John C. Duncan
1986 Inductee into American Mining Hall of Fame
John C. Duncan, a 1942 graduate of Yale University, began his business career in 1946 at W. R. Grace & Co., after service as a field artillery officer in China and Burma during World War II. After eight years in Peru, where he was head of W. R. Grace's extensive sugar operations, Mr. Duncan became Group Executive in charge of Grace's entire Latin American operations, which included sugar, chemicals, paint, textiles, paper, steamship and airlines, and tungsten and tin mining.
In 1971, he became president of St. Joe Minerals Corporation, from which he retired as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer in 1982 after the completion of St. Joe’s merger with Fluor Corporation. He was responsible for the expansion and modernization of St. Joe's U.S. lead, zinc, and iron mines, for its entrance into coal, oil and gas production, and for foreign mining investments including the El Indio gold mine in Chile, and a one-third interest in a copper, zinc, lead and silver mine in Australia.
On July 1, 1985, Mr. Duncan became Chairman of the Board of Cyprus Minerals Company, which was spun off by Amoco Corporation on that date. He has assisted the senior management of Cyprus in making it one of the nation's most aggressive mining companies, producing copper, molybdenum, coal, and industrial minerals. In the past year, Cyprus doubled its copper and molybdenum production capacity in Arizona through the acquisition of the Sierrita mine.