The Mining Engineering Department at Colorado School of Mines has strong ties with some of the major mining, underground construction and machine manufacturing companies.
Industry Advisory Council
J. Christopher Anderson
Dr. Chris Anderson (PhD, Anthropology, University of Queensland, 1985) is a social anthropologist with more than 30 years of experience at the interface of extractive projects and communities, particularly over the issues of Indigenous rights, land access and stakeholder engagement. Some twenty of those years was spent with Normandy Mining Ltd, Newmont Mining Corporation and Rio Tinto focusing on land and community issues including agreement-making, grievance management, social performance, resettlement and compensation in Turkey, Indonesia, Peru, Ghana, Australia, the United States and Canada. Other pertinent roles include past Director of the South Australian Museum, Chair of the International Council on Mining & Metals Working Group on Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights and a current board member for the World Bank Institute’s Open Contracting Partnership. Dr Anderson is a Research Associate at the Colorado School of Mines and an Adjunct Professor in the Sustainable Minerals Institute at the University of Queensland in Brisbane Australia and a senior advisor to Acorn International and to Business for Social Responsibility. He is currently the Principal and Director of the consultancy firm, Yirri Global LLC, based in Denver Colorado.
Armine Frederick Banfield, Jr.
Armine Frederick (Fred) Banfield graduated from Colorado School of Mines with an E.M degree in 1964 and spent a year in graduate school at Mines studying the application of computers to mine evaluation. After working for AMAX, the US Army and Comptech Research he was a founder in 1970 of Mintec, Inc in Tucson Arizona. Mintec developed MineSight software to provide tools for geologic modeling, geostatistics, mine design, mine operation and short to long range mine planning. Mintec was composed of a team of over 200 staff members working to further develop MineSight and support its users when Mintec sold to Hexagon in 2014. Fred was the chairman of Mintec from 1970 to 2014.
Dr. Mark Board, Hecla Mining Company, NAE member (2014), Vice President – Technology and Innovation and Corporate Director of Geotechnical Engineering, Coeur d’ Alene, ID, United States (appointed 7/2014). Election citation: For contributions to the design of large-scale mines based on application of advanced rock mechanics principles. PhD from U. Minnesota. Extremely well known in both computational methods and in real-world mining. Dr. Board is a rock mechanics engineer with B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in geological engineering from the University of Minnesota. He was senior engineer for the Bechtel Corporation at the Yucca Mt. Project in Las Vegas. In 18 years of professional work before joining Bechtel, he was a consulting rock mechanics engineer with Itasca Consulting Group in Minneapolis, specializing in underground and surface mining applications. Prior to that he worked as a rock mechanics engineer for Terra Tek, Inc. in Salt Lake City, Utah, and as a mining engineer for Hecla Mining Company in Wallace, Idaho. Mr. Board has also received the 2013 SME Rock Mechanics Award and the University of Minnesota Outstanding Achievement Award.
Mr. Gunesch is a founding partner and principal mining engineer of Global Resource Engineering, a mining consulting firm based in Denver, Colorado. He holds a B.S. degree in mining engineering from the Colorado School of Mines and has over 15 years of design and management experience in the mining industry. His experience spans many commodities including coal, oil shale, industrial minerals, aggregates, precious metals, and base metals both working directly for mining companies as well as an outside consultant. The majority of his experience is in economic assessments, mine design, optimization, detailed mine sequence planning, resource and reserve calculations, short and long range planning, reclamation designs, and ore quality control and assurance. He also has experience in hydrogeologic and geotechnical field programs and has managed engineering designs for heap leach pads. In addition, he has worked as a front line shift supervisor and has managed survey teams and laboratory quality control and assurance personnel. Mr. Gunesch also gained experience in construction and contract management during the construction of a tailings dam where his responsibilities included contract negotiation, engineering oversight, contractor payment approval, contract closure, bid comparison, and environmental and safety policy enforcement. Mr. Gunesch is fluent in both written and verbal communication in English and Spanish, and has extensive field experience in North America, Latin America, and India. He is a registered professional engineer in Alabama and fulfils the definition of a Qualified Person in accordance with Canadian NI 43-101 standards.
