David Miles Vardiman (1954-Present)

Missouri, Illinois, Colorado, South Dakota




Occupation: Mining Industry career Geological Engineering Manager (Geologist)

State: Missouri, Illinois, Colorado, South Dakota

# of Children: 3

Click on any photo to enlarge


  • Wife - Debra Jo Claar Vardiman

  • Son - Benjamin

  • Son - Jeremiah

  • Daughter - Katie

David was born at Deaconess Hospital in
St. Louis, Missouri
4 Feb 1954

House in St. Louis, MO

About 1954-1955
Back Row: Grandma Molly Vardiman holding David, Larry holding Ann Lueece, Mary Phil, Billie, Grandpa & Grandma Carter with Steve in front of them

Christmas 1954 - St. Louis, MO
Back Row: Billie, Louise holding David, Phil holding Ann Lueece, Larry
Front Row: Steve & Mary Phil

Louise with son, David, on his 1st birthday Feb 1955

St. Louis, Missouri (1952 - 1956)

Middle Photos above: "7204 Dale Street, Richmond Heights, MO" 

Emails from David Vardiman 15 November 2010

Moved to Columbia, IL
Phil & David with neighbors

David Age 2-5
Columbia, Illinois

Complete Vardiman Family
Back Row: Larry, Phil
Middle Row: Billie, Louise
Front Row: David, Ann Lueece,
Mary Phil, Steven

Columbia Illinois, (1956 - 1959)

Left photo: David Age 2+

Middle photo:  "I believe this is our old farmhouse outside of Columbia, IL. David Age 3+"

Right photo: "Grandpa and Grandma Carter’s wedding anniversary, Kirksville, MO, March 1958, I am 4 years old."

Emails from David Vardiman 15 November 2010 & 28 November 2010.

"These were taken at Grandpa and Grandma Carter's in Kirksville, MO. The first and second photo is their backyard, the third is on a little bridge over an irrigation ditch which separated their garden from their yard. It was a cool house and we really enjoyed going there, however, Grandma Carter was bed ridden in her later days and we had to spend a lot of time outside because we were too loud for the house. They cooked on a wood fired kitchen stove and had coal stoves in the living room only, no heat upstairs for the guest rooms. I am wearing the white winter hat, Ann has the white muff and the hat with the brown or black fur trim, Mary Ann Carter (cousin, daughter of Frank and Mary Carter) is wearing glasses and has her hands in her pockets. I do not know for sure about the girl in the checked coat, could be Mary Phil as she is taller than Ann in the middle photo?"

Email from David Vardiman 15 November 2010

Moved to Pacific, MO when David was 5 years old

1961 House in Pacific, Missouri
Left to Right:
Mary Phil, David, Ann Lueece


Back Row:
Steve, Billie, Mary Phil, Larry
Front Row:
Louise, Ann Lueece, David, Phil

Pacific, Missouri (1959 - 1968)

Left photo: 422 East Franklin Street, Pacific, MO

Middle photo: "We had a TV when we lived in St. Louis, MO and Columbia, IL and then as well in Pacific, MO. This is our home in Pacific, MO and Mary Phil is in the chair and Ann Luecce is on the floor with me. Based on the date stamp “1961” I would have been 7 in this photo."

Emails from David Vardiman 15 November 2010 & 28 November 2010.

Pacific, Missouri
David age 7+

Pacific Elementary School,
4th Grade Photo 1963 Age 9


7th Grade Photo 1966 Age 12
Pacific, Missouri

1965 House in Pacific, MO
Left to Right:
David, Steve, Larry

Larry & Jeannette Vardiman's
Wedding Rehearsal - 1965

~1966 - Pacific, Missouri
Ann Lueece on left,
David sitting on wall,
Mary Phil on right with dog in her lap

Middle Photo: "I believe this is a restaurant for your mother and dad's wedding rehearsal dinner (Larry & Jeannette Vardiman, David's oldest brother). You should ask your mom or dad where this happened. Behind Ann is Grandma Mollie Vardeman. I do not know who the small boy is on Ann's lap. I would have been about 11 years old in 1965."

