Professional Experience


RICHARD S. KUNTER, FAusIMM, CP(Met), QP (Metallurgy & Environmental) 

Consulting Metallurgical Engineer, Richard S. Kunter & Associates, LLC 

Richard S Kunter                                         Office: 1+303-526-1868 

650 Balsam Street                                       Fax: 1+303-526-1718 

Lakewood, Colorado, 80214 USA                Home: 1+303-526-9249 

                                                                      Cell: 1+303-748-1529  


1991-Present Richard S. Kunter & Associates, LLC - Consulting Metallurgical Engineer -Lakewood, CO 

  • Consulting on metallurgical and environmental process projects including precious and base metals, pressure leaching applications, smelter related processes, hazardous wastes, and radioactive wastes for a variety of established domestic and international clients, including Homestake Australia, Newmont Australia, Rio Tinto (Kennecott), Gabriel Resources, Stillwater Mining, Silmet, and numerous Junior Mining Companies. Was Senior Technical Consultant for: the process development of the Pit 9 and Warm Waste Pond Projects at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory both involving dewatering and clean waste separation from radioactive wastes; and for plutonium recovery from coral sand process development and pilot plant operation for a Johnston Atoll project including mechanical dewatering of concentrates and slimes. Metallurgical Consultant to the International Finance Corporation of the World Bank for several projects including pressure leaching and bio-oxidation applications for refractory gold ores, these included Amantatautau in Uzbekistan and Mt Murdo in Kalamantan, Indonesia, and a review of the San Cristobál Project in Bolivia. Platinum Group Metal and refractory gold process development and assay technology for Arrakis, Inc., Searchlight Minerals, and other clients. 


2014-2016 Searchlight Minerals Corp. Consultant Corporate Metallurgist Henderson NV 

  • Process Development of the Clarkdale Metals Slag Project in Clarkdale AZ 
  • to optimize existing process and develop processes to maximize the value of contained elements in the slag from a closed copper smelter, including gold, iron, and zinc. The process and analytical facilities located at Arrakis, Inc, in Englewwod CO have been utilized in this effort. 


2005-2014 Samuel Engineering, Inc. Chief Process Engineer Greenwood Village CO 

  • Provided expertise in base and precious metal extraction, copper hydrometallurgy, rare earth metallurgy, phosphate processes, bio-oxidation and heap leach systems, pressure oxidation, metallurgical process development and pilot plant demonstrations for exploration and development stage projects. Projects: Project Leader for Kennecott Utah Copper’s capacity upgrade for the concentrator flotation section, El Galeno copper/moly project in Peru, Magistral copper/moly project in Peru, Candente Resources’ Canariaco project in Peru, Relincho copper/moly project in Chile, Corani lead/zinc/silver project in Peru, Hochschild’s San Felipe lead/zinc/silver project in Mexico, Apollo Gold, Apollo Platinum, and Idaho Cobalt Project in the US, Sabodala Gold Project in Senegal West Africa, the El Quevar silver flotation and concentrate treatment project in Argentina, Velardena silver and gold operations in Mexico, Sunshine Silver Mines in Idaho, and Livengood Gold Project in Alaska. 

1997-2016 Behre Dolbear & Company, Inc. - Senior Associate - Denver, CO 

  • Provides expertise in base and precious metal extraction, phosphate processes, bio-oxidation and heap leach systems, dredging and dewatering systems, water treatment facilities, metallurgical audit and assay investigations, project and plant operations, pilot plant startup and operation, and hazardous and radioactive waste remediation. Recent projects have been: Metallurgical review of El Dorado Gold’s’ gold operations in Brazil, Review of the Rosia Montana gold project for an investment group and metallurgical testing for the same project for Gabriel Resources, Independent Engineer for banking consortium of Stillwater Mining platinum and palladium operation (2002-2008), A review of Bogosu Gold’s operation in Ghana for bank, A review for bank of Lihir Gold’s operation in PNG, USTDA contract for Silmet rare earths and metals in Estonia, and USTDA contract for CMM lead/zinc operation in Brazil, A pre-feasibility study for Twin Gold’s Atlanta Project in Idaho, A pre-feasibility review of a copper/gold project using the CESL process, and A review of a copper/gold project in Venezuela, An onsite due diligence of aluminum process refineries and smelters for a company in India, a due diligence metallurgical review of a potential merger of two precious metal companies, and an analytical laboratory audit for Frontier Mining’s Naimanjal gold heap leach operations in Kazahkstan, continued Independent Engineer for Stillwater Platinum Annual Review (2008-2017), assistance to Frontier Mining’s Naimanjal gold heap leach project in Kazahkstan (2007-2008), Petaquilla’s Molejón gold project in Panama (2010-2013). 


