American Resources Policy Network
Promoting the development of American mineral resources.

Courtney Young

Professor of Metallurgical & Materials Engineering
The University of Montana

Professor Courtney Young is Department Head and Prater Distinguished Professor of Metallurgical & Materials Engineering at Montana Tech of The University of Montana. He is a graduate of three premiere mineral/coal processing and extractive metallurgy institutions having obtained his BS in Mineral Processing Engineering from then Montana College of Mineral Science and Technology in 1984, his MS in Mining and Minerals Engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 1987, and his PhD in Metallurgical Engineering from the University of Utah College of Mines and Earth Sciences in 1995.

Dr. Young has expertise in surface chemistry, electrochemistry and spectroscopy. His specialties in mineral processing/extractive metallurgical engineering include mineral characterization, flotation, physical separations, leaching, cyanide, uranium, gold processing, adsorption and applications thereof to recycling and waste-water remediation.

His industrial experience includes summer internships in Tucson/Sihuarita operations with Duval Corporation (May-August, 1983) and Hobson/TX operations with Chevron Resources (May-August, 1982). These internships involved copper flotation and uranium L/SX/Precipitation. Because of the diverse experience, Courtney knew graduate school was for him. While in graduate school, Courtney worked on a variety of industrial-related projects including sampling/simulation of a hydrocyclone heavy medium separation at Pitson Coal Company (September-December, 1985) and electrochemical understanding of gold cementation by zinc for Newmont Gold Company (January-May, 1989). His thesis involved studying the Nonstoichiometry of Chalcocite in Xanthate Flotation Systems whereas his dissertation was about the Double-Bond Reactivity of Adsorbed Oleate at Fluorite and Calcite Surfaces.

While a faculty member at Montana Tech, Dr. Young has worked with numerous companies and the Center for Advanced Mineral & Metallurgical Processing (CAMP) at Montana Tech. Unfortunately, the companies are proprietary but the subject matter includes furthering the understanding of flotation technology, selecting and testing ore process options, flowsheet design for mineral processing of rare earth elements, and researching and developing solutions to environmental problems. Examples range from gold and copper recovery to cyanide and spent pot-liner as well as acid-rock drainage remediation.

Dr. Young has been and continues to be extremely active in several professional organizations, particularly SME and TMS, as an officer, author and presenter as well as an organizer of sessions and symposia including General Recycling 1998, Minor Elements 2000, Cyanide 2001, Hydro 2003, JD Miller Symposium 2005, Uranium 2007, Precious Metals 2007, Hydro 2008 and Roe-Hoan Yoon Symposium 2011.

He has been accordingly recognized for his efforts including plenary lectures, the Young Engineer Award from the Mineral and Metallurgical Processing Division of SME, Frank F. Aplan Award from AIME, and President’s Citation from SME. Finally, he has applied for a patent on his research for developing a novel carbon adsorption process for extraction gold from thiosulfate solutions. The non-cyanide technology has potential to make thiosulfate leaching cost-effective and therefore competitive to cyanide leaching.


Left Right
  • Aluminium 13 Al 26.982


    Major Uses: domestic consumption, transportation, building, electrical
    Import Dependency for U.S.: 38%
    Major Importers: Canada, Russia, China, Mexico

  • Iron 26 Fe 55.845


    Major Uses: construction, transportation (predominantly automotive), cans and containers
    Import Dependency for U.S.: 7%
    Major Importers: Canada, European Union, China, Mexico

  • Cobalt 27 Co 58.933195


    Major Uses: aircraft gas turbine engines, cemented carbides for cutting, wear-resistant applications
    Import Dependency for U.S.: 81%
    Major Importers: Norway, Russia, China, Canada

  • Copper 29 Cu 63.546


    Major Uses: building construction, electric and electronic products, and transportation equipment
    Import Dependency for U.S.: 30%
    Major Importers: Chile, Canada, Peru, Mexico

  • Palladium 46 Pd 106.42


    Major Uses: catalysts to decrease harmful emissions in light- and heavy-duty vehicles, also used in chemical and petroleum refining sector, and fabrication of laboratory equipment
    Import Dependency for U.S.: 94%
    Major Importers: South Africa, Germany, United Kingdom, Canada

  • Silver 47 Ag 107.87


    Major Uses: coins and medals, industrial applications, jewelry and silverware, and photography
    Import Dependency for U.S.: 65%
    Major Importers: Mexico, Canada, Peru, Chile

  • Tantalum 73 Ta 180.95


    Major Uses: automotive electronics, pagers, personal computers, and portable telephones
    Import Dependency for U.S.: 100%
    Major Importers: Australia, China, Kazakhstan, Germany

  • Rhenium 75 Re 186.207


    Major Uses: petroleum-reforming catalysts, superalloys used in turbine engine components
    Import Dependency for U.S.: 86%
    Major Importers: Chile, Netherlands

  • Platinum 78 Pt 195.084


    Major Uses: catalysts to decrease harmful emissions in light- and heavy-duty vehicles, also used in chemical and petroleum refining sector, and fabrication of laboratory equipment
    Import Dependency for U.S.: 94%
    Major Importers: South Africa, Germany, United Kingdom, Canada

  • Gold 79 Au 196.966


    Major Uses: Jewelry and arts, electrical and electronics, dental and other
    Import Dependency for U.S.: 33%
    Major Importers: Canada, Mexico, Peru, Chile


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