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Virginia T. McLemore

potash mine
V.T. McLemore underground, potash mine,
Eddy Co, NM.
Senior Economic Geologist 
Minerals Outreach Liaison

New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources 
New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology
801 Leroy Place
Socorro NM 87801-4796
(575) 835-5521

Certified Professional Geologist #CPG-7438 (AIPG)

Job description

I am the Senior Economic Geologist and Minerals Outreach Liaison for the Bureau. An economic geologist is a scientist who studies earth materials or minerals that can be used for economic and/or industrial purposes. Some of the topics an economic geologist examines are: how these minerals form, where are these resources found (i.e. inventory of these minerals), studies the history of mining, explores for new economic localities of these minerals, how to mine these resources, and how to reclaim these sites after mining. It is my job to provide mining and minerals-related information concerning New Mexico to decision makers, general public, scientists, environmental groups, and the mining industry (including consulting firms). Other functions of my job include:

    • I am responsible for writing the New Mexico State Minerals information for the USGS Minerals Yearbook every year.
    • I attend and present papers on research or updates of NM mineral resources at professional meetings (SME, SEG, GSA, AMEA, AIPG, Industrial Minerals forum).
    • I assist state and federal agencies on mining issues as required.
    • I sit on the New Mexico Mining Commission as the designee for the Director of NMBGMR.
    • I teach 1 3-credit graduate-level class a year (in the spring) for New Mexico Tech. I alternate between: Geology of Uranium Deposits, Geology and Economics of Industrial Minerals, and Geology and Economics of Critical and Strategic Minerals.
    • Create accurate, up-to-date maps of the state's mineral-resources potential.
    • Conduct research on the state's mineral resources.
    • Provide timely information on potential mine-related hazards, including subsidence, cave-ins, dangerous openings, unstable highwalls, environmental (acid drainage, release of toxic elements), and flooding.
    • Understand the distribution and economics of strategic and critical minerals, including rare earth elements (REE), copper and uranium in New Mexico.
    • Compilation of minerals production and resource statistics in NM.
    • Maintain the NURE data and Uranium Archives.
    • Maintain the New Mexico Mines Database.


      Professional Experience (also see Awards & Service)

      Current projects (also see full CV)

      • Mineral resources in New Mexico (uses, geology, origin, resource potential, environmental assessment)

        • Alkaline-related gold (Te) deposits
        • Mining districts in New Mexico
        • Geology and mineral deposits of the Jicarilla Mountains
        • Placer Gold deposits in New Mexico
        • REE and strategic minerals in New Mexico
        • Weathering of mine waste rock piles and tailings
        • Presentation on Mining Issues in New Mexico, Leadership Academy, May 2016


      Courses Taught


      List of publications by category

      Membership in Professional Societies (also see Awards & Service)

        • American Institute of Professional Geologists (AIPG)—CPG #7438 (AIPG)
        • Mineralogical Society of America (MSA)
        • Geological Society of America (GSA)
        • Association of Applied Geochemistry, Fellow (AAG)
        • Society of Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration (SME)
        • Mineralogical Association of Canada (MAC)
        • American Society for Surface Mining and Reclamation (ASSMR)
        • Society of Geology Applied to Mineral Deposits (SGA)
        • Society of Economic Geologists, Fellow (SEG)
        • American Exploration and Mining Association (AEMA, formerly Northwest Mining Association)
        • New Mexico Geological Society, Life member (NMGS)

      Outreach Activities

        • The case of the scarlet mineral: mineral identification
        • The importance of minerals to New Mexico: where they are found and how they are used
        • Gold panning in New Mexico
        • Gold in New Mexico
        • Edible rocks: rock identificationMineral resources in New Mexico
        • Salt and turquoise, how ancient cultures were affected by geology
        • Geology of state parks in New Mexico
        • Mining and mineral resources in New Mexico (see current projects)


      Economic Geology Laboratory

      Databases managing


        • Faculty sponsor New Mexico Tech Shooting Sports Club
        • Coach New Mexico Tech Rifle Team

      Updated March 7, 2017