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Virginia T. McLemore
(maiden name Hill)

1219 Hilton Place
Socorro, NM  87801


B.S. in Geology, B.S. in Geophysics (1977, NMIMT), M.S. in Geology (1980, NMIMT), Ph.D. in Geoscience (1993, UTEP).

Principal Senior Economic Geologist, Minerals Outreach Liaison, New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology

Adjunct Professor, Earth and Environmental Science Department, Mineral Engineering Department, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology


  • Graduated Woodlawn Senior High School, Baltimore, MD 1973
  • Graduated New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, Socorro, NM, B.S. 1977, M.S. 1980
  • Graduated New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, Socorro, NM, M.S. 1980
  • Graduated University of Texas at El Paso, Ph.D. 1993
  • numerous short courses on geochemistry, environmental geology, exploration, porphyry copper deposits, design and management of databases, GIS ARCMAP, geotechnical engineering of mine slopes and waste rock piles, uranium geology and geochemistry, mine reclamation




  • American Institute of Professional Geologists—CPG #7438
  • Mineralogical Society of America
  • New Mexico Geological Society (Honary Member)
  • Geological Society of America (Fellow)
  • Association of Exploration Geochemistry, (Fellow)
  • Society of Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration (AIME-SME)
  • Society of Economic Geologists (Fellow)
  • Northwest Mining Association
  • New Mexico Mining Association
  • Mineralogical Association of Canada
  • American Society for Surface Mining and Reclamation (ASSMR)
  • Acid Drainage Technology Initiative—Metal Mines Sector
  • Society of Geology Applied to Mineral Deposits
  • Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum


  • Mineral Resources in New Mexico

      • Mining districts of New Mexico (history, production, geology, resource potential, environmental geochemistry)
      • Gold-silver resources in NM
      • Uranium resources in NM
      • McLemore, V.T., 2012, Geology and mineral resources in the Ojo Caliente No. 2 mining district, Socorro, County, New Mexico: New Mexico Geological Society, Guidebook 63, p. 547-558.
      • McLemore, V.T., 2012, Mining districts in the San Mateo Mountains, Socorro and Sierra Counties, New Mexico: New Mexico Geological Society, Guidebook 63, p. 85-87.
      • McLemore, V.T., Zutah, W., Silva, M., Asafo-Akowuah, J., Trivitt-Kracke, A., Shackelford, J.,  Mojtabai, N., Richards, M., Harrison, N., Durica, J., Durica, B., and Sears, B., 2019, Geology, mineral-resource potential, and potential environmental impacts of the Rosedale mining district, Socorro County, New Mexico: New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources, Open-file Report 603, 141 p.
      • McLemore, V.T., 2019, Mineral resources in Union County, New Mexico: New Mexico Geological Society, Guidebook 66, p. 109-116, supplemental material
      • McLemore, V.T., 2020, Uranium deposits in the Poison Canyon Trend, Ambrosia Lake Subdistrict, Grants Uranium District, McKinley and Cibola Counties, New Mexico in Frey, B.A., Kelley, S.A., Zeigler, K.E., McLemore, V.T., Goff., F, and Ulmer-Scholle, D.S., eds., The geology of the Mount Taylor area: New Mexico Geological Society, Special Publication 14, p. 53-64
      • Kelley, K.D., Spry, P.G., McLemore, V.T., Fey, D.L., and Anderson, E.D., 2020, Alkalic-type epithermal gold deposits model: U.S. Geological Survey, Scientific Investigations Report 2010-5070-R, 88 p.,
    • New Mexico Mines Database

    • Critical Minerals, including REE in NM

    • Geology and geochemistry of episyenites, carbonatites and other alkaline rocks in New Mexico (with Tapani Ramo, University of Helsinki, Finland)

    • McLemore, V.T., Rämö , O.T., Heizler, M.T. and Heinonen, A.P., 2012a, Intermittent Proterozoic plutonic magmatism and Neoproterozoic cooling history in the Caballo Mountains, Sierra County, New Mexico; Preliminary Results: New Mexico Geological Society Guidebook 63, p. 235-248.
    • Geology and geochemistry of anorthosites, diabases, and granites in southwestern NM (with O. Tapani Rämö and Ilmari Hapaala, University of Helsinki, Finland)
    • McLemore, V.T., Smith, A., Riggins, A.M., Dunbar, N., Rämö, O.T., and Heizler, M.T., 2020, REE-bearing Cambrian-Ordovician episyenites and carbonatites in southern and central New Mexico, USA, in Koutz, F.R. and Pinnell, W.M., eds. Vision for discovery: Geology and ore deposits if the Great Basin: Geological Society of Nevada, 2020 Symposium Proceedings, p. 411-428.
    • Environmental studies in New Mexico


McLemore has written over 350 publications concerning the geology of New Mexico.  