1994-1996 Advanced Sciences, Inc. - Principal Metallurgical Engineer/Senior Project Manager - Lakewood, CO 

  • Project Manager for a contract with the San Antonio Air Command Office of low level radioactive waste at Kelly Air Force Base. This contract included a low pressure thermal stripping treatability study of a tritium and solvent contaminated mixed waste; a study of alternative treatment and disposal options; and sampling, characterization, manifesting, and shipping of a mixed waste for disposal at Envirocare in Utah. 
  • Project Manager for the development of a dredge system to recover and mechanically dewater plutonium-contaminated coral sand slimes contained in lagoons on Johnston Atoll. Supervised and conducted laboratory treatability tests for process development. Equipment skids to accomplish this task were fabricated in Colorado and air transported to Johnston Atoll by C130 Air Force transport. 
  • Project Manager for a small-arms range lead removal and recovery from soil demonstration project for the Army Environmental Center conducted at Fort Polk, Louisiana including mechanical dewatering of lead and phosphate bearing slimes. 
  • Project Manager for the construction of a water treatment containment dam at the Summitville Gold Mine superfund site for the Bureau of Reclamation in Colorado. 
  • Metallurgical Consultant on a team commissioned by the International Finance Corporation to do a due diligence review of a proposed Uzbekistan gold mine and process facility using bio-oxidation of a sulfide flotation gold concentrate. 

1989-1991 Artech Recovery Systems, Inc.-Vice President, Technology -Golden, CO 

  • Directed the technical development of a low pressure, low temperature leach process called the “Cashman Process” to extract base and precious metals from a complex arsenical flue dust and fix the arsenic in an environmentally stable form. This process, which was piloted at Hazen Research, Inc. for ARCO Coal Company, Inc., was designed to remediate environmentally hazardous wastes from the base and precious metal smelting industry in a manner which partially recovered some of the costs with the recycled materials. The process included the filtration of hot acidic solutions from arsenical residues and the subsequent rinsing and dewatering of the residues by mechanical belt pressure filters. 
  • Consulted on several domestic and international remediation and process development projects including locations in Chile, Canada, Mexico and including Newmont’s Payne’s Find/Hensel Gold Project in Indonesia. Traveled to and reviewed an investment opportunity in a gold project in Siberia in the Soviet Union for Pegasus Gold, a major shareholder in Artech at the time. 


1979-1988 Homestake Mining Company - Senior Corporate Metallurgical Engineer- Golden, CO 

  • Developed and is the senior inventor of the patent on the refractory gold pressure oxidation process for Homestake’s $280 million McLaughlin Project resulting in an increase of deposit life from 7 years to over 13 years, an increase in recovery from 46 percent to 95 percent, and a non-hazardous declaration for the tailings from the State of California. 
  • Directed the investigation of the metallurgical characteristics of over 90 percent of Homestake’s exploration projects during this period, which resulted in eight of those projects continuing into detailed metallurgical development and ultimately mined and processed. 
  • Involved in the environmental process development of water treatment facilities for the Homestake Mine at Lead, SD, the Bulldog Mountain Mine at Creede, CO, and the tailing impoundment at the Grants Uranium Mill (a carbonate pressure leach plant) in Grants, NM. The treatment facilities at Lead, SD included a very effective cyanide bio-oxidation facility to produce water suitable for a cold water trout-containing stream. A carbon column system was developed to recover gold from the Grizzly Gulch Tailings Impoundment. 
  • Developed, designed, and managed several large projects (up to $700,000) and the contract test work for a corporate metallurgy department. 
  • Participated in the test work, design, and operation of filtration systems involved in the dewatering of concentrates, tailings, and sludges and slurries for the recycling of plant water. 

1976-1978 Newmont Australia Pty. Ltd. - Mill Superintendent & Senior Metallurgist - Telfer, Western Australia 

  • Constructed, commissioned and operated a 1,200 metric ton per day CCD gold mill in the Great Sandy Desert with difficult logistics. The mill achieved a 98 percent recovery rate from a 22 parts per million gold head grade giving a combined gravity and cyanide doré production of 150 kilograms per week. Supervised more than 30 people at this remote desert site. 

1971-1976 Western Mining Corporation - Research and Plant Metallurgist - Belmont, Western Australia 

  • Participated in several pilot plant operations including bacterially-augmented heap leaching low-grade nickel ore, carbonate pressure leaching of uranium ore, and improving the pouring characteristics of nickel flash smelter mattes. Operated a 500 metric ton per day gold plant with drum filters at the Central Norseman operations in WA, and worked at a pressure hydrometallurgical nickel refinery. 


1969-1971 Idaho National Engineering Laboratory-Research Fellow, Idaho Falls, ID 

  • Worked at the Waste Calcination Facility of the Chemical Processing Plant and on the examination of materials of construction of nuclear fuels and their dissolution for recovery of unspent fuel. Operated both shielded and unshielded microprobes for examination of these fuels. 

1967-1969 University of Idaho-Masters of Engineering Thesis Phosphate Research, Moscow, ID 

  • Developed a process for the beneficiation of low-grade phosphorites located in the western United States. Spent time in the phosphate recovery plants in southern Idaho and western Wyoming as part of this applied research project for the state of Idaho. This research project was published as a master of engineering thesis, “Heavy Media Separation of Western Phosphorites“, in 1969.