Joseph V. Tingley, Economic Geologist Emeritus
Nevada Bureau of Mines & Geology
Joseph V. Tingley was born in Sacramento, California in 1938 . He attended the University of Idaho and while still a student worked two summers in 1957 and 1958 at the Hazel Creek mine, an east-belt Mother Lode gold mine in El Dorado Co ., California, as mine and mill sampler, timekeeper, and handled gold concentrate cleanup and amalgamation in the mill . After receiving his bachelors degree in Mining Engineering from the University of Idaho in 1960, he worked at the Strawberry Tungsten Mine and the New Idria Mercury Mine both in California, doing mine surveying, geologic mapping, and installation and operation of an assay laboratory . From 1962 until 1963, Joe worked as a uranium geologist for Susquehanna Western, Inc . in Riverton, Wyoming and Falls City, Texas doing geologic mapping, drilling, and regional exploration in Wyoming, Nevada, California, and south Texas . He then returned to New Idria as senior staff engineer for the mining and furnacing of mercury ore at that mine, where he designed a gravity concentrating plant for low-grade mercury ore .
Somehow he managed to squeeze in time between these jobs to earn his masters degree in Mining Engineering from Mackay School of Mines in 1963, doing his thesis on tungsten exploration in Nevada and California . Having survived working with mercury, tungsten, and uranium, Joe moved on to explore primarily for porphyry copper deposits in Arizona and New Mexico working as a geologist for Superior Oil Co . Minerals Division, in Tucson, Arizona from 1963 to 1967 . From 1967 to 1969, Joe worked as a geologist for Union Pacific Railroad, Natural Resources Division, first in Reno and then as manager of the Salt Lake district office exploration activities within the five-state Rocky Mountain area, looking for gold, copper, molybdenum, and mercury deposits .
In 1969, he returned to Reno, where he worked as a consulting mining geologist for several years conducting property examinations and regional exploration programs for various metallic minerals commodities in Nevada, California, Arizona, and Idaho . In 1972-73, while working for Hazen Research, Inc . he did an in-depth property examination on the Mill City tungsten district for
General Electric Co that led to a 4-year job with G .E . from 1973 through 1977, during which time he successfully brought the Mill City tungsten project from exploration into mine development . In 1975, Joe’s further detailed geologic studies for G .E . in the Getchell tungsten district led to development of the Getchell Mine . After 1976, when General Electric bought Utah International and merged its tungsten exploration staff with that of Utah, Joe’s responsibilities were expanded to include management of tungsten exploration in the western U .S .
In 1978, Joe left Utah International to join the staff of the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology, where he has been for the last 28 years, achieving emeritus status in 2005 . Joe has been a tireless field geologist and prolific publication producer during his years at NBMG . His NBMG publications alone include more than 100 authored works including 3 NBMG Bulletins, 6 NBMG Special Publications, 5 NBMG Reports, and 39 Open File Reports totaling more than 10,000 written pages of first-hand, field-gathered, factual information on the mines and prospects of the state . Many of these stand as solid reference volumes useful to anyone researching Nevada mining and mineral resources . Added to this are his numerous contract reports, abstracts, journal articles, and metallic minerals exploration summaries . He modestly describes his principal research while at NBMG as a “collection of data on and evaluation of metallic mineral resources in Nevada” . The reality is that there is hardly a mine, prospected area, or dog hole in the state that does not have a sample, field description, and geochemical analysis on file for public inspection at NBMG done under one of Joe’s resource evaluation studies, including those on the Nevada Test Site, Nellis Bombing Range, and Yucca Mountain federally restricted lands . It can safely be said that any geologist doing minerals exploration work in Nevada has used and relied on Joe’s publications repeatedly .
In addition to this impressive professional work, in recent years, Joe has been a major contributor to a series of very popular NBMG roadside field guides: Geologic and natural history tours in the Reno area, Geologic tours in the Las Vegas area, and Traveling America’s loneliest road, a geologic and natural history tour through Nevada along U .S . Highway 50 . He currently has another roadside guide for Highway 93 in progress, and is widely known as a lecturer and writer on all aspects of Nevada mining history .
The body of work that Joseph Tingley has contributed on mineral resources in the state of Nevada will stand for decades to come as a source of reliable data for geologists, mining historians, and the general public, and well-qualifies him to be recognized as an Honorary Member of the Geological Society of Nevada.