  • SME/AIME Environmental Stewardship Distinguished Service Award, February 2018

  • Association of American State Geologists (AASG) Charles J. Mankin Memorial Award 2018 for McLemore, V.T., Timmons, S., and Wilks, M., eds., 2017, Energy and Mineral deposits in New Mexico: New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources, Memoir 50 and New Mexico Geological Society, Special Publication 13

  • Honorary Member NMGS, September 2016
  • 2nd place poster AIPG, September 2016
  • NMIMT Service Award for 35 years of service 2015
  • SME (Society Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration) Environmental Division 2014-2015 Chair Award
  • Geoscience Information Society (GIS) Best Guidebook Award for 2001 forLawton, T. F., McMillan, N. J., McLemore, V. T., Austin, G., and Barker, J. M. eds., 2001, Southwest Passage, A Trip through the Phanerozoic: New Mexico Geological Society Guidebook 51.
  • American Institute of Professional Geologists 2000, Editor 2001-2003, Vice-president 2007, editor 2012
  • Attended the Penrose Conference on Fractures and Fluid Flow, September 1997 in New Mexico (presented a poster).
  • Attended the Penrose Conference on Anorthosites, August 1988 in Wyoming (presented a poster).
  • Registration chairman NMGS Spring Meeting April 1989, 1990, Co-chairman 1999, 2000.
  • Awarded stipend by the New Mexico Mining Association for best student paper entitled "Mineralization and alterations of the Center-Carlisle mine area, Steeple Rock district, Grant County, New Mexico:  Preliminary observations" October 1990, September 1992 entitled "Alteration and mineralization of the Steeple Rock district, New Mexico"; and October 1993 entitled "Geology and Geochemistry of the Mineralization and Alteration in the Steeple Rock district, New Mexico and Arizona."
  • Awarded International Mining Days Scholarship 1990-1992 University of Texas at El Paso.
  • Field trip leader NMGS Fall meeting 1991, 1992, 1993, 2000,
  • Judged New Mexico State Science Fair (1994, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000), Regional Science Fair (1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003), Socorro Science Fair (1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1998), Magdalena Fair (1993), Junior Academy of Science Papers (2002-2011)
  • I was awarded Honorable Mention for a science fair project in the Baltimore Metropolitan Science Fair in the spring of 1971.  I entered the fair in 1972.
  • I worked on the college newspaper during the fall semester, 1973, in layout.
  • I worked during the summer of 1975 as an exploration geologist with a gas company.  I compiled maps, cross-sections, structural and isopach maps, and well logs to evaluate certain properties and to determine favorable drilling sites.
  • Research assistantship, New Mexico Bureau of Mines and Mineral Resources 6/79-6/80.
  • Listed in Marquis Who's Who in the West 20th, 21st, and 22nd edition and Marquis Who's Who of Emerging Leaders in America, first and second editions.

Very active in the New Mexico Shooting Sports Assoc. (NMSSA), 4H Shooting Sports 1984-2002 (Leader Socorro Junior 4H Gun Club), National Rifle Association of America (Certified Rifle Coach, Basic instructor rifle, pistol, Home firearms safety, training counselor, 1984-present), New Mexico Game and Fish Department (1988-2002), and Civilian Marksmanship Program State Director for NM (1998-present).  NMSSA Presidents Award 1988. NMSSA Distinguished Coach Award 1994.  National Record for Women’s Team 300 yd High Power Rifle 1989. Member of the Women’s International Randall Team (smallbore rifle) 1998-2002, 2004-2008, 2010-2019), International Dewar Team (smallbore rifle) 2009-2020. Coached winning Whistler Boy Smallbore Rifle Team 1998, National Matches, Women’s National Record in the prone metallic team sights (.22 rifle) and won the National Metallic Team Sights Prone Championship, Camp Perry 2003 and 2017, Member of the Women's International Goodwill Randall Team to England in 2001, 2009, 2016, Member of the Roberts International Team to England in 2009, 2nd place grand aggregate in the 2010 NRA National Metric Smallbore Rifle Prone Championship, 2010. High Woman in the 2013 NRA Metric Smallbore Rifle Prone Championship and High Intermediate Senior in the 2013 NRA Smallbore Rifle Prone Championship.


