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James David Lowell Geologist (3 replies)

Alan Carter
11 months ago
Alan Carter 11 months ago

Good or Lucky OR Lucky and Good. The geologist Jame David Lowell has a record and a career of which anyone would be proud. However many people who know him, including many of his admirers allude to a certain talent for garnering credit and a tendency to be a little slow at diluting it amongst others.

The question of who did and didn't find any orebody is always a vexed one. I have stood at a function open mouthed with admiration as someone made claims to have done things and been places where he could not possibly be. I egged the bastard on and when he moved on to more elevated company, one of the admiring witnesses introduced me to the circle as the person who had been there and done those things. I have never seen so many people go so silent so fast.

I know exactly who did what in the discovery of Lihir and when, and yet, that zodiac would have had to have been the QE2 to hold all the people I have met who claim to have been there.

So, yeah Lowell is no Walter Mitty and many people try to muscle in on his credit, some of those people have a case.


Bob Mathias
11 months ago
Bob Mathias 11 months ago

In my experience perhaps often it is also the individual in charge/exp mngr who acknowledges the mad hatter concept and provides authorization to pick up the ground initially to prospect/explore. I guess it all starts with a target gen concept, whether that is realized by the right people then the deposit will remain hidden in the ground until someone is convinced it needs to be tested. Then again I wonder how many false discoveries David has under his belt too. Judging by his age, he is either extremely influential, had the prestige early on to always be listened to, or is very stubborn and clocked up years to go through the discovery stats. I know of a certain proj in Sth Am, where he was hunting for one commodity and stumbled across another, but the metallurgy may prove difficult to advance the proj, so tech success may not always lead to economic discovery (not sure if this counts for one of his 17 golden eggs?) should add that there is certainly no intended disrespect, just that when you start wielding in high numbers of success rates there is more to the story as it seems.

David Kano
11 months ago
David Kano 11 months ago

In discovery there are the facilitators, the creative thinkers and the boots on the ground. You can rarely in life get to be all three. Escondida is commonly felt to be one of Lowell's best discoveries, the facilitator was definitelyt Sig Meussig (Sp), Lowell was the creative thinker and I am not familiar enough with the story to tell you who was the boots on the ground.

From my limited experience, there is a tendency for the earlier people in that series to try to hog credit from the later ones. This is sad as I think a facilitator has three reasons to be proud:

  • He did his job in supporting the project;
  • He hired the right creative thinker;
  • He put the right boots on the ground.

But it is amazing how many VPs want to dick around with where hole 5 is placed.

I guess it depends if hole 5 is of 5 or of 100?

Victor Bergman
11 months ago
Victor Bergman 11 months ago

It was in fact hole 5, 6 & 7 of a 7 hole program. Hole 7 was the best, they patted themselves on the back for a good hole (5 & ^ were pants) and eight years later hole 97 was drilled outside the pit on the original hole 7s pad. Sadly, the assorted heavies had got fat payouts when Cyprus was taken over and never got reamed for their stupidity.