Dr. Donald W. Gentry’s career took him from being a working mining engineer, to renowned mining educator, to mining consultant, to respected mining company corporate director, to President and CEO of mining companies.
As an educator, Dr. Gentry had a positive impact upon hundreds, if not thousands, of new mining engineers and many others who took his short courses in mine economics. His students have been leaders in the mining industry around the world. His influence spread to SME and AIME, both of which he served as President. In 1991, he received AIME’s Mineral Industry Education Award, and he received many other awards and honors over his career in education, engineering, and the mining industry. He was a member to the National Academy of Engineering.
Dr. Gentry was a prolific technical writer, publishing papers about mining engineering, education, and economics. He co-authored Mine Investment Analysis with Thomas J. O’Neil. This 510-page, multi-purpose text serves three objectives. First, it is a wonderful tool for teaching mine valuation concepts and procedures, as well as the principles of capital budgeting to undergraduate students studying minerals engineering. Second, it provides a solid foundation for graduate work in the area of mine valuation and may stimulate students to pursue work on some of the difficult issues presented. Third, it provides a valuable reference for industrial practitioners working in the area of mine investment analysis.
Dr. Gentry worked as a mining engineer for Anaconda Copper Company, Kennecott Copper Corporation, and NL Industries. Later, he served on the Boards of Directors of Santa Fe Pacific Gold Corporation, Newmont Mining Corporation, Newmont Gold Corporation, Polymet Mining Corporation (where he also served as President & CEO from 1998 to 2003), Constellation Copper Corporation, Gryphon Gold Corporation, and El Capitan Precious Metals, Inc.
Dr. Gentry consulted for many mining companies as well as many Federal government agencies, including the Executive Office of the President, on considering and formulating government policies as they relate to mineral resources and their development in the United States.
Dr. Gentry held B.S., M.S., and PhD. degrees in mining engineering from the University of Illinois, Mackay School of Mines, and University of Arizona, respectively. He taught mining engineering at the University of Arizona before joining the Mining Engineering Department of the Colorado School of Mines, where he served 26 years as a Professor, Head of the Department, and ultimately the Dean of Engineering for the School. He retired from the Colorado School of Mines in 1998 as a Professor Emeritus of Mining Engineering.
Dr. Gentry set the standard for integrity and ethical behavior for all who had contact with him.