  • 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
  • Edible rocks: rock identification
  • Mineral 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

NMT Student Outreach

  • Faculty sponsor New Mexico Tech Shooting Sports Club
  • Coach New Mexico Tech Rifle Team
  • Faculty sponsor student chapter American Institute of Professional Geologists


  • Economic geology (formerly Clay) lab


  • NURE data
  • New Mexico Mines Database
  • Geochemistry of mining districts in NM
  • Collection and catalog of rocks and ores from NM mining districts
  • Production statistics


  • NM Environment Department—Copper Rules Advisory and Technical Committees (2012)
  • New Mexico Geological Society—Fall Field Conference Committee 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2012, 2013, 2020, 2021
  • Selected Thesis committees (NMIMT)—(a) Randy Phillips— Geochemistry of hydrothermal Th-U-REE quartz/fluorite veins from the Capitan pluton (M. S. 1991); (b) Randy Ruff— Gas analysis of fluid inclusions: application toward precious metal exploration, Steeple Rock mining district, Grant County, New Mexico (M. S. 1993); (c) Jim Watrus—Geochemical atlas of Socorro County, NM; (d) Research Advisor:  Erik Munroe, Geochemistry and characterization of waste rock piles to complement an evaluation of medal mobility in an arid environment:  A study of the Hillsboro district, New Mexico, (e) Kelly Donahue, Geochronology and geochemistry of the Victorio Mountains, Luna County, New Mexico, (f) Amanda Rowe, Fluid evolution of the Goat Hill breccia and vein ore bodies at Questa, New Mexico, M.S. thesis, (g) Steven Raugst, Environmental geology of the Copper Flat deposit, Hillsboro, Sierra County, New Mexico, M.S. independent study, (h) William Zutah, M.S. Mineral Engineering, Mineral Resources Evaluation of the Rosedale District, Catron County, New Mexico, (i) Marcus Silva, M.S. Mineral Engineering, AML in Northern Magdalena district, M.S. thesis, (j) Tiffany Luterbach, M.S. Mineral Engineering, Trace element analysis of placer gold samples
  • Undergraduate projects—Heavy minerals-Red River, NM, Spring semester (Meghan Jackson), Trace element analyses of molybdenite from the different ore types at Questa, New Mexico (Mike Breese), Geochemistry of minette, Burro Mountains (Kathleen Boyer), Mines databases in NM (Christian Krueger)
  • AIME-SME Publications Committee (1989-1993) and Education Committee (vice chairman 1993-1994, chairman 1994-1997, past-chairman 1998-2000)
  • Society for Luminescent Microscopy and Spectroscopy, Chairman Awards Committee (1993-1998, member 1998-2005).
  • NMIMT—Sabatical Committee (1993-1995).
  • Sigma XI/NMIMT Chapter—Treasurer (1994-1995, President-elect 1995-1996, President 1996-1998, Past President 1999-2000)
  • Co-director senior thesis project—Tim Peace—Geochemistry of Stream Sediments, Pecos River, New Mexico (1994), Robert Thompson—Mineralogy of the Jones Hill deposit, Santa Fe County (1999)
  • Co-director directed study—Doug Jones—Clay Mineralogy of Stream Sediments, Pecos River, New Mexico (1993), Daniel Hack—Copper porphyry deposits in New Mexico and adjacent areas (1993-1994), M. L. Jackson—Red River (2002), M. R Breese—Red River (2003), C. B. Krueger—Database (2002)
  • Advisor senior design project—Daniel Hack—Carlisle mine, Grant County, NM (1995-1996), E. Bakkom and S. Salvas (1997)
  • Tenure committee—Nelia Dunbar (1995—1998)
  • Coming Events Editor—Society for Exploration Geochemistry (1996—present)
  • Chairman of ADTI (Acid Drainage Technology Initiative-MMS) Sampling and monitoring committee, member of the Steering Committee.
  • Editor, American Institute of Professional Geologists
  • American Society for Surface Mining and Reclamation, organizing committee, annual meeting, June 2001
  • Research advisor of theses committees (completed—Eric Munroe, Kelly Donahue, Steven Raugst, Samuel Tachie-Menson, Luiza Guiterez, Heather Shanon, in progress--Vanessa Viterbo, Kwaku Boakye, John Morkeh, Tyler Munsen)


