The 2004 Ben F. Dickerson Award
Awarded To: Odin D. Christensen
In recognition of professionalism and contributions to the mining industry.
Odin Christensen - “Odie” - has realized a distinguished career in mineral exploration and is considered an authority on gold deposits, particularly Carlin-type deposits. Those who have worked with him know him to have particular conviction to the protection of and respect for people, communities, and the environment. He is proud to be a field geologist, having made career choices that have kept him close to the rocks.
A native of Duluth Minnesota, Odin received a BS degree in Geology from the University of Minnesota Duluth and PhD in Geology from Stanford University. He began his career as Assistant Professor of Geology at the University of North Dakota, covering the disciplines of mineralogy, geochemistry, and economic geology. He then moved to the Earth Science Laboratory at the University of Utah Research Institute, working on geochemical characterization of active geothermal systems, with emphasis upon the development of exploration technology.
In 1981, Odin joined Newmont Exploration in Reno Nevada as a Research/ Project Geologist, involved in exploration for gold, silver, and tungsten in the Great Basin and Cordillera. In 1985, he was appointed Newmont’s exploration manager on the Carlin trend, Nevada, and over the next 6 years guided the incredibly successful exploration program that transformed Carlin from a couple of small gold mines into one of the world’s premier gold producing districts.
In 1992, Odin was appointed Chief Geologist for Newmont Mining Corporation, responsible for technical guidance of the company’s worldwide exploration and mine geology programs. Notably, this included active participation in the early exploration and development of Yanacocha Peru, Mesel and Batu Hijau Indonesia.
In 2001-2002, Odin was Exploration Manager for Empresa Minera Inti Raymi, based in La Paz Bolivia, responsible for mine geology at the Kori Kollo mine and exploration within Bolivia. He is credited with recognition of the Kori Chaca deposit.
During his career, Christensen has worked on projects in 26 different countries – so far. Odin is currently an independent consulting mineral geologist living in Mancos Colorado.
He is a Fellow of the Society of Economic Geologists and Geological Society of America; a member of the Society of Mining Engineers, American Institute of Professional Geologists (Certified Professional Geologist), Society for Geology Applied to Mineral Deposits, Geological Society of Nevada, and Four Corners Geological Association.
Odin was recognized as a Thayer Lindsley Lecturer for the Society of Economic Geologists, and was honored as the inaugural Ralph Roberts Lecturer at the University of Nevada Reno. He has served on committees of the National Academy of Sciences and has testified before Congressional committees. He is the author or editor of numerous professional papers and guidebooks, and served as an Associate Editor of Mineralium Deposita.
The Ben F. Dickerson, III Award, established in 1987, recognizes professionalism and contributions to the mining industry.