— September 27, 2023
“Anyone who wants to know anything about mining in New Mexico goes to Ginger to get their answers.” That’s according to the New Mexico Mining Association, which inducted Virginia “Ginger” McLemore into the New Mexico Mining Hall of Fame on August 24.
As a principal economic geologist and minerals outreach liaison at the New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources (NMBGMR), McLemore studies earth materials and minerals that can be used for economic and/or industrial purposes. Her work explores how these minerals form, where they are found (including mapping and inventories of mineral resources), how to mine these resources, and how to reclaim sites after mining.
“I provide information about mining and minerals to decision makers, the general public, scientists, environmental groups, and the mining industry,” she says. “I also work to determine the economic impact of mining in New Mexico.”
As an adjunct faculty member at New Mexico Tech, she has taught scores of earth science students and has advised numerous graduate students over the years. Many of her former students have gone on to work in the mining industry in New Mexico and elsewhere.
“I have worked with Ginger for many years, and continue to be impressed by her breadth of knowledge that stretches to every corner of the state,” said Nelia Dunbar, NMBGMR director. “Her enthusiasm for her work and the energy that she puts toward a better understanding of New Mexico’s economic geology are phenomenal. I can’t think of a better person to be part of the New Mexico Mining Hall of Fame, and I am so happy that Ginger has been given this honor.”
“The mining industry is about people,” says McLemore, “and the New Mexico Mining Hall of Fame reflects that by recognizing individuals and companies that have made substantial contributions to New Mexico’s mining industry.” Several other NMBGMR employees have previously been inducted into the New Mexico Mining Hall of Fame, including Frank Kottlowski, George Griswold, and Robert Eveleth. “I am humbled to be included in this group,” McLemore says. “I want to thank my family, friends, and students who have worked with me and supported me over the years to be awarded this honor.”