  • 1982—U. S. Department of Energy, Uranium Occurrences in New Mexico
  • 1983—U. S. Bureau of Land Management, Mineral Resources of Torrance County
  • 1983—U. S. Bureau of Land Management, Mineral Resources of northern Rio Puerco Resource Area
  • 1985—U. S. Bureau of Land Management, Mineral Resources of Rio Puerco Resource Area
  • 1989—U. S. Department of Energy, Radon potential in New Mexico ($5,000)
  • 1992—Mt. Royal Mining Corp., Geology and geochemistry of the Steeple Rock mining district, New Mexico ($5,000)
  • 1993—U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, A study of the metals loading of the Pecos River, New Mexico (approx $5,000, co-PI)
  • 1995—Phelps Dodge Mining Co., Geochemistry and geochronology of the Chino and Tyrone copper porphyry systems, NM
  • 1997—U. S. Geological Survey, Mineral resource inventory of Sierra and Otero Counties ($6,525)
  • 1997—Mira Corp. for U. S. Army Corp of Engineers, Mineral Resources of the McGregor Range, Ft. Bliss, Otero County, New Mexico, precious metals ($119,617, entire contract PI Ron Broadhead for $303,806)
  • 1999-2000—Geology and mineral resources of the Wild Horse Mesa area, Grant County, New Mexico. $1,500 from Joe Aeillo and Associates.
  • 1999-2000—Acid Drainage Technology Initiative, Workbook on Acid Drainage Remediation, Introduction and Sampling and Monitoing Chapters. $3,000.
  • 2000—Soils Geochemistry in Semiarid and Arid environments, Office of Surface Mining short course, August 7-11, 2000. $1,800.
  • 2000—Site Characterization, Army Corp of Engineers, Short Course, St. Louis, November, $2,300.
  • 2001—New Mexico State Land Office, Mineral Resource Assessment of Luna County, $15,000.
  • 2001—Heavy Minerals and Heavy Mineral Alteration in Sediments along the upper Red River, Taos County, Molycorp, Inc., $3,250
  • 2001—Trace element analyses of molybdenite from the different ore types at Questa, New Mexico: Molycorp, Inc., $800
  • 2001—USGS Central Region surveys and analysis project; Mineral deposit databases of New Mexico, $25,000
  • 2002—US Army Corps of Engineers, Database of mines in Sierra and Otero Counties ($15,000)
  • 2003-2009—University of Utah—Molycorp Questa Weathering and stability project, ~$4.2 million
  • 2012—Rare earth element (REE) potential and origin of the Cambrian-Ordovician syenites/episyenites in the Caballo and Burro Mountains, southern New Mexico, V.T. McLemore and N. Dunbar, PIs, 2012 USGS MRERP, $60,000

  • 2012—National Shooting Sports Foundation, $6000 grant to the New Mexico Tech Shooting Sports Club (New Mexico Tech Rifle Team)

