2020 Lifetime Achievement Award
Daniel W. Kappes
Nevada Mineral Processing Division would like to congratulate Daniel W. Kappes on receiving the Nevada MPD Lifetime Achievement Award. Dan is the president and co-founder of Kappes, Cassiday & Associates, which has helped pave the way for metallurgical innovations since 1972.
After graduating with an Engineer of Mines degree from the Colorado School of Mines and working a few years in base metals, Dan continued his education, acquiring a Master’s degree in Mining Engineering from the Mackay School of Mines. It was during this time at Mackay that he approached the Department of Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering to rent some space in the old mineral processing laboratory so he could conduct a series of metallurgical tests on a complex zinc ore. While starting his own company with a partner that same year, zinc prices dropped so he looked elsewhere to apply his metallurgical skills. He saw the opportunity to develop and improve the use of hydrometallurgy to recover gold from low-grade deposits not only in Nevada but worldwide. Dan was one of the pioneers that promoted the use of heap leaching for gold ores. His papers in the late ’70s and 80’s were crucial in their impact on gold heap leaching technology.
Since then, KCA has become an extremely successful company that provides services in laboratory testing, engineering, construction management, and recovery plant fabrication to the international mining community, including equipment installations at over 100 successful mines in 15 countries. A large part of the company’s success has been Dan’s ability to work with many different people and bring their ideas to fruition in the most lucrative and successful ways. His passion and drive to solve problems, especially those pertaining to non-ferrous refractory ores and complex milling processes, are what make him such an effective and talented engineer.
A longtime member of SME and many other professional societies, Dan is also a generous supporter of education. During the years, he has made significant contributions to the mining program at the Mackay School of Mines, not with just financial support but with his time as well, and also to the SME Foundation. Dan worked as an adjunct associate professor for the Department of Chemical & Metallurgical Engineering from 1979 to 1982. He was named Outstanding Alumnus of the Year by Mackay School of Mines in 1995 and has been serving on the school’s advisory board since 2010. Many of the students at Mackay would not have had the opportunity to participate in national meetings and contests if it weren’t for Dan’s support. Further, Dan has hired many new graduates at KCA, investing in their knowledge and their future.
Most professionals in the mining industry have heard of, or personally know Daniel Kappes and Kappes, Cassiday & Associates. Dan is a pioneer in his field who champions the industry and inspires people to think big, which makes him an excellent recipient of this Lifetime Achievement Award.