In Memory of J. David Lowell

May 6, 2020

A Message From the Directors


J. David Lowell
J. David Lowell

May 6, 2020

If you have not already heard, this is very sad news: David Lowell has passed away, at the age of 92.

Dave was a true gentleman, generous with his time and advice. He was a wonderful mentor and friend to all of us. Dave and his wife Edith were extremely generous in their support of the University of Arizona. Not only were they the namesake and major donors for the Lowell Institute for Mineral Resources, but they also endowed the Lowell Program in Economic Geology and, recently, a new chair for the Head of Mining and Geological Engineering, as well as additional gifts toward both programs. They were also major contributors to the athletic program, including the Lowell-Stevens football facility, as well as to other University causes.

Dave was the most successful explorer of the last 60 years, having discovered, or co-discovered at least 12 major ore bodies that have become major mines including the world’s largest copper district, Escondida (Chile). Not only an explorer, he made major contributions to the science, notably through his synthesis and applications of alteration zoning in porphyry copper systems. These concepts, first expressed in his 1970 paper with John Guilbert, are key in exploring for porphyry copper deposits and have been applied by generations of geologists worldwide. Dave captured his experiences in ‘The Intrepid Explorer’ and later summed up his career as a contrarian explorer as the Lacy Distinguished Lecturer at the University of Arizona in 2013.

We have lost an outstanding professional, a great colleague, mentor, and personal friend. Our prayers and thoughts will include Dave, his wife Edith, and his family.

We do not have any information regarding services at this time, but we will share with you as the information becomes available.

Mary Poulton and Mark Barton
Lowell Institute for Mineral Resources
University of Arizona