Matthew (Matt) Lengerich, General Manager-Mining Operations at Kennecott Utah Copper's Bingham Canyon Mine, was honored in December 2012 with a Medal of Merit Under 40 award and inducted into the American Mining Hall of Fame. He is being honored by the Mining Foundation of the Southwest for his demonstrated leadership in the mining industry as a young professional under the age of 40.
Born in Anchorage, Alaska, in 1978, Matt's career interest in engineering is attributed to the influence of his father Ronald Lengerich, who was a petroleum engineer, and to his high school teacher, Mike Thomas, who exposed him to underground hard rock mining and the discipline of mine engineering. Matt attended the Colorado School of Mines and graduated with a BSc in Mining Engineering in 2000.
Matt began his mining career as an intern with Kennecott Energy's Colowyo Coal Mine in Craig, Colorado. He returned after graduation as a full-time mining engineer and filled several roles in operations, technical and asset management. In 2006, Matt and his young family moved to Weipa, Australia, to work at Rio Tinto's Weipa aluminum bauxite mine in the Far North Queensland, Australia. Their three years in Weipa were filled with adventure, and the opportunity to work in a remote aboriginal environment provided Matt with a deeper understanding of the challenge facing future mining operations.
In 2009, Matt returned to the U.S. as Production Support Manager at Rio Tinto's largest copper asset --Kennecott's Bingham Canyon Mine. He was promoted in 2010 to Mine Operations Manager and since 2012 has enjoyed the technical and business challenges of being Mine General Manager.
Matt is a Colorado-registered Professional Mining Engineer and an active member of the Society of Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration Geology. When time permits, Matt is an avid fisherman, rock climber, mountain biker, and musician.
The purpose of the non-profit 501c(3) organization Mining Foundation of the Southwest based in Tucson, Arizona is to promote public understanding and education related to mineral resources and the mining industry, both in the U.S and abroad. More information is available at www.miningfoundationsw.org.