Milt Ward’s experience covered the world and spectrum of metals, minerals, and ores, ranging from A to Z (Antimony to Zinc and Australia to Zambia). During his career, he directed or was responsible for exploration, planning, development, processing, smelting, marketing, and other activities in the mineral industry on six of seven continents. His approach to work was driven by a desire to keep abreast of new techniques and an ability to gain the support of all levels of the operations for which he had responsibility, all of which led to cost reductions and improved performance, morale, and profitability.
Milt Ward relished creating and growing shareholder value of mining organizations. He was President, Chairman, and CEO for Cypress Amax Minerals from 1992 to 1999, and he was President and COO of Freeport-McMoRan from 1983 to 1992, during which time he was instrumental in developing Freeport’s world-class Indonesian operations.
Milt Ward’s success and rise to the upper ranks of management was fostered by the support of a wonderful cadre of individuals, who helped him meet the challenges of the business in a creative and cost effective manner. Preceding Freeport, he was Vice President of Operations for Ranchers Exploration, Inc., and prior to that he was General Manager of Homestake Mining Company’s United Nuclear-Homestake Partners Mines. His introduction to mining was as a Miner, Engineer, and Supervisor with San Manuel Copper Corporation.
Milt Ward was the recipient of numerous minerals-industry accolades. He was elected to the American Mining Hall of Fame in 1993 and was the New York Copper Club’s Copper Man of the Year in 1995. He received AIME’s William Saunders Gold Medal (1990) and SME’s Daniel C. Jackling Award (1993), and he was elected a Distinguished Member of SME (1989).
Milt Ward enjoyed the structured learning and definitive goals provided by formal education. While working through the corporate ranks, he earned a PhD from University of London’s Royal School of Mines. In addition, while working, he earned an MSc from the University of Alabama, where he is a member of the university’s Hall of Fame, and an MBA from University of New Mexico’s Anderson School of Management, where he was also a member of the Hall of Fame.
Prior to his life in mining, Milt Ward earned a BSc from the University of Alabama. In 1994, he was awarded an Honorary PhD by the Colorado School of Mines.
Milt Ward was of humble beginnings, and he often cited joining the Boy Scouts of America as a turning point in his life. With the Scouts, he proved that he held the makings of success. He became an Eagle Scout and, later in life, from 1998 to 2000, was the National President of the Boy Scouts of America.
Milt Ward was a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the Museum of Natural History. He was named Man of the Year by Achievement Rewards for College Scientists. He was President of the New Orleans Art Museum and participated in the direction of many other city, state, and national museums, universities, and hospitals.