Faces of GSN

Kevin Creel, Elko, Nevada (Published in March 2009 GSN Newsletter)

Chief Geologist, Exploration, Barrick Cortez
As a starting point for my personal history, I thought back to when I first learned of the GSN. It was at Colorado School of Mines in 1993 or 1994; I found several GSN Symposium volumes while researching Carlin-style mineralization for an Applied Mineral Exploration course taught by Dr. Graham Closs. At the time, the quality of the discussion within was notable given the hands-on experience of the numerous contributors and the in-depth description of the various deposits presented within. Looking back, the symposium volumes are an incredible set of references that capture a unique piece of exploration and mining history … an evolving story of Carlin -style gold deposits as documented by the applied scientists that looked for, found, studied, and develop these world class deposits.

Since discovering GSN, I have had the good fortune to work in the field I studied with the majority of my efforts focused in Nevada. My interest in rocks and discovery are rooted in childhood. My dad, a fellow geologist, hooked me the same as he had been hooked in his youth, by collecting rocks. I pursued that passion by seeking a Geological Engineering degree with an emphasis on mineral exploration and after the first year of study found a summer job as a field assistant at the U.S. Bureau of Mines. There I worked throughout the western US with talented group of geologists at the Resource Evaluations Branch for several summers and any other time my schedule permitted. That opportunity continued until the early stages of the Bureau's closure in 1994. Shortly before graduation I joined BHP Minerals as an exploration geochemist. Again I worked with a talented and motivated team, this time all geochemists, researching, developing, and applying new technology in support of BHPs global exploration efforts. In 1997, I married a fellow GSN member and geologist (we actually met in school around the time I first discovered GSN as noted above). Following our wedding, I moved to Nevada. There I worked underground at Newmont's Deep Star, Deep Post, and Chukar Footwall underground mines, again with a group of talented professionals. I also completed a short-term assignment as an exploration geochemist and facilitated a continuous improvement effort at the Twin Creeks Mill. In 2005, the opportunity to be part of the team advancing Cortez Hills presented itself and I joined Placer Dome. Barrick acquired Placer less than a year later and I continue exploring the opportunities at Cortez with the Barrick team.

My family provides a balance to the rigors of work. We enjoy traveling and outdoor adventures among our more typical family pursuits. On occasion, I escape to the Nevada wilderness to enjoy fresh powder and chase elusive deer. I have been on or presented at numerous GSN fieldtrips and functions, attended the last two GSN-organized symposiums, attend many presentations and social events organized by the local Elko chapter of the GSN, and keep up-to-date and informed by reading the GSN newsletters and symposium volumes. Needless to say, I find being a member an enriching experience. Thanks to all those individuals who have volunteered their time to build and maintain such a positive and progressive organization. And thanks to the many mentors, co-workers, and professional colleagues that I have had the good fortune to get to know through the years.

Kevin Creel