by
Emilie Rusch

M. Stephen Enders appointed Mining Engineering Department head

A Mines alumnus, Enders joined the Mines faculty in 2009 and has nearly 45 years of experience in the mining and mineral exploration industry
M. Stephen Enders

M. Stephen Enders is the new head of the Mining Engineering Department at Colorado School of Mines.

A Mines alumnus, Enders joined the Mines faculty in 2009 and previously served as head of the Geology and Geological Engineering Department from 2016 to 2019. He has nearly 45 years of experience in mining and mineral exploration, working as a geologist, manager and executive in many of the world’s most significant copper and gold mines.

“I’m honored and humbled to be asked to continue to serve my alma mater as head of the Mining Engineering Department,” Enders said. “I’ve worked in mining and mineral exploration my entire career. I’ve worked in copper and gold mines and on exploration and development projects all around the world. My job now is to use that unique mix of experience in industry, academia and management to lead the Mining Engineering Department into the future.”

Enders ‘76 holds a bachelor’s degree in geological engineering from Mines and an MS in geological engineering from the University of Arizona. After earning his PhD in economic geology, also at the University of Arizona, he went on to become the president of Phelps Dodge Exploration Corporation (now Freeport McMoRan Inc.), one of the largest copper producers in the world.

Enders left Phelps Dodge to join Newmont Mining Company in 2003 as their senior vice president of worldwide exploration. He retired from the global gold mining company in 2009, the same year he joined Mines as a research professor in the Mining Engineering Department, serving as director of the Center for Innovation in Earth Resources Science & Engineering until taking on the role of department head in Geology and Geological Engineering.

In the years since joining Mines, Enders has remained active in industry, serving as chairman, director and chief operating officer of EMX Royalty Corporation (formerly Eurasian Minerals Inc.) from 2009 to 2015. He still holds the title of senior advisor to EMX. He is also a co-founder of Cupric Canyon Capital LLC, a company that is currently constructing an underground copper-silver mine in the Kalahari Desert of Botswana. 

Enders will officially begin his new role on Aug. 1 and said he’s looking forward to helping both the Mining Engineering Department and Mines “put a new face on mining and find its voice” to champion the story of the increasing importance of mining and mineral exploration to modern-day life.

“Our whole world is built on things that were mined. We have to tell a different story,” Enders said. “There’s a transformation coming, driven by population increase and the demand for a higher quality of life in the developing world, climate change and the need for a non-carbon-based future, the leveraging of data and the use of that data requiring ever increasing amounts of energy. There has never been a greater demand for mineral resources, and we’re in the position right now to develop that workforce.”

In addition to holding the titles of professor of practice and department head in Mining Engineering, Enders will continue to serve as director of subsurface frontiers in the Office of Research of Research and Technology Transfer, overseeing the university’s strategic efforts to integrate faculty and researchers from Mines and the U.S. Geological Survey to revolutionize earth sciences through interdisciplinary research.

Enders is an honorary lecturer and past president of the Society of Economic Geologists (SEG) and past president of the SEG Foundation Board of Trustees. He received the Distinguished Achievement Medal from Mines in 2009, the Ben F. Dickerson Award from the Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration in 2014 and the Ralph W. Marsden Award from the Society of Economic Geologists in 2016.

Emilie Rusch

Emilie Rusch

News Director
303-273-3361
About Mines
Colorado School of Mines is a public research university focused on science and engineering, where students and faculty together address the great challenges society faces today - particularly those related to the Earth, energy and the environment.