Honoring Leadville’s Past and Present: Mining
2020 National Mining Hall of Fame Inductees
The National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum (NMHFM) announced on May 14 that five new members have been elected to the National Mining Hall of Fame. Selected by the NMHFM’s Board of Governors from a pool of outstanding nominations, this year’s inductees were chosen for groundbreaking work in biohydrometallurgy, economic geology, mine development, social responsibility and sustainability initiatives, as well as unparalleled skill in creating shareholder value.
The 2020 Prazen Living Legend of Mining Award, named for renowned mining artist Gary Prazen, will be presented as well. This award recognizes an individual or organization for significant and sustained commitment to educating the public about the relationship of mining to our everyday lives through educational materials, innovative programming, and outreach. The 33rd Annual National Mining Hall of Fame Induction Banquet will be held October 24, 2020, in Denver, CO at the Marriott Denver South at Park Meadows.
Alberto Benavides: A Peruvian national and graduate of the National Engineering University (1941) and Harvard University (Geology, 1944), Benavides began his mining career at the U.S.-owned Cerro de Pasco Corporation. He worked as the resident geologist in Cerro de Pasco and became the company’s first exploration chief. He was involved with the discovery, evaluation, and early development of the Antamina, Las Bambas, Toquepala, and Cuajone projects. Benavides was successful in bringing U.S companies Newmont, Phelps Dodge, and ASARCO together in a joint venture to develop the Toquepala and Cuajone deposits. In 1953, Benavides founded Compania de Minas Buenaventura, a Peruvian company publicly traded in Lima and on the New York Stock Exchange. With a passion for social advancement and sustainability, he insisted all partners in mine development help improve living conditions of the locals and access to services by improving or constructing roads, schools, health clinics, and providing clean drinking water and sanitation in the communities near the mines. Benavides supported advanced educational opportunities to promote job skills beyond the life of the mine. Yanacocha became not only one of the largest gold producers in the world but a global model for social responsibility – sustainable development and wellbeing for all – which is now replicated by U.S. mining companies at many other sites around the world.
Dr. Roshan B. Bhappu: Globally recognized as a leading authority in extractive metallurgy, Bhappu was a visionary pioneer in biohydrometallurgy. He published over 100 technical papers and co-authored several books on mineral processing, metallurgy, and environmental remediation, and was granted several patents in bacterial leaching of sulfide ores and the recovery of metal values through in-situ extraction. While head of the Department of Metallurgical Engineering at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, Bhappu received numerous research grants from the U.S. Bureau of Mines to further his cutting-edge research in biological oxidation of sulfide minerals. At his research lab, Mountain States R&D International, he built a reputation for developing efficient and optimized metallurgical flowsheets while advancing energy conservation and new mineral processing technologies. This combination significantly reduced capital and operating costs without compromising the metallurgical process and led to a world-renowned standing as an innovator in mineral processing and extractive metallurgy.
Hugh W. Evans: As a young man of 19, Evans first served his country as a member of the 10th Mountain Division of the U.S. Army during World War II. This specialized mountain warfare unit trained at Camp Hale, CO and claimed victories over German troops crucial to Italy’s liberation during World War II. After the war, Evans attended the Colorado School of Mines earning an Engineer of Mines degree and joined the Army Reserves. He was recalled to active duty during the Korean War. After serving his country, Evans built a 36-year career from grassroots exploration to large-scale mining operations that have become some of the world’s largest producers. Throughout his career, Evans was a builder of international relations and of wealth for nations by constructively working with people, money, and machinery to provide something that mankind needed. His leadership and engineering skills, along with a drive and excitement for his work, led to some of the largest coal mines in the world, yet he understood that no operation is about one person. He valued team effort and held a steadfast commitment to the people that worked for him.
Raymond W. Threlkeld: A geologist with over 40 years of extensive experience in mineral exploration, mine operations and construction, acquisition and senior executive management, Threlkeld is a discoverer and developer of world-class deposits and a creator of shareholder value. He is credited as co-discoverer of the Bear Track gold deposit in Idaho and with the redirection of the Silver Bears exploration program, leading to the development of Russia’s Mangaziesky silver district. Threlkeld’s technical expertise leading teams through exploration, reserve estimates, feasibility studies, and construction and operations led to successful gold mines around the world. His research in the search for the origin of porphyry copper deposits took him to more than 30 countries. It led him to investigate all scales of copper deposits, from entire deposits down to the level of atoms. Considered a world authority on Phanerozoic porphyry copper deposits, metal provinces, and metallogenesis, the books he wrote and edited along with the scholarly articles he published on porphyry copper deposits of southwestern North America are still widely read today.
