Mr. President, members, and guests: It is with great pleasure that I accept the prestigious Waldemar Lindgren Award of the Society of Economic Geologists this evening. It is an honor to be here tonight and quite humbling to join the list of previous recipients, many of whom have made significant contributions to the study of mineral deposits and shaped our current understanding of ore-forming processes.

My geological career began in the former mining town of Freiberg, a small city located in the Erzgebirge, literally translated as “The Ore Mountains,” in eastern Germany. Miners dwelled here for centuries and old mining...

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