Corby Anderson

Harrison Western Professor | Colorado School of Mines

"Our society would be nowhere today or in the future without a way to selectively concentrate, produce and purify both energy minerals and other essential materials for our society."

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Number of years in the mining profession:

My family has been in mining for 210 years. Personally, I have been in it for about 40 years.

Number of years as an SME member:

About 33 years.



What sparked your interest in pursuing a career in mining and minerals?

I was born and grew up on the Richest Hill on Earth in Butte, America. My family history in Mining stretches back some 210 years to my ancestor’s copper mining in Allihies in County Cork, Ireland. So, I think I may have been programmed by my DNA to be in Mining! I did spend some time in the aerospace and electronics industries early on in my career. But I soon found myself back in the Mining field.

What part of your career makes you the most excited?

Many things. Now that I am a Professor it is the student engagement and assisting their future success that keeps me on a college campus. When I was employed in industry and engineering design, it was successful project execution and production that was exciting and fulfilling. And of course, there is the growing myriad of people I have met all over the globe that makes it such a wonderful field to be in.

What mining/engineering innovations are you most excited about?

I would choose flotation and hydrometallurgy. Both are ‘younger’ technological fields with somewhat over 100 years of real industrial application. Our society would be nowhere today or in the future without a way to selectively concentrate, produce and purify both energy minerals and other essential materials for our society.

Where do you think the industry will take you in the next decade?

LOL. Not sure. I doubt I can ever really retire from Mining as I have been lucky to find something I have passion for. Either I found something I truly enjoy, or given my DNA, I had no choice whatsoever, and I was predestined for it. My colleague Len Harris, who shares some of the same Allihies Irish mining roots with me, is my career model!

What is something your SME membership has given you that you didn’t anticipate when you first joined?

An unanticipated logarithmic global wealth of friends and colleagues along with a very deep technical network.