Mr. Kimery is President of Peabody Caballo Mining LLC. He manages the Rawhide and Caballo mines in the northern Powder River basin. He has held various positions of increasing responsibility, including roles as Dragline Superintendent, Maintenance Operations Manager and Engineering Manager at North Antelope Rochelle Mine. In 2012, he served as Project Manager for the opening of a new operation in the Powder River basin. Drew has a Bachelor of Science degree in mining engineering from Colorado School of Mines. He earned a Masters of Business Administration from Regis University.
Jessica Elzea Kogel
Recently appointed to the NIOSH position of Associate Director for Mining, Dr. Kogel is recognized industry leader with more than 20 years of technical experience in the mining industry Jessica has held positions in Research and Development and Operations. Previously, she led the Geology and Mining Group for IMERYS’s North American kaolin operations and is responsible for exploration, mineral resource development, mine planning, reserve reporting, permitting and reclamation for over 100 active mine sites in Georgia and South Carolina. In this role she focuses on the strategic development and alignment of mineral assets across multiple markets to ensure a sustainable reserve platform for the business. Over the past 10 years at Emerys, Jessica has become increasingly involved in sustainable development and mining’s contribution to sustainability. She is actively engaged in capacity building and sustainable development for the global mining industry through the World Federation of Engineering Organizations Task Force on Sustainable Mining. Her interest in sustainable development has led to publications in peer reviewed journals, serving as a delegate to CSD-19 at the United Nations in 2011 and lecturing at national and international events.She is a Distinguished Member of the Society for Mining Metallurgy and Exploration (SME) having served on numerous committees, the Board of Directors and most recently as the 2013 President of SME. She is also an active member of the Clay Minerals Society and served as its president in 2003. Jessica earned MS and PhD degrees in Geology from Indiana University after completing undergraduate work at U.C. Berkeley in Earth Science and Paleontology. Jessica is motivated by challenge and the opportunity to make lasting contributions through innovation and collaborative teamwork.
Mr. Olmsted began his career with the Company in 1993 at Morenci operations. For more than 20 years, he has held positions of increasing responsibility, including roles in Operations, Maintenance, Administration and Senior Management in both North and South America. In 2003, he was named Mine Superintendent-Candelaria. In 2007, he became Administrative General Manager-Morenci. He was named President-El Abra in 2009 and Senior Vice President-Morenci in 2013. He recently became Senior Vice President-North America Copper and oversees the North American copper mining sites and rod and refining plants. Josh has a Bachelor of Science degree in mining engineering from Colorado School of Mines. He is a graduate of the Harvard Business School General Management Program.
Fred graduated from the Colorado School of Mines in 1968 with an Engineer of Mines degree and obtained a Master of Business Administration degree from Oklahoma City University. Following a five-year period in the United States Air Force as a pilot and operations officer, Fred has held positions across engineering and mining operations roles as well as senior management/executive roles overseeing corporate development and mergers and acquisitions at two major (NYSE) US corporations. In 1988 Schulte joined Elgin National Industries, Inc. as Chairman and CEO. During his tenure at Elgin its markets and industries served were expanded significantly beyond a domestic focus on the US coal industry to a worldwide presence in most sectors of the minerals industry. Schulte is currently involved in various energy and natural resource projects and is active in several professional and civic organizations. He received the Colorado School of Mines Distinguished Service Medal in 1996 and currently serves on the CSM Foundation Board of Directors.
Tom leads the Alight Mining & Metals business. He brings over 30 years of experience in the mining industry in operations, M&A due diligence, and providing expertise on asset management and capital planning. He has worked with Fortune 500 companies, such as Caterpillar, Citibank, Freeport-McMoRan, Newmont, Barrick, PT Indkia Energy, EMIRSA, BNP Paribus, and Petrosea. Prior to Alight, Tom was principal of Struttman Consulting, a management consulting firm dedicated to the mining industry. Prior to Struttman Consulting, Tom spent over 20 years at Caterpillar as a global account manager responsible for pioneering a global account framework that reshaped the company’s service delivery model, enabling the organization to transition from a transactional to a strategic-relationship model. He holds a BS degree in civil engineering from the University of Illinois.
