All things Moly for all ages

Bert Doughty has fought long and passionately on behalf of the environment.

For 10 years, Bert Doughty designed and supervised air monitor programs, helped design and implement groundwater monitoring programs and was instrumental in developing a dust abatement program for a 1000-acre tailings facility for the Atlantic Richfield Company.

Since 1986, Doughty has led Thompson Creek in all aspects of environmental compliance. He stakes and patents all mining claims, develops and presents environmental awareness programs, and maintains daily interfaces with state and federal oversight agencies.

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Bert Doughty Manager of Environmental Affairs
Bruce Parker’s mining roots run deep.

After graduating with honors from Montana State University in civil engineering, Parker spent the past 20 years honing his skills in mine management, progressing from environmental manager to mine superintendent, general manager and corporate manager of operations. In his tenure with various mines, Parker’s roles have covered a myriad of responsibilities from environmental permitting and engineering; safety, coaching and training; to, regulatory liaisons and relocating a major national highway in Africa. With Thompson Creek Mine, Parker has directed the start-up of a copper/gold mine in northern British Columbia. He also develops policies and procedures, oversees hiring, and implements maintenance programs that satisfy financial and contractual requirements.

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Bruce Parker Mine Manager
Don Rowles took the roundabout tour of the west before boomeranging back to his native Idaho in 1996.

A graduate of the University of Utah in accounting and a member of the US Ski team in 1970, Rowles’ accounting career took him from Yerington, Nevada to Flagstaff, Orange County, Palm Springs, Napa and, alas, Challis.

He has owned his own accounting firms, worked as CFO for a public company, and has served as a software consultant in accounting. He joined Thompson Creek in 2005, returning to within earshot of the site where his great grandfather settled in 1879. Many historic buildings in Custer County were built by his family.

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Don Rowles Administration Manager
After 11 years as Thompson Creek’s Senior Environmental Engineer, Eric Tilman was named in 2010 to oversee all site safety management systems for the firm; and, in 2013 Tilman added human resources to his repertoire.

Needs such as grievances; labor relations; and, arbitrations have become as much a part of his day as implementing processes for Behavioral Based Safety and Safety Leadership. It’s a perfect match... as human resources and safety go hand in hand at Thompson Creek.

Other safety hats that Tilman wears includes developing comprehensive safety and business plans, accident investigation and analysis, contractor safety control systems, site safety manual, and elevated work policy. His personal long-term goal is to help Thompson Creek Mine become mining’s preeminent example of worksite safety.

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Eric Tilman Safety and Human Resource Manager
If it ever came down to one person at Thompson Creek who would take the torch on behalf of safety, it might well be Greg Hurless.

Challis is home. It’s where he grew up, went to school, played sports, enjoyed the outdoors and — since 1983 — where he chose to work at the mine. That means he’s got friends at all points of the compass at the mine and taking care of everyone is his top priority. That’s why he’s developing a behavior based safety program at Thompson Creek. A member of the company’s senior management team, Greg’s also responsible for managing operations, supervising superintendents and senior engineers, and overseeing engineering and construction of numerous projects to improve plant performance.

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Greg Hurless Mill Manager
Watson’s mining career began in the summer of ‘75 with an internship in Craig, Colorado.

He later graduated as a civil engineer and has served on numerous cross functional teams, including HR best practices, asset maximization, and best practices in employee development and maintenance.

He came to Thompson Creek Mine in 1997 as vice president/general manager and also serves on the Board of the Idaho Mining Association.

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Kent Watson Vice President/General Manager
Like so many at Thompson Creek Mine, Wayne Simpson – after furthering his skills in engineering, environmental sciences and management with other mining operations – has found life in Challis much to his liking.

Simpson has been Maintenance Manager since 1998 and is now elevating his skills as newly appointed Special Project Manager, where he is establishing a world-class maintenance program for the company, with an emphasis on safety. Considerng Simpson’s passion to tackle challenges and his background of environmental stewardship and human resources — it's easy to see why Thompson Creek and Wayne Simpson work well together.

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Wayne Simpson Project Manager
Moly – short for Molybdenum – is a one-of-a-kind robot.

If you’ll notice, she’s drawn of various parts that you see and use every day that are made using molybdenum including her reinforced steel exterior. Our mascot Moly is tough and resistant to injury or harm on the outside. In fact, she is almost indestructible and wants us to be, too.

But inside, she’s gentle and kind. Our mascot Moly oversees safety at the mine and makes it fun for everyone. She is programmed to generate safety tips throughout the day and it is her job to share them with us and remind us that we owe it to ourselves, our loved ones, and to the community to be safe and live safe.

