Excelsior Mining Corp. announced the immediate appointment of Robert Washnock, member SME, to the position of project manager for the Gunnison Copper Project in Arizona. Washnock will work with Excelsior’s management team to help plan and organize all aspects of the Gunnison Copper Project, including mine design, procurement, construction, start-up and commissioning. Washnock will also assist management with the care and maintenance operations at the Johnson Camp Mine (JCM). He has direct experience with in-situ copper recovery mining, and his hiring comes as Excelsior prepares for the anticipated commencement of commercial production in 2018.
Washnock brings a wealth of copper mining experience specific to all aspects of mine production management. He has extensive expertise in the areas of solvent extraction electrowinning (SX-EW) plant operations, electrorefining, electro-metallurgy/chemistry, copper leach kinetics and environmental regulatory compliance. The vast majority of his 40-year career has centered on SX-EW copper recovery projects in Arizona.
Washnock has held managerial positions with Freeport-McMoRan Mining Co. since 2008. Most recently, he was the manager of leach optimization at the Safford Technology Center, with primary emphasis on the Safford Mine and Morenci Mine leach operations. From 2009 to 2012, he was the manager of the hydrometallurgical division at Freeport-McMoRan’s Bagdad SX-EW facilities, where he was responsible for the production of high-grade copper cathode. From 2008-2009 he was responsible for high-grade cathode production at Freeport-McMoRan’s Tyrone operations. As general manager for the Lisbon Valley Mining Co., from 2004-2008, he successfully developed, designed, constructed and started-up a greenfields SX-EW copper operation. From 1996 to 2004 he was the SX-EW operations manager for the Silver Bell SX-EW project.
From 1991 to 1994 he was the manager of leaching & SX-EW operations for Magma Copper Company’s Pinto Valley Mining Division. In this role he was responsible for the production of high-grade cathode, including copper recovery from in-situ leaching operations.
Commenting on this news, Stephen Twyerould, president and chief executive officer of Excelsior Mining said, “We are very pleased to add a mining executive of Robert Washnock’s calibre to our team. Our project is certain to benefit from his extensive skillset including his previous experience with in-situ copper mining. His appointment demonstrates the ability of the Gunnison Copper Project to attract industry leaders to what we believe will be the next copper mine built in the United States.”