Matt Swinton is a Senior Vice President of Kiewit Infrastructure Co., part of Kiewit Corporation. He serves as District Manager for Kiewit’s nationwide underground tunneling and foundations contractingoperations. Matt is responsible for the overall planning and direction of construction, engineering, estimating, bidding and administration of all work for the Underground District. Matt joined Kiewit in 1999 after receiving his Bachelor of Science, Mining Engineering and Geological Engineering degrees from the Colorado School of Mines. He began his career in Kiewit’s operations as an Engineer-Estimator with the Underground District in Omaha. He was the Project Engineer on the $112- million Chattahoochee Tunnel project in Atlanta, Georgia; Job Superintendent on the Cape Creek Tunnel project in Oregon; Job Superintendent on the DFW J1A Tunnel in Texas; and Project Manager on the Marathon Cavern in West Virginia. From 2009 to 2014, he served as Sponsor for projects such as the Deep Rock Tunnel Connector in Indianapolis; the Euclid Creek Tunnel in Cleveland, Ohio; and the Kemano Backup Tunnel in British Columbia. Matt was promoted to Senior Vice President in 2014. Kiewit is a Fortune 250 company and one of the largest and most respected construction, mining and engineering organizations in North America. The company has revenues of more than $10 billion.
Mr. Vogel, the founding partner of Q4 Impact Group, is an established thought leader and industrial executive with more than thirty years of experience in corporate general management, operating strategies, finance, and new venture development. Rob has a strong interest in behavioral interactions and the performance of stakeholders. He has led the creation of new businesses and the strategic expansion of existing entities – for start-up companies and more established groups. At Q4 Impact Group, Rob is engaged in the delivery of sustainable value creation strategies and developing sustainable results through a focus on performance and accountability. Previously, Rob served as the President of a Division of Vulcan Materials Company, an S&P 500 firm. In that role, Rob had full P&L and capital improvement responsibility for more than twelve years. In addition to his roles with Q4 Impact Group, Rob has served on various industrial boards, advisory boards.
Roe Arn graduated from Colorado School of Mines in 1979 with a Bachelor of Science in Mining Engineering. She started her career with Utah International (ultimately BHP Billiton) in a developmental assignment in the Environmental Quality Department in the San Francisco office of the Company. She transferred to the San Juan Mine in New Mexico in 1981 and worked as the Environmental Engineer before transferring to the Engineering Department where she rotated through the various production engineering and supervisory positions. She accepted a temporary assignment to implement the first Human Resources Information System (the Integral System) for the Company and was asked to stay in the Human Resources Department to work on other projects such as the Affirmative Action Plan and Reward Strategy. She participated in four implementations of SAP for the Human Resources Department and was a member of the negotiating team for the Collective Bargaining Agreement for the surface mine employees. She was the HR Lead for the divestment of the San Juan Mine to Westmoreland Coal Company in January 2016. She retired at the end of December 2015 and is currently employed as a contractor to lead the HR separation activities for the divestment of the Navajo Mine to the Navajo Transitional Energy Corporation and the new Mine Manager, North American Coal Company.
Mr. Ryan T. Bennett is a Senior Partner at Resource Capital Funds. He serves as the Head of Denver office and has been with the firm since inception. From 1992 to 1998, Mr. Bennett served various positions within NM Rothschild & Sons in Denver and Rothschild Australia Limited, where he was principally responsible for the technical analysis of mining projects seeking debt finance. Prior to joining Rothschilds, he served as a geologist for the United States Bureau of Mines and a private exploration company focused on Alaska, as well as a mining engineering consultant for Caterpillar. Mr. Bennett served as Assistant Vice President of Arrow Capital Pty Ltd. He serves on the Board of Directors of Coastal Ventures, Connors Drilling, and Tam Drilling Company. He serves as Director of Basin Perlite Company and Asian American Coal, Inc. Mr. Bennett served as a non-Executive Director of Forbes and Manhattan Coal Corp. from October 21, 2010 to May 21, 2013. He served as a Director of EuroZinc Mining Corp. since April 26, 1999; Avanti Mining Inc. since December 15, 2008; and Lithic Resources Ltd. from June 7, 2002 to May 25, 2007. Mr. Bennett holds a MS in Mining Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines and BS in Geological Engineering and Mathematics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Conrad W. Felice
Dr. Conrad W. Felice is CEO and President of ILF Consultants, with over 30 years of direct project experience and a demonstrated expertise in providing corporate leadership, program/project management and technical engineering for infrastructure projects. Conrad is a Senior Consultants with ILF Consultants, Inc. and a professional engineer registered in 15 states, Puerto Rico, and four Provinces in Canada. His tunnel projects have included transit and transportation, hydro power, nuclear waste, and underground defense systems. Conrad is a retired U.S. Air Force Civil Engineering Officer with 27 years of service and held the rank of Lt Col. He is also an Adjunct Professor at the University of Florida in Gainesville in School of Sustainable Infrastructure & Environment. Conrad is a past member of the Committee on Geological and Geotechnical Engineering for the National Research Council, U.S. National Academy of Sciences and is the current chair of AFF60, the tunnel and underground structures committee of the Transportation Research Board. Conrad has a B.S. and Ph.D. in civil engineering from Ohio University and the University of Utah, respectively and a M.S. in facilities management from the Air Force Institute of Technology.
