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Get To Know Dave Knight

Dave KnightDave Knight seemed destined to be a geologist or miner from birth. Both of his father's parents were from mining families and there wasn‟t a dinner or family event that mining or prospecting stories weren't told. His grandfather on his father's side was born in Pandora, a mining town east of Telluride, Colorado.

His grandmother on his father's side was born in Victor, Colorado several miles away from Cripple Creek, Colorado. Her father and a partner found one of the important lodes in Cripple Creek for which they each received $50,000 in the late 1800's.

When Dave was a child he accompanied his grandfather and father to look at prospects, helping with assessment work, staking claims, gold panning, and watching them use single and double jacks to drill blast holes.

Dave was born and raised in the historic mining town of Prescott, Arizona. After graduation from Prescott High, Dave attended Yavapai Community College and, naturally, became interested in geology. He took a summer job with Amselco and worked as a field assistant for the notable explorer, Walter Schull.

With the geological fire in his gut, Dave obtained a B.Sc. degree from the University of Arizona and a M.Sc. from the University of Manitoba and then went to work with Texasgulf in 1981.

Dave co-founded Contract Geological Services (CGS) in 1984 and introduced the now familiar chip-trays to the US exploration industry... a definite improvement over the glue-on chip boards or plastic bottles then in common use.

After working for a number of companies through the 1980's, including Atlas Precious Metals, Dave moved to Elko in late 1991 to work with the team Bruce Harvey assembled to systematically evaluate and explore the Carlin Trend.

The team's mandate was to find 3 to 5 million ounces in five years- they discovered 20 to 25 million ounces in three years.

Dave Knight panning for goldDave played an early and major role in the discovery of the Leeville gold deposit by recognizing the importance of wispy-laminated textural characteristics within the upper Roberts Mountain Formation host rock in combination with the presence of Carlin replacement-style mineralization in some of the first drill holes.

Dave and Debby Knight founded Carlin Trend Mining Services and Supplies, based in Elko, Nevada in 1994, and Dave remained geologically active acquiring several properties during the low gold price years from 2001 through 2003.

Some of these properties became the core property assets for junior exploration companies including Tone Resources which was bought out by US Gold in 2006.

Dave said that "being an exploration geologist has been the most fun and satisfying job one can have. There is always the anticipation of finding a prospect, defining a target, and making a big discovery. It is like a big treasure hunt where you apply the scientific method, knowledge, logic, new and old technology, and intuition to find a product that is valuable, creates jobs, and benefits society."

Dave believed that successful exploration comes from individuals who are focused and have dedicated their professional life to understanding ore deposits, deposit settings, and how to go about the discovery process.

Dave also believed "the geologist who wishes to excel at exploration should acquire an advanced degree and then seek out and obtain mentored positions in the early years of one's career, and also when the time comes, give back to the industry by becoming a mentor." 

Though he passed away in 2022, his legacy lives on through his family, who continue to operate the family business and inspire the same passions as he did throughout his life.

Reprinted with permission from the Geological Society of Nevada, August 2010 newsletter edition.