Dick graduated from Wesleyan University in Connecticut in 1980 and landed his first job looking for massive sulfides in Northern Maine with Houston Oil and Minerals Corporation. At the end of that field season he was given an opportunity to apply for an ore control geology position at Houston’s newly opened Manhattan Mine in the Big Smoky Valley. Under the mentorship of Larry Martin, Dick learned to pan and learned the important difference between ore and waste. Manhattan and Larry also instilled in Dick a passion for high grading and free gold.
Dick was promoted to be the Mine Geologist shortly thereafter for the companies new Borealis Mine. A significant portion of the gray bearded Nevada geologic community remembers memorable mine tours with Dick and his three legged dog, Tripod. The geologic team at Borealis made many important discoveries that kept the mine alive and profitable for many years including the Freedom Flats deposit which still is in play to this day under the capable hands of Steve Craig and Gryphon Gold. Dick also found his wife Jo at Borealis. She was an archaeologist for the Forest Service clearing drill roads.
Following his work at Borealis Dick moved into the area of his true passion, exploration. Hired by Larry Lackey, Dick started on many long and happy years roaming the Walker Lane looking for new deposits for WestGold, now defunct. The highlight of this work was the discovery by the WestGold team of the Hidden Hill deposit in the Golden Arrow District, east of Tonopah. Dick had recommended the project to Larry Lackey as an area with good exploration potential.
With the demise of WestGold Dick landed next with Pegasus Gold Corp. Life as an exploration geologist in the early-mid 1990's saw lots of Nevada geologists reborn into international positions as a survival mechanism. Dick completed stints in Chile, Argentina, Australia, Mexico and Tanzania during this time frame. He and an Argentinean geologist took the first samples on the Arroyo Verde low sulfidation vein in Chubut province in Argentina. Dick even ended up in the Pegasus exploration office in Miami, Florida. How many GSN members can claim this distinction?
By far the greatest satisfaction Dick achieved with Pegasus was the recognition and subsequent drilling of significant expansions at the Florida Canyon Mine, the brick factory next to I-80 we have all driven by countless times. Dick and Richard Larsen also staked the claims on the Standard Mine for Pegasus shortly after the Hizer estate dropped them after countless years of continuous ownership. Dick spent several years in Montana at Beal Mountain and Zortman-Landusky before the downturn in the late 1990's.
After Pegasus, Dave Mathewson gave Dick an opportunity with Newmont in Elko. For the last 10 years he chased sediment-hosted gold deposits in northern Nevada but Dick finally succumbed to management duties as the Nevada District Exploration Manager and takes his field opportunities where he can find them. We asked about where his best projects are and he responded as a typical Nevada field geologist “we’ve been working around…” Dick has been a long time member of the GSN and served as Vice President and President of the Elko Chapter in 2006-2007.
John Winton Erwin*
Erin L. Hart
Greg T. Hill
Joseph Kizis, Jr
Brooke J Miller
Justin and Ajeet Milliard
Mia (Cowgill) O'Neal
Shea Clark Smith
Roger C Steininger