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Moly The Robot Official Mascot of Thompson Creek Mine

Jeremy Wall [ Father of Peyton, husband to Nichoelle, friend of Mother Nature ] Chief Environmental Engineer Jeremy Wall has a hard time separating his work from his play. Both involve a deep love for the great outdoors, regardless of whether he's casting a fly rod or wielding a transit level. [ more ]

The Bruno Brothers [ Dads, cowboys, superintendents of s’mores ] Supervisors: Mill Operations and Mill Maintenance They’ve got cowboy in their veins, outdoors on their minds and family in their hearts. They’ve also amassed an impressive collection of bumps, bruises and broken bones. [ more ]

Leonard Fisher [ Tinkerer, mechanic, sixth man VIP ] Retired
Leonard Fisher's local roots run deep. He was born in Clayton, went to school in Clayton and now, after stints in Alaska, Utah and 26 years at Thompson Creek Mine, has settled into the five acres of his dreams just 15 minutes from Clayton. [ more ]

Roxanna McDonald [ Camper, grandma, queen of turnips and tomatoes ] Mill Operator
She grows veggies, chases grandkids, hikes mountains, fishes here, camps there and runs a half marathon of stairs every day between her office and the pit. So it’s only fair that Roxi be allowed a wicker chair, a cup ‘o jo and a sunny porch with Rover. [ more ]

Frank Foster [ Full time joker, part time troubadour ] Pit Supervisor, recently retired.
When the Saturday sun is on the far side of Blue Mountain and the day’s giving way to the stars, Frank Foster — with fingers hungry for six strings and a well-worn pick — gets a little antsy. [ more ] Photographed at Bux's Place on Main Street, Challis.

In certain places across the globe, the earth is uncommonly generous, dishing up gems and minerals in abundance. And it doesn’t take long for people to find them. In central Idaho those kinds of people — miners — arrived in the 1860s in search of the mother of all precious metals — gold.

A century later, in that place that eventually came to be known as Custer County, miners of another era arrived. This time, with modern machinery in pursuit of another kind of ore — an ore liberally laced with an element that would eventually make this area — and the Thompson Creek Metals Company — one of the world’s top producers of molybdenum.

Those places Thompson Creek Mine calls home are at elevations reaching upwards of 8500-feet. Thirty miles away is Challis – the town that many of Thompson Creek’s employees call home.



It can be quiet up here. Maybe a noisy blue jay now and then… or the wind… or a bull elk two ridges away. It can be about as quiet as quiet can get.

But it hasn’t always been that way. [ + ]

Thompson Creek Mine staked its first mineral claims here in 1967, when explorations revealed deposits projected to contain more than 235 million tons of molybdenum-laced ore.

Getting to that ore, however, would take another sixteen years. The company engaged in thorough environmental impact assessments – an ongoing practice it continues to place tremendous focus on in all it does every single day. And, after $325 million worth of studies and preparation, the mine finally began operation in 1983.


The Thompson Creek molybdenum deposit occurs in a complex environment near a break between two geologic provinces, which is to say that essentially, fault lines within the earth here conspired to stir up conditions that made for the perfect recipe of an ore that would eventually become molybdenum. [ + ]

Thompson Creek Mining Company (a subsidiary of Thompson Creek Metals Company Inc.) presently controls a block of mineral claims comprising about 25 square miles of land or about 16,000 acres. And while digging for ore is our primary goal, we’ve also unearthed our fair share of environmental awards.

From the first shovel of rock, Thompson Creek was developed within a comprehensive framework of state and federal regulations. The mine pioneered the Interagency Task Force, a successful model for cooperative oversight by state and federal regulatory agencies.




Our Plan of Operation covers ongoing mining, waste rock disposal, ore processing, tailings disposal, and eventually closure of the facility and final reclamations, projected for 2030. [ + ]

Awards / Recognition

U.S. Forest Service
— Environmentally Safe Project

Idaho Department of Lands
— Outstanding Small Project Reclamation
— Excellence in Annual Operations
— Outstanding Mine Reclamation
— Outstanding Environmental Coordinator

Idaho Conservation League
— Outstanding Reclamation

University of Idaho, College of Earth Sciences
— Balancing Mining and Environment

Bureau of Land Management
— Hardrock Mineral Community Outreach
and Economic Security Award

Pacific Northwest Pollution Control Association

Idaho Department of Fish and Game

Idaho Division of Environmental Quality

Idaho Department of Water Resources

Today, Thompson Creek has an enviable record of excellence in the areas of reclamation, environmental protection and stewardship, and has been recognized by the many organizations. [ + ]

That’s why our process water treatment plants are nothing short of state-of-the-art.

There’s nothing very subtle about mining, never has been. But our love for the streams we fish, for the hills we hike and for the air we breathe – for those things that we hand down to our kids and grandkids – dictates why our environmental stewardship and innovative reclamation practices are the envy of the industry.

With all the commotion that takes place, we manage to maintain a tremendous safety record — in fact, when it comes to safety, we are a bit extreme. At the same time, we strive to minimize our imprint on the world
around us. [ + ]

Yes, it can be busy up here.

But never much more than a cup of coffee away in any direction is one of those places that can be as quiet as quiet can be. As quiet as it’s always been up here in this land of uncommon abundance. :: end ::

Waste Rock Removal
The Tailings
Drilling, Blasting + Hauling
Crushing + Grinding
The Ore is Shipped
The Conveyor Belt
Zero Discharge Facility
Grinding + Flotation
Taking Care of Mother Nature