Mr. James is the former President, Chief Executive Officer and director of Rio Algom Limited, an international copper mining company that had operations in the US, Canada and South America at the time of its purchase by Billiton Plc in 2000. During his time there, Mr. James grew the company rapidly while lowering operating costs. For the majority of his career, he was with Santa Fe Pacific Gold Corporation, most recently as Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer. At the time of its acquisition by Newmont Mining, Santa Fe had five operating mines and was doing exploration throughout North and South America as well as in Kazakhstan. Mr. James was awarded the Distinguished Lecturers Award by the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum and the Daniel C. Jackling Award for significant contributions to technical progress in mining, geology, and geophysics by the Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration. Currently, Mr. James serves on the board of General Moly, Inc. and has previously served on a number of boards, including Stillwater Mining Company, Centerra Gold Inc. and Newmont Mining. He has a degree in mining engineering from the Colorado School of Mines, where he currently serves on the Foundation Board of Governors as Governor and Treasurer, and a Master of Management from the University of New Mexico, Anderson School of Business.
Mr. Kinneberg has had 35 years of international mining experience leading multi-disciplinary mine technical teams and managing safe, large-scale mining operations in surface coal, open pit copper and industrial minerals, and mine prefeasibility and feasibility studies. Proven leadership and demonstrated ability to implement and sustain safety programs where the focus is placed on people.
Manuel Ramos has worked in the metals and mining industry since 1974 when he started for Grupo Mexico as a shift supervisor in the Sinter Plant at the Chihuahua Lead Smelter. He was given increased levels of responsibility through 1980 at which time he went to train for the start up of the Zinc Refinery in San Luis Potosi where he worked as the Acid Plant Superintendent and Leaching and Purification Superintendent. In 1983 he was promoted to Operations General Superintendent. In 1990 he was transferred and promoted to General Manager at the Chihuahua Lead Smelter until the closure of the Plant in 1996. He was then named General Manager of the Copper Refinery in La Caridad, Sonora with the start-up of Grupo’s new refinery. In 1999 when Grupo Mexico acquired Asarco, Mr. Ramos took over as Vice President of Lead and Specialty Metals and in 2004 he became the Vice President of Metallurgical Plants for Asarco. In 2009 after Asarco emerged from bankruptcy, Mr. Ramos was named President & COO. Mr. Ramos has been instrumental in leading Asarco back into profitability while increasing productivity at its operations, maximizing the potential of its properties and emphasizing concentrated efforts on safety and environmental compliance. His motto: “Do it Safe, Do it Right!” Mr. Ramos received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemical Engineering from San Luis Potosi State University. He also has a Masters of Business Administration and a Masters in Human Resources from Chihuahua State University. He currently lives in Tucson, Arizona with his wife Soledad. They have two daughters. Mr. Ramos is an avid hiker, bicyclist and outdoorsman. He has climbed Pico de Orizaba (18,493 ft) and Popocatepetl (17,930 ft) in Mexico and has participated in the El Tour de Tucson – Platinum division. To qualify for Platinum you must finish the 109 mile distance in less than 5 hours.