Dr. Spencer R Titley: After serving as a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, Titley earned his doctorate in geology from the University of Arizona (UA). After two years as Regional Exploration Geologist for New Jersey Zinc Company, he joined the UA faculty in 1960 rising through the ranks to Distinguished Professor of Geosciences. His research in the search for the origin of porphyry copper deposits took him to more than 30 countries. It led him to investigate all scales of copper deposits, from entire deposits down to the level of atoms. Considered a world authority on Phanerozoic porphyry copper deposits, metal provinces, and metallogenesis, the books he wrote and edited along with the scholarly articles he published on porphyry copper deposits of southwestern North America are still widely read today. In 1964, Titley was selected by the U.S. Geological Survey to map the moon by telescope. Before humans landed on the moon, Titley trained NASA Apollo astronauts Alan Shepard, Scott Carpenter, Wally Schirra, Gordon Cooper, Ed White, and Thomas Stafford in the geology they would need to explore the moon. Titley’s 56 years of continuous teaching and research have left an enduring legacy of educating students so that they, too, have become leaders in their fields.
2020 Prazen Living Legend of Mining Award
During this time in history, when our dependence upon products created from mined minerals is accelerating, it is amazing just how little the general population knows about the critical role mining plays in their daily lives. Most consumers do not understand the primary source of the raw materials that create the basic necessities of life. Food production as well as energy (“green” energy too), electronics, transportation, personal care items, and all other material goods we have come to depend on and want, begin with mining. The Minerals Education Coalition (MEC), a committee of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration (SME) Foundation, has been working to address this lack of understanding and to increase global awareness of the importance of mining in our everyday lives.
MEC is an education and outreach program for K-12 students, teachers, and the general public. The organization develops and delivers accurate and timely K-12 education materials, activities, and public awareness outreach about mining and minerals. MEC seeks to educate the public about modern mining practices, which enhance worker safety, workplace diversity, and embrace environmental and social responsibility as part of daily business.
David Brown, president of the National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum, stated, “We are pleased to honor those selected for induction this year into the National Mining Hall of Fame. Their contributions to the mining industry are immense. This year’s honorees are educators, inventors, geoscientists and astrogeologists and each has established prominence in the discovery and mining of metals and industrial minerals around the globe and beyond. In their own unique way, each has brought a significant contribution to our great industry. We are also delighted to honor the Minerals Education Coalition with the Prazen Award recognizing their outstanding efforts in providing education materials to our schools and promoting public understanding of the critical importance that mining of raw materials has in everyone’s lives and wellbeing. Please join the NMHFM on October 24, 2020, to honor these individuals that have advanced the industry passion and dedication to their work.”
Since 1987, the National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum, located in Leadville, CO has been our nation’s monument to the men and women who champion the discovery, development, and processing of our nation’s natural resources, as well as a national institution educating the public about the undeniable relationship of mining to our daily lives. For event details, tickets or sponsorship opportunities visit www.MiningHallOfFame.org or reach out to Amber Johnson, Events Manager, at Amber@MiningHallofFame.org or (719) 486-1229.
Matchless Mine Reopening Next Weekend
The National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum (NMHFM) announces the reopening of the Matchless Mine and Baby Doe’s Cabin for tours of surface structures starting May 23. Lake County residents can take all tours for free through June 30.
The site is on the National Register of Historic Places and was associated with silver baron Horace Tabor and his glamorous second wife, “Baby Doe” from 1879 until 1935. It will be open Saturday, Sunday, and Monday of Memorial Day weekend. For the rest of the summer, tours will be offered Tuesday through Saturday only.
Tours led by experienced and enthusiastic guides visit Baby Doe’s cabin, the powder magazine, the hoist house, and the headframe. Guided tours are available at noon, 1 p.m., 2 p.m., and 3 p.m. and cost $12 for non-residents. Discounts for guided tours are available for seniors, students, and AAA members. Visitors can take self-guided tours based on educational signs spread throughout the site anytime from 11 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. The cost of self-guided tours for non-residents is $6.
“The Matchless Mine is an integral part of the nonprofit National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum,” stated Executive Director Stephen Whittington. “The NMHFM has received financial relief from the federal government and the City of Leadville to help it survive during an extended shut-down due to COVID-19. Opening the Matchless Mine for free to Lake County residents through the end of June is a way of showing our immense gratitude for the support we have received.”
All visitors to the Matchless Mine are requested to maintain social distancing and wear a face mask to protect the staff and other visitors from COVID-19. The NMHFM web site at www.mininghallofame.org provides additional information about the Matchless Mine.