial transformation. In the 1980s the company completed a $400 million renovation program to increase it competitive position in the copper and metals markets.

Coupled with operating cost reductions, the program has positioned Kennecott as one of the most efficient copper producers in the world, AIME officials said.

In addition to the copper operation, Kennecott has started to develop four new precious metal mines in Utah, Nevada, Alaska and South Carolina and also remains involved in mining activities in Wisconsin and Papua New Guinea. In Joklik's early career he was involved in major mineral projects in western Australia.