2022 Lifetime Achievement Award
Mike has over 50 years of mining experience. He started as a maintenance laborer with Eagle-Picher, Clark, Nevada and worked his way up the ladder taking lead roles in mechanical and electrical maintenance activities. He is now semi-retired and consults, and he remains the “guy to call” when you need help with your operation or project.
Mike is truly a legend. He left Eagle-Picher and went to Gooseberry Mine, where he designed and oversaw hoisting equipment for the underground workings, the mine power systems and the concentrator. He then went to Colorado, where he worked at Standard Metals and survived getting run over by an ore train. Indeed, who among us can lay claim to that! Mike was a key player in the design and construction of Gold Field’s Chimney Creek mill and Santa Fe’s pressure ox plant at Twin Creeks. Other Nevada station stops include Coeur Rochester and Turquoise Ridge. Outside of Nevada, Mike spent a couple of years in Central America for Greenstone Resources. He was also Commissioning Manager for Climax Moly in Colorado and Director of Projects for Romarco Minerals’ Haile Gold Mine in South Carolina. In between stints at mines, Mike worked for GE as Manager, Mechanical Projects and worked as a consultant.
Born in Montana, Mike was destined to be a miner as both his father and mother came from mining families. After living at a couple of mining camps as a young lad, the family moved to Nevada where his father continued his mining ways. Upon graduating high school, Mike entered the family business at Eagle Picher and as the saying goes the rest is history.
Being somewhat mechanically inclined, his first motorized vehicle was a wagon at 10, motorcycles at 12 and 15, first car at 16 and first FAST car at 17. The love affair persists today with a muscle car purchased in 1970 that still sees its way to a few car shows each year.
Next to cars and all things fast, sports has been his favorite past time. Beginning with baseball at the ripe old age of 8, he moved on to football, basketball and track through high school and into college. These days, he can often can be found holding down a section of the spectator’s bench at a hockey arena or soccer pitch for one of the grand kids. Who knew that freezing your butt off watching others play could be so much fun?
As a miner, traveling was always part of the job. Flying to far-away places to look at equipment and other operations has given way to traveling North America in a RV. Annual treks to AZ and TX to escape the CO cold give way to summer trips to MT and other northern areas to escape the heat, all while trying to stay connected to his projects via Teams, ZOOM or other platforms. The goal is to see as much as possible of the USA and Canada from ground level.
Mike embodies everything the Lifetime Achievement Award was created to recognize. Apart from the accomplishments in industry, he is above all a good and just man. He has been a mentor to many, and he fights for what is right.