National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum names class of 2023

press release

May 8, 2023

The National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum (NMHFM) is pleased to announce the class of 2023 National Mining Hall of Fame inductees and the Prazen Living Legend of Mining Award.

2023 National Mining Hall of Fame Inductees include:

Richard Adkerson: Chair and CEO of Freeport-McMoRan. Adkerson has been a long-time champion of responsible mining. As a founding member and past chair of the International Council on Mining and Metals, he advanced initiatives to strengthen environmental and social performance in the mining sector. Today, all 12 of the company’s copper producing sites globally have achieved the Copper Mark, a comprehensive responsible production assurance framework, developed specifically for the copper industry.

Adkerson was the primary architect of the “dream come true” acquisition of Phelps Dodge Corp. in a $26 billion transaction that created one of the world’s largest publicly traded copper companies. More than 15 years later, he has continued to lead the company and champion its reputation as a responsible producer and leader in technological advances.

Carolyn Loder: Loder devoted her life to preserving mining viability and promoting fair treatment of Native Americans and local communities while protecting access to mineral resources on public lands. Her dedication to the industry spans more than 40 years, from early work in federal land management planning identifying the loss of federal lands to mineral entry in the 1970’s to defeating multiple anti-mining initiatives. Loder was honored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for her “significant contribution to the nation’s energy program” and for “protecting access to our nation’s mineral resources.” She served as president of Sonora Mining Corp.’s Jamestown Mine, the nation’s largest gold flotation facility, and was the first woman elected to president of the California Mining Association in the 1990’s. She spent a decade initiating a landmark land exchange among two federally recognized tribes in New Mexico and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, which resulted in the resolution of a 400-year tribal land dispute, thus allowing mining on tribal lands.

E. Morgan Massey (1926-2021): Massey dedicated his life to improving coal mining technology and productivity while elevating the health and safety of miners. He was a highly successful chief executive officer at A.T. Massey Coal Co., Asian American Coal, Asian American Gas, Inter-American Coal, Evan Energy Investments, and Minerals Refining Co. Massey was pivotal to the U.S. coal industry by developing Martin County Coal Co. in 1969. After retiring from A.T. Massey in 1991, Massey was instrumental in developing world-class mines in Venezuela and China. He went on to co-found Minerals Refining Co. (MRC), where he helped prove that ultrafine coals, usually discarded as waste, could be profitably recovered using a novel hydrophobic-hydrophilic separation process. MRC is currently building its first commercial-scale plant in Alabama’s Black Warrior Basin. Massey gave generously throughout his life and his philanthropic legacy lives on through the Joan and Morgan Massey Foundation and the Massey Cancer Center at Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of Medicine.

Albert Reynolds (1840-1921): Reynolds was a mining pioneer in Colorado, owning and operating numerous gold and silver mines between 1879 and 1921. A man of meager beginnings, he personified the American dream, becoming one of Colorado’s most successful mining magnates. Reynolds was an intensely private man, and in 1898, the Cripple Creek Citizen characterized him “the biggest mine operator in the state is almost the least known.” His story was memorialized in a 1995 biography “Albert Eugene Reynolds, Colorado’s Mining King” by Lee Scamehorn.

Dennis Washington: Washington is founder of The Washington Companies, an international group of companies with thousands of employees worldwide. He is known throughout the industry as an efficient, safe and innovative miner. Montana Resources, LLC, his open-pit copper and molybdenum mine in the historic mining city of Butte, Montana produces high-quality metal concentrates for the global market. Nearly four decades from its start, the profitable operation boasts another 30-year mine life projection and has received national safety recognition, community and state leadership awards. Washington is a self-made success; he started in 1964 with a leased bulldozer and a $30,000 loan and went on to build a heavy construction business that diversified into multibillion-dollar holdings in mining, rail and marine transportation, shipyards, environmental construction, heavy equipment sales and aviation products. He attributes much of his success to exceptional people with perceptive, timely advice and a passion for the project. An ardent philanthropist, Washington and his wife formed the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation in 1988, which has donated nearly a half billion dollars to regional nonprofit entities focused on education, health and human services, arts and culture and community service.

Richard Beach: Born and raised in Connecticut, Dick Beach “came West” as a young man to study minerals and graduated from the Colorado School of Mines with a professional degree in geological engineering. After serving in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Virginia and Vietnam, Beach worked as a geologist and physical scientist for the U.S. Bureau of Mines, assessing the mineral resources needed to sustain our economy and standard of life. Since retirement, Beach has continued to be actively involved in professional activities, especially with the Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration Inc. as chair of the SME Colorado Section Minerals Education Coalition. Beach makes presentations in Denver metro area classrooms and at other venues about mining and minerals; works with Scouts earning the Mining in Society merit badge; and judges science fair projects.

Since 1987, the National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum, located in Leadville, CO has been a national monument to the men and women who champion the discovery, development and processing of our nation’s natural resources, as well as a national institution educating the public about the undeniable relationship of mining to our daily lives.

The induction gala will be held October 28, 2023 at the Gaylord Rockies in Aurora, CO with M. Stephen Enders as emcee. To keep updated and find out more about the 36th annual NMHFM induction gala visit

Contact Elizabeth Dinschel, executive director, at if you have questions and/or to find out about sponsorship opportunities.


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