Empowering tomorrow's mining leaders

Molycop sponsors Engineering undergraduates at the MINEXCHANGE 2024 SME Annual Conference and Expo.

Key Facts

  • Molycop sponsored two undergraduates to attend the 2024 SME Annual Conference and Expo in Phoenix, Arizona.
  • Madison Sandoval and Spenser Walchuk represent the future of our industry and Molycop is honored to support them on their journey.
  • The conference and expo have stimulated the ambitions of Madison and Spenser for a brighter, more sustainable future for the mining industry. 

Nurturing talent and fostering innovation lie at the forefront of Molycop’s leadership in the mining industry's evolution. 

Molycop is committed to supporting the next generation of mining leaders and is proud to have sponsored two exceptional students, Madison Sandoval and Spenser Walchuk, to attend the prestigious MINEXCHANGE 2024 Annual SME Conference and Expo in Phoenix, Arizona, in February 2024. 

Madison Sandoval

Madison, a senior undergraduate metallurgical engineering student at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) epitomizes the spirit of determination and excellence. Under the guidance of Professor Carl Nesbitt and Assistant Professor Eshan Vahidi, Madison’s academic research endeavors have focused on mercury removal in the gold industry and innovative approaches to battery recycling. 

Madison has added practical experience to her academic research, including internships with Nevada Gold Mines Phoenix Mine and American Battery Technology Company (ABTC) and at McClelland Labs, a metallurgical testing laboratory. 

"My commitment to gaining diverse experiences led me to various jobs and internships... These academic and industry experiences paved the way for my most recent internship at American Battery Technology Company,” Madison said.

My academic journey has been full of undergrad research... I discovered my passion for metallurgy and created strong and deep connections with people who share the same love for metallurgy as I do. – Madison Sandoval

Madison has served as the Secretary for the Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration (SME) student chapter and founded the Women in Mining UNR chapter, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting diversity, and educating the public in today’s mining industry. Her passion for metallurgy and her commitment to sustainability made her a natural choice for this prestigious opportunity.
Madison Sandoval with Geoffrey Veytia​​​​, Operations Manager, Molycop PanamaAbove: Madison Sandoval with Geoffrey Veytia​​​​, Operations Manager, Molycop Panama.

Spenser Walchuk

Spenser embarked on his undergraduate academic journey in Missouri University of Science and Technology’s metallurgy program, where he was captivated by extractive metallurgy during an introductory course. Spenser contributed to various research projects during his undergraduate studies, including generating McCabe-Thiele diagrams for germanium extraction and exploring the recovery of rare earth elements from acid mine drainage. 

He also participated actively in the SME Metallic Mine Design Competition in 2022 and 2023. 

“Engaging in the mine design competition provided me with invaluable insights into the extensive nature of mine operations," Spenser said.
For those contemplating a career in mining, I recommend identifying an area of interest, finding someone to nurture your curiosity, consistently asking questions, and actively joining organizations such as SMEs to broaden your industry connections and insights. – Spenser Walchuk

Spenser's proficiency in utilizing MS Excel and his critical thinking, demonstrated by his ability to ask pertinent questions and seek solutions highlight his preparedness for a career in the mining industry.
 Above: Geoffrey Veytia​​​​, Operations Manager, Molycop Panama (left) with Spenser Walchuk.

Shaping tomorrow’s leaders

For Molycop, sponsoring both Madison and Spenser's attendance at the SME Conference and Expo is an investment in the industry's future. By enabling these talented young students to network, learn and grow alongside seasoned industry experts, Molycop is actively contributing to shaping the leaders of tomorrow.

We truly believe in supporting the next generation of mining talent. Madison and Spenser represent the future of our industry, and we are honored to support them on their journey. — Geoffrey Veytia, Molycop Operations Manager, North America

Madison and Spenser immersed themselves in the latest advancements presented at the conference, forged connections with industry stalwarts and garnered invaluable insights that will indelibly shape their professional trajectories. 

The event has stimulated their ambitions for a brighter, more sustainable future for the mining industry. Madison and Spenser are not merely students – they represent the future leaders of the mining industry.

Molycop – Progress Together

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