  • 2015-2016—Jicarilla Apache Nation to complete an Assessment of rare earth elements at Stinking Lake, New Mexico, ~$52,000
  • 2016-2017—Midway Foundation Grant, grant to the New Mexico Tech Shooting Sports Club (New Mexico Tech Rifle Team), $1800
  • 2016-2017—AML Proposal to the New Mexico Abandoned Mine Lands Bureau, PIs Drs. Mojtabai, McLemore and Walder—to NMMMD, $160,000 for 2 yrs
  • 2016-2018—NM State Land Office Minerals Resources—PIs Martha Cather, R. Broadhead, McLemore—to NMSLO
  • August 2018-July 2019—USGS PRIORITY 3, IDENTIFY CRITICAL MINERAL RESOURCES, Data Preservation of REE Mines and Occurrences in New Mexico (NGGDPP), $35,000
  • August 2019-July 2021—USGS Critical Minerals, Rare earth elements (REE) deposits in the Gallinas Mountains, Lincoln and Torrance Counties, central New Mexico $125,000
  • Aug 2019-July 2020—USGS PRIORITY 2, Identify Critical Mineral Resources, Data Preservation of tungsten, alunite, gallium, tin, and lithium Mines and Occurrences in New Mexico (NGGDPP), $35,000
  • Aug 2020-July 2022—USGS Critical Minerals, Rare earth elements (REE) deposits in the Cornudas Mountains, Otero County, New Mexico $100,000
  • 2020-2021—Pilot demonstration on abandoned uranium mine (AUM) material from the Old Church Rock Mine Site, Disa, LLC, $10,447.13
  • August 2021-July 2022—U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Geological and Geophysical Data Preservation Program (NGGDPP) Priority 2 $33,684.15


  • Run FAAS and GAAS (flame and graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometer)
  • Run XRF and XRD (X-ray fluorescent spectrometer and diffraction) instruments
  • Run PXRF instrument (portable or hand held XRF)
  • Perform various wet chemical analytical methods
  • Run electron microprobe
  • Various computer programs, including ARCMAP
  • Sampling and sample preparation
  • Surveying
  • Certified MSHA Part 48 New Miners Training and First Aid instructor
  • Preparing budgets
  • Project manager


From June 1980 to present (tenured 1986)

Employer:  Frank Kottlowski (1980-1991), Charles Chapin (1991-1998), Peter Scholle (1998-2011), Greer Price (2011-2014), Matt Rhoades (2016), Nelia Dunbar (2017-present) New Mexico Bureau of Geology (formerly Mines) and Mineral Resources, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, Socorro, NM 87801 

Position:  Geologist (1980-1993), received tenure in 1986, Senior Economic Geologist (1993-2017), Principal Senior Economic Geologist (2017-present), Minerals Outreach Liaison (2000-present)

Joint appointment: Adjunct professor, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences (1995-present), Department of Mineral Engineering (2000-present), New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology

From June 1979 to June 1980

Employer:  Frank Kottlowski, NMBMMR, Socorro, NM 87801

Position:  Graduate assistantship

From September 1977 to May 1979

Employer:  Chris Rautman, NMBMMR, Socorro, NM 87801

Position:  Literature search

From May 1979 to September 1979

Employer:  Joe Kappler, Urangesellschaft, USA, Inc. 2160 S. Holly, Denver, CO 80222

Position:  Assistant field geologist

From July 1976 to May 1977

Employer:  Robert Clay, Tax Mapping Supervisor, Battaan Memorial Building, Santa Fe, NM (office in Socorro)

Position:  Draftsman - plotted tax properties for Socorro County Assessor's Office

From June 1976 to July 1976 

Employer:  George Austin, NMBMMR, Socorro, NM 87801

Position:  Lab Assistant - clay analysis, x-ray work, and particle size analysis

From January 1976 to May 1976  

Employer:  Alan Krug, NMIMT, Socorro, NM 87801

Position:  Teaching assistant (taught surveying lab)

From September 1975 to December 1975 

Employer:  Dr. Marc Bodine, NMIMT, Socorro, NM 87801

Position:  Lab assistant (analyzed rock and water samples on the atomic absorption spectrometer, prepared samples and standards

From July 1975 to September 1975 

Employer:  Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America, Erv Clower, Post Oak Tower, Westheimer Road, Houston, TX 77001

Position:  Exploration geologist

From September 1973 to June 1975 

Employer:  Gale Billings (9/73 to 5/74), Dick Beane (5/74 to 8/84), Vern LeFabre (8/74 to 6/75), NMIMT, Socorro, NM 87801

Position:  Lab technician (ran atomic absorption spectrometer)

From August 1972 to August 1973  

Employer:  Mrs. Pat Rich, Spiegels, Baltimore National Pike, Baltimore, MD 21207

Position:  Evening supervisor, salesperson

Reason for leaving: Left for college

From January to April 1973 and from January to April 1972 

Employer:  H & R Block, Baltimore National Pike, Baltimore, MD 21207

Position:  Receptionist, duplicating machine operator

Reason for leaving: End of tax season