Victor E. Kral was a distinguished Nevada mining engineer whose career spanned much of the 20th century and the breadth of North America. Vic (as he was known to friends and co-workers) was born Aug. 7, 1911, and died in Reno, NV on April 29. 2004 at the age of 92.
Vic was married to Juana L. Barber from 1937 until her death in 1996. They had three children, Vicki, Kenneth, and Edward. He later married La Verne Bernard ¡n 1998, and the two of them shared an active life until his death.
After graduating from Reno High School, Vic enrolled at the University of Nevada-Reno in 1928 and then worked his way through school with mining jobs in Nevada and California. He graduated from the Mackay School of Mines with an Engineer of Mines degree in 1938.
From 1938 lo 1941, Vic taught field-prospecting classes throughout Nevada. When the United Stales entered World War II, he worked for the War Department assessing the mineral potential of mining claims located on prospective bombing and gunnery ranges. After the war, Vic worked for the Nevada Department of Highways, the Nevada Bureau of Mines, and the U.S. Bureau of Mines. During this time, he participated in a study of iron deposits in Nevada and caught the eye of Ford Motors. In 1955, Ford hired him to explore and evaluate iron-ore and base-metal deposits in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. During his tenure there, he discovered large reserves of manganese nodules in Lake Michigan.
In 1969, Vic joined Hanna Mining in Tucson, AZ. His search for copper and nickel deposits took him lo Alaska and to Rockland, ME, where he managed exploration for Knox Mining, a subsidiary of Hanna. Vic took early retirement from Hanna in 1976 and moved back to the West. He spent a year surveying in New Mexico then moved back to Reno. In Reno, he taught prospecting classes at the Mackay School of Mines and consulted for Homestake Mining.
In 1981, Vic joined with three old friends — Ralph Roberts, Bob Reeves and Gerry Hartley — to form VEK and Associates, a mining exploration group. They later partnered with Andrus Resources to form VEK/Andrus and Associates (VEKA). Kral and his partners staked and leased-out several properties in central Nevada, including the 8 South deposit at Marigold, and the REN Project near Meikle.
Vic was an active member of Rotary International, the Toastmasters, Masonic Lodges in Nevada, Michigan and Arizona, Eastern Star Chapters in Nevada and Michigan, and the Unitarian Universalist Church. He contributed to many charities and educational institutions, including the Mackay School of Mines and the University of Nevada. Mackay named him alumnus of the year in 2001. Vic was a tireless supporter and volunteer for SME, and many of us will remember the mining calendar sales that he did for many years.
The following is a bibliography of Vic’s published contributions to Nevada mining and geology:
Kral, V.E., 1947, Buena Vista iron deposit, Churchill County, Nevada:: U.S. Bureau of Mines, Report of Investigations 4094., scale 1:2400.
Kral, V.E., 1947, McCoy iron deposit, Lander County, Nevada: U.S. Bureau of Mines Report of Investigation 3990, 5 p.
Kral, V.E., 1947, Phelps Stokes iron deposit, Nye County, Nevada: U.S. Bureau of Mines Investigation Report 4000, 6 p.
Kral, V. E., 1947, Modarelli iron deposit, Eureka County, Nevada (Vol. 4005). US Dept. of the Interior, Bureau of Mines.
Kral, V. E., 1947, Valery fluorspar deposit, Pershing County, Nev (Vol. 4014). US Dept. of the Interior, Bureau of Mines.
Kral, V. E., 1947, Segerstrom-Heizer Iron Property, Pershing County, Nevada (Vol. 4025). United States Bureau of Mines.
Kral, V.E., 1951, Mineral resources of Nye County, Nevada: Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology Bulletin 50, 223 p.
Reeves, R.G., and Kral, V.E., 1955, Iron ore deposits of Nevada, Part A, Geology and iron ore deposits of the Buena Vista Hills, Churchill and Pershing Counties, Nevada: Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology Bulletin 53a, 37 p., 1:48,000.
Reeves, R.G., Shawe, F. R., and Kral, V. E., 1958, Iron ore deposits of west-central Nevada, part B of Iron ore deposits of Nevada: Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology Bulletin 53b, p. 33-78, 1:4,800 and 1:1,200.
Shawe, F.R., Reeves, R.G., and Kral, V.E., 1962, Iron ore deposits of northern Nevada, part C, Iron ore deposits of northern Nevada: Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology Bulletin 53C, 125 p.
Hal Bonham Jr.*
Peter F. Galli
Robert C. Horton*
William P. Johnston*
Victor E. Kral*
David "Burt" Slemmons
T. Lyle Taylor*
Ted G. Theodore