George O. Argall, Jr., was an internationally famous mining engineer, technical mining editor, and publisher. During his long career, he visited, examined, and reported on mining operations in 66 countries. He took special pride in getting a story right. On his typewriter, he taped three words so he could always see them: “Accuracy, Accuracy, Accuracy.”
George Argall began his work as an editor of mining magazines in 1950, when he became editor of Mining World and World Mining. From 1963 to 1968, he was both Editor and Publisher of World Mining and lived in Brussels, Belgium. During this period, he truly established World Mining as a global publication. Upon returning to San Francisco in 1974, he was appointed Editor of a new publication, World Coal.
During the 1970s, George Argall became the first trade-publisher to branch out into industry conferences, staging a series of mining symposia in the United States, Canada, England, Luxembourg, Holland, Mexico, Australia, and the People’s Republic of China. These symposia included: “Transportation and Handling of Minerals,” “Tailing Disposal Today,” “Mine Drainage,” “Coal Exploration,” and “Mine Planning and Development.” George Argall edited books covering these symposia.
In 1978, George Argall became one of the first mining engineers to enter China after normalization of relations between China and the West. His “Mine Planning and Development” symposium in Beijing in 1980 was attended by more than 300 engineers from 26 countries in addition to almost 1,000 Chinese engineers. Deng Chau Tsing was the honored guest at the welcoming banquet in the Great Hall of the People. He published a Chinese language edition of World Mining/World Coal that played a key role in bringing together the Chinese and Western mining industries.
George Argall’s father and grandfathers were mining engineers. On the Argall side, his ancestors mined tin in Cornwall for several centuries. In the 1890s, his grandfather Philip Argall commercialized gold cyanidation and in doing so changed the course of the gold industry. Philip Argall was inducted into the National Mining Hall of Fame in 1996.
George Argall attended Leadville schools through two years of high school. He graduated from the Colorado School of Mines as a Mining Engineer in 1935. His early career included work in precious and base-metal mines in California, Nevada, and Colorado. From 1942 to 1944, he was the Supervising Engineer for the Reconstruction Finance Corporation in Denver. During this period, he examined and reported on prospects and mines to determine if they warranted development financing for the war effort.
In 1944, George Argall joined the Civil Engineer Corps of the United States Navy, better known as the Seabees. He later became a Navy Military Government Officer, with service in Japan and South Korea. George Argall’s life was characterized by the motto, “Something hidden. Go and find it. Look beyond the ridges. Lost and waiting for you. Go!” And he did, all over the world.