2010 Medal of Merit Recipient
Nyal Niemuth has used his knowledge of minerals, the mining industry, and Arizona deposits to promote mineral development for more than 30 years. Nyal, a paradigm of a "public servant" in the finest sense of that phrase, has served the citizens of Arizona and the mining community with dedication, passion, and enthusiasm in his position of mining engineer at the Arizona Department of Mines and Mineral Resources.
A Wisconsin native, Nyal was intrigued by the glacial erratics he found when cultivating the fields on his family farm. He attended the University of Wisconsin where he received a Bachelor of Science in Geology. After moving to Arizona Nyal began working for ADMMR where he has spent more than 29 years. Nyal became an Arizona-registered professional geologist in 1994 and the Department's Chief Mining Engineer in 2005.
With his trademark blend of unfailing good humor and encyclopedic memory, Nyal has provided thousands with the mineral information they require, whether dealing with an exploration geologist from a large mining firm or a lone prospector in from the field. He promotes mining interests by recognizing opportunities and assisting explorationists to develop appropriate targets.
Nyal has assembled an impressive library of mineral and mining information, consisting of mine files, books, maps, and photographs. This resource has become the most comprehensive and accessible collection of Arizona mining information available. Nyal is known for acquiring deposit information even when he has limited travel dollars to go get it, the manpower to catalog it, or the space to store it.
Always willing to share his knowledge, Nyal believes in the importance of the mining industry and advances that message in seminars, his writing, and at conferences. As a tireless advocate for the mining industry, he is a firm defender against mining scams and false promotions. He has saved numerous naïve investors from losing money in unscrupulous schemes. He then urges regulatory agencies to bring those firms to justice or force them to cease and desist.
Nyal is the author of more than 50 technical publications for ADMMR, as well as countless articles for mining industry journals. He has actively served in numerous geologic, mining, and mentoring organizations. Because of a curiosity about the stones in a Wisconsin farm field, the mining world today has an impassioned proponent whose career stands as a positive and wide-ranging influence on the industry.