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Mackay-Stanford Ore Deposits Collection

A significant collection of thousands of samples from ore deposits throughout the world has been donated by Stanford University to the University of Nevada, Reno.  These samples will be used in teaching and research in economic geology, extractive metallurgy, and mining engineering at the Mackay School of Earth Sciences and Engineering, part of UNR’s College of Science.  The renamed Mackay-Stanford Ore Deposits Collection helps bolster Mackay’s reputation as a leading institution in research on ore deposits and as a premier university for the education of professionals in mineral-resource fields.  Global demand for mineral and energy resources has risen dramatically in recent years and has created high demand for professionals in industry, government, and academia. 

Thanks to efforts of Gail Mahood, Professor in Stanford’s Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences; Pamela Matson, Dean of Stanford’s School of Earth Sciences; Jon Price, State Geologist and Director of the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology (NBMG, part of Mackay); Jim Taranik, Mackay Director; Ron Hess, David Davis, and David Cornett of the NBMG staff; and others, including competent movers, UNR now has added to its existing collections 29 cabinets of ores and related rocks plus three cabinets of polished samples for reflected-light microscopy and detailed chemical and textural analysis.  The collection was made accessible to the public on the NBMG website thanks to a generous grant by the GSN Foundation, which enabled student worker Christina Roberts to digitize the specimen descriptions.

The collection is located in Room 5B of the Scrugham Engineering-Mines Building on the northeast corner of the UNR quad (the first floor of NBMG’s building), where it will get maximum use by students and researchers.  The collection is catalogued along with other geoscience sample collections of NBMG and the Keck Museum, with information about the samples accessible on the Web through  For more information about the collection, including access by the public, please contact Garrett Barmore, W.M. Keck Museum (775-784-4528).

The bulk of NBMG’s geoscience samples, which include cores and cuttings from deep wells drilled in Nevada, primarily during exploration for oil, geothermal, mineral, and water resources; representative samples of ore and rock types from mines; and research collections, is housed in the new Great Basin Science Sample and Records Library, on the campus of the Desert Research Institute in Reno.  NBMG’s Information and Publication Sales Office is relocated to the GBSSRL facility.