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J. David Lowell​
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Dave Lowell, an outstanding exploration geologist and mine finder, discovered and contributed to the discovery of a number of major producing mines, including La Escondida in Chile, which was developed into the world’s largest copper mine, and the nearby Zaldivar-Escondida Norte orebody. Dave Lowell is recognized as one of the world’s foremost authorities on porphyry copper deposits. Among more than 50 published articles, the most notable, co-authored with John Guilbert, defines the Lowell and Guilbert Porphyry Copper Model. This article became a standard reference for exploration geologists worldwide. In 2009, Dave Lowell contributed heavily to the endowment for the Lowell Institute of Mineral Resources at the University of Arizona, and in total, his contributions to the University of Arizona are in the range of many millions of dollars.​

Dave Lowell became an independent consultant in 1961. Between 1961 and 1990, he worked for 110 companies in 26 countries, largely in porphyry copper exploration. In 1965, his work contributed to two discoveries in Arizona: the Kalamazoo orebody for Quintana Petroleum Co. and the Vekol Hills deposit for Newmont. A similar project for Newmont, Hanna, and Getty found the Casa Grande West deposit in 1975. At about the same time, he made contributions to discoveries of the JA orebody in Canada by Bethlehem Copper, the Dizon deposit in the Philippines by Benguet, and the Far Southeast orebody in the Philippines by Lepanto.​

In 1974, Dave Lowell began to focus on Chile and, starting in 1979, he planned and managed a contract grassroots program financed by Utah International and Getty Oil. This work led to the Escondida discovery. In 1987, a small Chilean syndicate managed by Lowell found the 1-million-ounce San Cristobal gold mine. In 1990, the Leonore orebody (now the core of the Luksic Tesoro Mine) was optioned and drilled by Lowell for Niugini Mining Co. In early 1991, Dave Lowell initiated a personally-financed exploration program in Peru. This evolved in 1993 into a Canadian junior company, Arequipa Resources. Late in 1995, Arequipa discovered the 8-million-ounce Pierina gold orebody, which it sold in 1996 to Barrick Gold. Subsequent work by a Lowell company, Peru Copper, developed the Toromocho copper-silver-molybdenum deposit in Peru, which Chinalco purchased for $900 million in 2007 and is now developing as a $2.7-billion project. Another Lowell company, CIC Resources, is currently developing a very large titanium resource in Paraguay.​

Dave Lowell received a B.S. degree in mining engineering from the University of Arizona in 1949 and an M.S. in geology from Stanford University in 1957. He obtained a Professional Engineer degree from the University of Arizona in 1959 and received honorary degrees from Universidad Nacional de San Marcos in Peru in 1998 and the University of Arizona in 2000.​

Dave Lowell was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1999. He received the SME Daniel C. Jackling and Robert Dreyer Awards, the AIME Earl McConnell Award, the SEG Silver Medal and Penrose Gold Medal, the MMSA Gold Medal, the Australian Academy of Science Haddon Forrester King Silver Medal, and the Chilean Centro de Estudios de Cobre y la Mineria CESCO Award. ​

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