Robert James Wright, 1940
A.B., Denison University
Ph.D., Columbua University
Citation awarded on Saturday, June 8, 1974
Dr. Robert James Wright’s professional career has been devoted to the search for and development of mineral resources vital to the interest of the United States since 1949. This work has taken him to more than 25 foreign countries and to most of the states in the U.S. and resulted in the discovery of several ore bodies of uranium, copper, and molybdenum.
In his present assignment as consulting geologist for Amax Zambia, Inc., he is technically responsible for the geologic work of Roan Consolidated Mines Limited, one of Zambia’s two largest copper producers, owned 51 percent by the Zambian government. He is also manager of the Lumwana project, a large low-grade copper prospect in western Zambia now under exploration. If a mine is developed here, an investment of approximately one-half billion dollars will be needed.
Dr. Wright has written numerous papers on the geology of mineral deposits overseas and frequently speaks before professional organizations. He taught geology at St. Lawrence University (1947-49) and joined the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) in its search for uranium deposits. He was assistant chief geologist in the AEC’s division of raw materials when he was named manager of the western exploration division of Amax. By 1965, he was made vice president of Amax and put in charge of the corporate mineral exploration activities on a global basis. In 1968, he took over the corporation’s worldwide mining operations.