Hecla Greens Creek Mining Co. honors O’Neill

Patrick O'Neill
Patrick O’Neill

The Hecla Mining Co. has renamed its Hecla Greens Creek Mining Co. recruitment scholarship in honor of University of Alaska Fairbanks alumnus Patrick H. O’Neill.

“We are so honored to associate our company with Dr. O’Neill,” said Hecla president Phil Baker. “He personifies the leadership we all strive to attain, and his contributions to the American mining industry have revolutionized the standards for mining worldwide. We honor Dr. O’Neill by naming our scholarship at UAF the ‘Patrick H. O’Neill Hecla Greens Creek Mining Company Scholarship.'”

The company owns primary silver mines in Alaska (Greens Creek) and Idaho (Lucky Friday) and the Casa Berardi gold mine in Quebec. In addition to its diversified silver and gold operating and cash-flow generating base, Hecla has a number of exploration properties and pre-development projects in five world-class silver and gold mining districts in North America.

O’Neill, born and raised in Cordova, received three degrees from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, two in mining engineering (a bachelor’s in 1941 and a master’s in 1953) and an honorary doctorate (1976) in recognition of his professional achievements and service to the university.

His education afforded him many opportunities to develop mines throughout the world, including one in Colombia, South America, where he revitalized a failing mining operation, eventually becoming president of the International Mining Corp. Over the years, he would go on to serve as president, chairman or director of The Fresnillo Co., Zemex Corp., Placer Development, Moly Corp., Rosario Resources and others. These companies developed and operated some of the western world’s great metal resources. O’Neill was recently inducted into the National Mining Hall of Fame for his lifetime of leadership in the mining industry.

The Patrick H. O’Neill Hecla Greens Creek Mining Company Scholarship assists the UAF College of Engineering and Mines to recruit students interested in the mining industry. The scholarship encourages students of promise to enter the mining profession, including the academic areas of mining engineering, mine engineering with mineral processing emphasis or geology/geological engineering. Students in these fields are encouraged to apply for these scholarships through the UAF financial aid office.