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PLATO MALOZEMOFF

1909–1997

Elected in 1969

“For application of traditional and new metallurgical techniques in mining.”


BY ROBERT R. BEEBE


ON FRIDAY, August 8, 1997, the mining industry lost a leader, this academy lost a distinguished member, and engineers lost a respected colleague. Plato Malozemoff’s career in mining spanned more than five decades, but he is best remembered for his time with Newmont Mining Corporation, where he worked from the end of World War II until he retired, as chairman, in 1985. As he built Newmont into a leading mining house with global reach, his name became associated with many of the world’s great mines and companies.

Plato was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, on August 28, 1909. At that time, his father, a mining engineer, was a political exile in Siberia, but under the terms of his sentence he was allowed to work, raise a family, and build a rather enviable career with appropriate compensation and savings. Eventually, however, he fell victim to the Russian Revolution, the Civil War, onerous inflation, and financial turmoil, which forced the family to emigrate to the United States in 1920. Plato finished high school in Oakland, California, became a naturalized citizen in 1926, and graduated magna cum laude from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1930, with a B.S. in metallurgical engineering. He was then 21 years of age.

Prospects for young engineers in the 1930s were bleak, but Plato decided to enter graduate school at the Montana School



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