T. Lyle Taylor*
Despite originating in Oklahoma and living in Colorado, Thomas Lyle Taylor considered Nevada to be his home state. After serving as a communications specialist and marksman in the United States Air Force, working within several departments at Kennecott Copper’s Robinson Mine, and graduating with honors from The University of Nevada, Reno in 1973 with a degree in Journalism (and a strong interest in industrial human resources), Lyle again directed his attention to rural Nevada and mining.
Lyle was professionally active in human resource management before returning to Kennecott Copper in 1978 to ultimately assist administratively with that mine closure. Amselco Exploration (Selection Trust) then recruited Lyle for administrative duties within the Ruth, Nevada field exploration office. As part of the team fundamental in the development of Amselco’s flagship property, Lyle advanced to the position of Administrative Manager (Safety and Human Resources) under General Manager Warren Stanford for what became the Alligator Ridge mine (‘The A-Team’, as he was fond of calling it) in 1981. Located in northwest White Pine County, Alligator Ridge’s primary sediment hosted deposit consisted primarily of gold. Reserves in 1983 were reported at 5 million tons of ore grading 0.09 opt Au (Alligator Ridge produced more than 700,000 ounces of gold and some silver during its years of operation from 1981 through 1996). Lyle held that position until he accepted a transfer to Amselco’s Reno Exploration office in 1984.
Prior to that offices closure, Lyle accepted a position as an executive direct placement recruiter (and functioned as a human resources consultant) before ultimately establishing Geotemps, Inc. as a Nevada based staffing and consulting firm specializing in mining and geotechnical exploration in 1986. With the opening of an Elko, Nevada office, Geotemps became positioned to support both exploration and mine site development. During the ensuing 17 years, Geotemps successfully established itself as both an internationally recognized, multi-industry (temporary and direct placement) service provider, but also as a regular source of support and generosity to a variety of what Lyle considered necessary organizations and institutions, including The Geological Society of Nevada.
Lyle professed the necessity of time and support for such organizations as a means of cultural investment and industry sustainability, while demonstrating his passion for both mining and mining careers – including serving as a trustee and president of the Northwest Mining Association (American Exploration and Mining Association) while having been awarded a lifetime membership to that organization; serving as a member of the Mackay School of Earth Sciences and Engineering Executive Advisory Board at The University of Nevada, Reno; holding a position on the board of the Northern Nevada Community College, and avidly supporting the Nevada Mining Association, The Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration (SME), and various other industrial state, regional, and technical organizations. In 2004, Lyle was also awarded a lifetime membership to The Geological Society of Nevada. Although he had received various recognitions, he professed it to be one of his most significant honors.
During the course of his career, Lyle’s varied experience afforded him a unique perspective on industry-specific governmental and employment issues typically affecting the mining community.
On June 18th, 2004, Lyle was unexpectedly killed in a single vehicle roll-over accident returning from a retreat in Eureka, California at the age of 58. Recognized for his generosity and commitment, Lyle was eulogized by Nevada Congressman (and Governor) Jim Gibbons as “a tireless leader and advocate for the mining industry who worked with me on a number of issues critical to land management. Nevada has lost a great leader and friend.”
Lyle’s varied personal interests included collecting geological and archeological specimens, amateur astronomy, laughter and discussion among the company of his family and friends, being responsible for interesting golf stories, and the challenge of a good game of cribbage – particularly as a recommended distraction before a difficult presentation.
Lyle’s passion for the minerals industry is symbolized by the success of those necessary institutions that he championed or supported, by the 3 generations of professionals employed by the company he built, and by the many individuals whose careers he launched or inspired. In 2004 The Northwest Mining Association (American Exploration and Mining Association) honored Lyle’s passion for participation and support with their annual (re-named) Thomas Lyle Taylor Starters Award.
Today, Geotemps, Inc. and affiliated companies honor the memory of Lyle Taylor through industry support and with the creation of scholarships and awards inspired by his belief in a safe and productive industrial landscape, and in the fundamental necessity of mining and related institutions as the foundation of society.