Ernest K. Lehmann 2002 Goldich Medal Recipient
Ladies and Gentlemen:
Thank you for being here tonight for this presentation of the 2002 Sam Goldich Medal Award.
I don't know if any of you remember the late Ben Dickerson. He was one of the premier exploration geologists of his time and wrote a column in Skillings Magazine. The column was called" News and Rumor" from the Bush". It described current exploration activity particularly in the U.S. during those golden years of the 70's and 80's. At that time the exploration community was quite small and Ben seemed to know everyone. His column was cryptic in that he would commonly refer to people in coded names. For example there was the "Great Buawa" and the "Shallow". Ernie was referred to as the "Bearded Sphinx of the North". I'm not sure where that came from, but know the "Sphinx" was "good copy" because he was so active in minerals exploration particularly in the Great Lakes region in those days as he certainly is today. I had the good fortune and privilege of working with Ernie for nearly two decades.
years, his list of accomplishments in the field of economic
geology and mineral exploration are many. It would take hours to go
through them all. So I will focus on those related to the Lake Superior
area. First some background.
Ernie was born in 1929 in Heidelberg, Germany. He was educated in the public schools of New Rochelle, N.Y., attended Williams College, in Williams town, Massachusetts, where he graduated cum laude in geology in 1951. He attended graduate school in geology at Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, and completed the Owners and Presidents Management Program of the Harvard Business School in 1984. He is married to Sally Willius Lehmann (his better half) and resides in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Prior to founding Ernest K. Lehmann & Associates, Inc. in 1967, Ernie was an independent consultant and partner in a Minneapolis based geological consulting firm from 1958 to 1967. In
1950, he began his career by working first as a miner and then as geologist for the Signal Mining Company at Bannack, Montana. From 1951 to 1958, Ernie worked for Kennecott Copper Corporation and its exploration arm, Bear Creek Mining Company. Ernie served on active duty as a Terrain Intelligence Analyst in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from 1953 to 1955 and was awarded the Commendation Ribbon for his service.
As many of you know, Ernie is the founder and CEO of North Central Mineral Ventures Inc. and of Ernest K. Lehmann & Associates, Inc. Under his leadership, the firms have engaged in the planning, management and execution of mineral exploration programs, mineral deposit development, mine appraisal and mineral economic studies particularly in the Great Lakes region. These activities have spanned most important hard mineral commodities including ferrous, non-ferrous, precious and strategic metals, industrial minerals and fertilizer raw materials. In the course of their activities, he and his firms have been active in staffing and managing exploration and mine development projects and acquiring private and public mineral
lands in both the U.S. and abroad. The latter activities have included claim staking, mineral leasing of private, state and federal lands, and the creation and management of mineral joint
ventures. In addition to extensive work in the US and Canada, he has conducted and managed exploration and consulted on mine development and evaluation Central and South America, Africa and Europe.
In the course of his activities, Ernie has specialized in exploration management and in mineral deposit appraisal evaluation. He has appeared extensively as an expert witness on mineral property appraisal and taxation and on mining claim related issues. He has served on advisory committees to the Office of Technology Assessment of the U.S. Congress on strategic and critical minerals and to the state of Minnesota on direct reduction of iron ores. On behalf of the American Institute of Professional Geologists, he has testified before Congress on strategic minerals issues and on the 1872 mining law. He has also testified before Congress on issues related to the Federal Land Management Policy Act. Before state legislative committees, he has testified on mineral property appraisal, mineral taxation, mineral leasing and mine permitting.
In 1985, he became president of the American Institute of Professional Geologists, also serving the Institute in various other capacities on a state and national level. In 1987, he was awarded the Ben H. Parker Medal, the Institute's highest award for service to the geological profession, and has been awarded Honorary Membership in the Institute in 1997. He currently serves as Chairman of the AIPG Foundation and is a member of numerous other technical and professional bodies including the Society of Economic Geologists, The Mining and Metallurgical Society of America, the Society of Mining Engineers, the Society for Geology Applied to Mineral Deposits, and the Northwest Mining Association. He is a registered geologist in Minnesota, California, Georgia, Delaware and Alaska and is accredited by the European Federation of Geologists. He is currently a director and president of the Minnesota Exploration Association and serves on various committees in Minnesota in this capacity, including the Blue Ribbon Committee on Minnesota Minerals, the advisory board to the Natural Resources Research Institute and the State Mapping Advisory Committee.
Ernie has also been actively involved in mining related environmental issues again particularly in the Great Lakes area. He was instrumental in initiating and executing the Minnesota Mining Permit Simulation Project, a joint state agency, environmental community and industry effort to examine the mine permitting process and problems for non-ferrous metal mining. He helped organize a workshop on financial assurance in the mining industry in cooperation with the Minnesota DNR, MPCA, and the Audubon Society. Ernie and the firm were consultants to the state of Maine charged with developing metal mining regulations, spanning activities from exploration through operation and closure. The firms were also involved in mine permitting activities in Wisconsin.
To this I would like to mention some of the major projects Ernie has initiated in the Great Lakes area. These include:
1) Exploration programs for Bear Creek in 1952, 1956 through 1957 for copper and copper nickel in the Duluth and Mellon Gabbro Complexes and Nonesuch Shale.
2) Copper and copper-nickel exploration projects carried out for Cerro Corp. from 1967-1969 in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan and Ontario. He was one of the first explorationists to recognize the Wisconsin greenstone belts as an important VMS target.
3) VMS exploration joint ventures in Wisconsin that spanned from 1975 through 1993. Such notables as Getty, Chevron, Denison Mines and Asarco were involved with these projects. Under the supervision of the late Ned Eisenbrey, these programs resulted in three discoveries. Of these one, the Bend copper-gold deposit, is and remains potentially economic. The huge amount of geologic and geophysical data generated from these exploration projects also resulted in establishing a more detailed "geologic framework" that was previously lacking for the Wisconsin greenstone belts. This work culminated in several papers published in "Economic Geology" in 1990 and 1994.
4) At the same time Ernie was managing a major VMS program in Archean of northern Minnesota from 1979 through 1985 for Getty and Billiton.
5) From 1980 to 1982, Ernie was one of the first to seriously begin exploring the interior of the Duluth Complex for copper-nickel and PGMs through a joint venture with Billiton. His exploration efforts continue today with a focus on the Birch Lake PGM project that involves Impala.
I believe Ernie's past and present exploration and political efforts in Minnesota today has resulted in the current brisk activity within the Duluth Complex and transformed the state to an
attractive part of the world to conduct environmentally responsible mining projects.
Finally, with deep gratitude and respect, I would like to present this year's Sam Goldich medal recipient, my mentor and friend, Ernest K. Lehmann.
Submitted by Theodore A. DeMatties
Awarded May 14, 2002
48th Annual Institute on Lake Superior Geology