Mr. Skaggs is a principal and former vice president of Agapito Associates, Inc. of Grand Junction, CO. He has over 46 years mining experience in underground domestic and international mining. He has executive experience managing large, underground, multi-mine complexes and corporate technical groups, as well as small mining operations. His strengths are integrating operating, technical, and business functions; productivity, quality, and safety improvements, operational and safety audits; reserve and resource analysis; feasibility studies, and due diligence evaluations of mining enterprises. His experience includes trona, potash, limestone and conventional, continuous miner, and longwall operations in coal. He is a licensed professional engineer in several states and formally in Alberta and Saskatchewan. Gary is a Registered Member of the Society for Mining, Exploration, and Metallurgy, Inc. (SME) where he served many years on the Professional Licensing Exam Committee, and his currently serving on the Resource and Reserve Committee. He is a member of SME’s Council of Education and its Accreditation and Curricular Issues Subcommittee, and is the current chair of its ABET Visitors Selection Committee. He was presented with the Ivan B. Rahn Education Award in 2009 and was named a Virginia Tech Department of Mining and Mineral Engineering’s Distinguished Alumnus for 2010 and is serving on its Industry Advisory Board. Gary served as a commissioner on the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, Inc. from 2003 to 2008 as SME’s representative for mining engineering and his serving as SME’s representative on the ABET Board of Delegates and was a former member of the Board of Directors. Gary also has served as the vice chair of the Colorado Plateau Section of the SME. He is a past member of the SME Foundation Board of Trustees, and is a member of the Colorado Mining Association, the Rocky Mountain Coal Mining Institute, and the National Society of Professional Engineers. He holds an Executive MBA from the University of Denver and a B.S. Degree in Mining Engineering from Virginia Tech.
George Sturgis is a successful executive manager and project management leader with more than 35 years of experience in engineering, construction, construction management, evaluation, design and overall project management for surface and underground mining operations in the US, Canada, Mexico, Africa, Europe, and Asia. Currently, George serves as Vice President for Project Development at Hecla Mining where he was specifically recruited to lead a newly formed division and hold full responsibility over project selection and execution. George is currently leading the largest single capital project in the company’s 125-year history, valued at $225 million. Prior to joining Hecla Mining, George founded and operated Triple Constraint Solutions, a project management services company successfully serving the mining industry. George Sturgis obtained his Bachelors of Science in Geological Engineering from Colorado School of Mines. He holds an MBA from the Whitman School at Syracuse University and a Masters Certificate in Project Management from George Washington University. George is a certified a Project Management Professional by the Project Management Institute and a Certified Professional Constructor by the American Institute of Constructors. He is a member of several organizations including the Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering and is a Registered Member for the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration.
Dirk Van Zyl
Dirk has more than 30 years of experience in research, teaching and consulting in tailings and mined earth structures. During that period, he was a faculty member for 13 years at four Universities in the US and Canada. For the last 10 years much of his attention has been focused on mining and sustainable development. He has been involved internationally in many mining projects. These projects covered the whole mining life cycle, from exploration to closure and post- closure, in a large range of climatic and geographic environments. His present research is in the area of the contributions that mining makes to sustainable development as well as the application of life cycle assessment to mined earth structures. His degrees include: B.Sc. (Hons.) Civil Engineering, University of Pretoria, South Africa; M.S., Geotechnical Engineering, Purdue University, Indiana; Ph.D., Geotechnical Engineering, Purdue University, Indiana; Executive MBA, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado. His research Interests: life cycle systems; the contributions that mining makes to sustainable development; mined earth structures (tailings, heap leach and rock disposal facilities).
William M. Zisch
Mr. Zisch has more than 30 years of experience in the mining industry and is currently President and CEO of Midway Gold. From 2009 to 2014, he was Vice President of Operations for Royal Gold. Prior to that, he spent 12 years working for Newmont on both domestic and international assignments in technical, operating and executive positions. While with Newmont he served as Vice President of Planning, Vice President – African Operations, Operations Manager and Assistant General Manager of Minera Yanacocha in Peru, Director – Business Development and Planning and as Chief Mine Engineer, International Operations. Prior to his tenure at Newmont, Mr. Zisch spent 16 years with FMC Gold and FMC Company where he held several positions in coal and gold operations along with strategic sourcing and plant operations and business manager roles in the company’s Chemical Group. During the first two years of his career he worked for Morrison Knudsen in Boise, Idaho. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Nevada Mining Association and is a past Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Colorado Mining Association. Other industry involvement includes having served on the Executive Committee of the Ghana Chamber of Mines and the American Chamber of Commerce in Ghana. He served on the Executive Committee of the Minerals Information Institute and as Chairman of the Hamsfork (WY) Section and the Western Nevada Section of AIME. In 1992 he Chaired the Western U.S. Regional Surface Hardrock Conference. Mr. Zisch is an officer of the Colorado School of Mines Alumni Association and also served on the school’s Department of Mining Engineering’s Industry Advisory Council. In 2015 he was the recipient of AIME’s William L. Saunders Gold Medal Award. Mr. Zisch holds a Master of Business Administration from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania (1996) and a Bachelor of Science degree in Mining Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines (1979).