Charles L. Pillar
1996 Medal of Merit Recipient
Charles “Chuck” Pillar was born in Denver, Colorado. He earned his Colorado Mines E.M. degree in 1935 and joined Park City Consolidated Mines in Utah. He progressed from mucker to shift boss before joining St. Joe Minerals in 1937, where he became assistant mine supervisor. In 1942, he joined the Army Air Corps, but rejoined St. Joe Minerals in 1945.
In 1947, Pillar became planning engineer in charge at Magma Copper's new mine at San Manuel, Arizona. By 1963, he was Mine Superintendent of the 50,000 tons-per-day operation. Pillar then joined Placer Development Ltd. as assistant vice president of operations and was responsible for all Placer's mining operation when he retired in 1975. That year, he co-founded Pillar, Lowell and Associates and consulted on a worldwide basis for more than 25 companies before he again retired in 1987.
Pillar received AIME’s “Wm. L. Saunders Gold Medal” in 1987 for his contributions to the theory and practice of block caving. In 1988, he received AIME’s “Distinguished Member Award”. He established the Pillar E.M. Endowed Scholarship at the Colorado School of Mines, is a member of the President's Council, and in 1995, received the school’s “Distinguished Achievement Medal”.