The 2005 Ben F. Dickerson Award
Awarded To: Ernest K. Lehmann
"In recognition of professionalism and contributions to the mining industry"
Ernest K. Lehmann, born in Heidelberg, Germany, emigrated with his parents to the United States in 1935. He was educated in the public primary and secondary schools of New Rochelle, N.Y. and graduated from Williams College, Mass. in 1951 with highest honors in geology. In 1951-52, he did graduate study in geology at Brown University and in 1984 completed the Owners and Presidents Management Program at the Harvard Business School.
His career in the mining industry began in 1950 when he worked as a miner and then geologist at a gold mine in Bannack, MT. From 1951 to 1958, he was employed by Kennecott Copper (Bear Creek Mining) in exploration, serving in 1957-58 as Assistant District Geologist for the Midwest District. His Kennecott employment was broken by a two-year stint in the US Army Corps of Engineers serving as a Terrain Intelligence Analyst and Engineer Intelligence NCO. He started his consulting practice in 1958 and has continued it to the present, focusing on managing and executing mineral exploration, mineral deposit evaluation and mineral deposit development. During his career he has worked extensively in North America, Latin America, Africa and Europe for mining companies, trading companies, private investors, land owners and private and international financial institutions, seeking, developing and/or evaluating a wide range of metallic and industrial mineral deposits. For example, for Kennecott, he managed the exploration program which led to the discovery of the southern part of the Viburnam Trend. For later clients and joint ventures he managed such programs as the successful discovery of two volcanogenic massive sulfide deposits in Wisconsin, discovery of plus one million ounce gold deposits in Montana and Argentina, discovery and development of a major PGM-Cu-Ni deposit in Minnesota and a major underground chemical grade limestone mine in Kentucky.
A member of AIME and SME since 1952, he has been extensively involved in professional and public activities. Most recently, for SME, in 2005 he chaired the Dreyer Award Committee. He is charter member of AIPG, serving first as vice president and later national president of AIPG and now serves chairman of the AIPG Foundation. Lehmann also serves on AGI’s Workforce Committee. In the public sector, he has testified before Congress on issues related to mining law reform, strategic minerals and FLPMA and before the Minnesota Legislature on mineral taxation and other mining industry issues. His current activities include serving as president of the Minnesota Exploration Association, an industry trade group, on the state’s Minerals Coordinating Committee, and the state Mapping Advisory Committee. Last year, he served as the non-ferrous mining representative on the Governor’s Committee on Minnesota’s Mining Future. He also serves on the advisory board of the Natural Resources Research Institute at the University of Minnesota – Duluth. In the past, Lehmann has served on various city and local bodies active in issues related to zoning, planning and housing. Along with his membership in SME and AIPG, he is a member of the Mining and Metallurgical Society, the Society of Economic Geologists, the European Federation of Geologists, the Northwest Mining Association, the Lake Superior Geological Institute, PDAC, the Society for Geology Applied to Mineral Deposits and a number of other organizations. He is a registered (licensed) professional geologist in four states.
The Ben F. Dickerson, III Award, established in 1987, recognizes professionalism and contributions to the mining industry.