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Alexander Murray Wilson​
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Alexander Murray (Bud) Wilson was a mining man and a very good one. He became Manager of the Mining Division of Utah Construction & Mining Co. in 1960; President of the company, which was to become Utah International, in 1971; and CEO in 1978. When General Electric and, later ,Australia’s BHP acquired Utah International, Bud quickly established close working relationships with senior management of both companies and continued to lead the company in its growth and diversification. At the time of the GE acquisition in 1976, Utah International was the most profitable and, in stock market capitalization, the most valuable, mining company headquartered in the United States.​

U.S. mining companies are most often known for mining and marketing single commodities and their by-products. Unique to Bud Wilson was his leadership role in making Utah International a very profitable, world-wide mining company that was highly diversified both geographically and in the products it produced.​

High among Utah International’s achievements were development of important uranium mines in Wyoming, five coking coal mines in Queensland, Australia and the great Escondida copper mine in Chile. Escondida went on to become the world’s largest copper mine, producing 900,000 tons per year by the late 1990s. Other notable achievements included development of the Samarco iron ore and pelletizing project in Brazil, the Mt. Goldsworthy iron ore operation in Western Australia, the Navajo steam coal mine in New Mexico, the Island Copper Mine in British Columbia, and the Arutman steam coal mine in Indonesia.​

Bud Wilson was a true ambassador, representing U.S. industry at its very best. Utah International’s growth and markets were largely overseas, and its public image and local relationships in the countries where it operated were vitally important. Under Bud Wilson’s leadership, Utah International achieved excellent community, business, and government relationships in the countries where it exploited resources and in those where it marketed its products. As the leader in Utah’s negotiations with governments and customers, Bud was held in highest esteem. In 1988, Bud was made an honorary member of “The Order Of Australia” in recognition of his contributions to the Australian economy.​

Bud Wilson is one of a very short list of metallurgists to rise to the chairmanship of a major U.S. mining company. He began his career in the mining industry by earning a BS in metallurgical engineering at University of California—Berkeley, following service in the Burma-China Theater during World War II. After graduation, Bud held engineering and supervisory positions for Bradley Mining Co. at Stibnite, Idaho and for Molycorp at its Rare Earths operations in California.​

Bud joined Utah Construction Co. in 1954, embarking on a career of central importance to Utah International’s unparalleled rise from its successful construction-company roots in Utah to an acknowledged position among the world’s most diversified, international, and successful mining companies.​

Click here to visit Bud's oral history, which is preserved at the Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley.