Paul A. Bailly was an outstanding exploration geologist and mining company executive during a career that stretched from 1952 to 1996. The broad scope of his important contributions to the mining industry includes numerous significant mineral discoveries, new exploration philosophy, and important additions to the mineral exploration literature.
As President of Bear Creek Mining Company, the U.S. exploration subsidiary of Kennecott Copper, from 1961 to 1967, Paul Bailly directed six exploration districts in the United States, a porphyry copper-molybdenum geology research unit, a new group pioneering the application of computers to reserve estimation and discovery probability, and a deep-ocean nodules exploration and research team. During his years at the helm, Bear Creek discovered important copper ore deposits in Arizona and Alaska, a copper-nickel deposit in Minnesota, lead deposits in Missouri, a new type of copper-silver deposit in Montana, and a large, high-grade manganese-cobalt nodules field in the Pacific Ocean.
In 1968, Paul Bailly joined Occidental Petroleum Corp., tasked with creating an international mining division, Oxymin, which he led as President through 1983. Under his leadership, Oxymin discovered zinc deposits in Tennessee and developed in-situ leaching of two near-surface copper oxide deposits in Nevada and New Mexico and of a deep copper oxide body in Arizona. The Canadian subsidiary discovered the McClean Lake high-grade uranium deposit in Saskatchewan, and the Australian subsidiary discovered a new gold orebody near Kalgoorlie. Oxymin was the operating partner of the Candelaria silver heap-leach mine and the major financial partner of the Alligator Ridge gold heap-leach mine, both in Nevada.In 1984, Bailly joined Fulcrum Management as President. Fulcrum was the managing company of a venture capital group focused on investing in new gold mining ventures. Investments were made in 12 projects in the United States, Canada, and Australia, and six mines were successfully developed—a "first" in venture capital mine financing.
Paul Bailly was awarded the degrees of Geological Engineer by the University of Nancy, France, and Ph.D. in mineral deposits by Stanford University. He was active in professional societies throughout his career and was President of the Society of Economic Geologists in 1981 and of the Geological Society of America in 1983. He authored 26 papers on mineral resources, exploration management, and public land laws. He served on four committees on mineral problems of the National Academy of Sciences, including the seminal COMRATE Committee on Mineral Resources and the Environment. In 1993, AIME honored Bailly with its Mineral Economics award, and in 1979, he received the SME Jackling Award for “his leadership in bringing a quantitative rationality to mineral exploration, the impact of his efforts on mineral policy issues, and his effective managerial role in major mineral discoveries.“
Throughout his career, Paul Bailly demonstrated an exceptional ability to innovate and to organize, motivate, and lead successful teams of mineral explorationists, mine developers, researchers, and investors.