Right photo: "The beagles are Mary Phil’s dogs, Pat and Mike. The other dog is our old farm dog Brownie."

Emails from David Vardiman 15 November 2010 & 28 November 2010.

Daytona Beach, Florida
David with Anne Lueece (Ann)
Family Vacation Winter 1966


David picking oranges with his mom, Louise, at Lady Lake, FL  vacation cabin


Cape Canaveral
John F. Kennedy Space Center
Winter 1966

"This was a fantastic midwinter vacation. The only one we ever took as a family. We had never gone out of Missouri for a vacation in winter before. I was playing basketball and had gotten injured two weeks before we were to leave and the doctor was threatening not to allow me to go. I was really scared that we would have to cancel the trip. We left and drove for 2-3 days across, Kentucky and Tennessee in ice storms and on into Georgia and on south to Lady Lake, FL. Dad had rented a cabin in the middle of the orange groves from a friend at work. We did day trips out of here. The weather was great, oranges and other fruit were readily picked in the yard and neighboring orchards. The cabin was small and really shabby! We celebrated Christmas on the way there when mom bought a fake Christmas tree about 2 feet tall to have in our motel room. I remember getting a race car track, really cool! We went to Daytona Beach, Cape Canaveral, St. Augustine, Ponce de Leon' fountain of youth (tourist trap), Miami, Edison's winter house and lab, Sanibel Island. Sanibel Island was my favorite as we collected lots of seashells and sand dollars. I really enjoyed Cape Canaveral as well. I did not want to come home. We had so much fun! Ann is standing on the rock. I remember Mom slipping on those rocks and cut up her leg and it got infected.

Middle Photo: These were the orange trees in the yard of our Lady Lake, FL cabin. The photos were obviously developed very late after the Christmas vacation of Dec. 1966."

Emails from David Vardiman 15 November 2010

Billie Visited Larry and Jeannette over Christmas 1966 at Scott Air force Base, Illinois.
Conversation between Michelle Vardiman Fansler and Jeannette Vardiman 18 November 2010.

David's 13th Birthday with his Dad, Phil,
4 February 1967

Back Row: Steve, Billie, Phil, Louise, Larry, Mary Phil
Front Row: David & Ann Lueece

Dad, Phil  Vardiman, passed away
23 February 1968 and was
buried 25 February 1968 in

Sunset Memorial Cemetery
Pacific, Missouri

Left Photo: "Yes, this is my 13th birthday. It was special because it was the last birthday with my dad, but of course I did not know this that day. The balloon had candy in it and was much like a Mexican pinata. I do not remember the birthday specifically, however I remember during this year specifically as dad took me down several times to Ralston Purina's Chairman of the Board - Ray Roland's ranch near Potosi, MO for several business trips where he would work on the cattle and horses, vaccinations, breeding, dehorning, castrations, etc. It was really neat, getting pulled out of school, just dad and I traveling and spending a night in a motel, eating meals together and then working at the ranch. It was the first time I remember dad actually spending time just with the two of us. It was a special year. By the next year dad was having trouble with his health and was in and out of the hospital a lot. He died within 3 weeks after the next birthday, my 14th."

Email from David Vardiman 15 November 2010

About 1967


David in Letterman's Jacket
7th & 8th grades

Moved to Cape Girardeau, MO

Left Photo: "Now this is getting way too much fun for you.  This was me dressed up for Crazy Days at school.  Basically a spring break day when we had fun activities during mid semester.  I would have been 7th grade.  I was wearing my swim trunks, curled my hair and had on slippers that looked like big funny feet."

Middle Photo: "This would have been in Pacific, MO. I used to do basketball and track (pole vaulting and 880 yard runs). This would have been when I was in middle school, 7th & 8th grade. The girl next to me was my first girlfriend, Joslyn Kimple. This was just before we moved to Cape Girardeau, Mo, so that mom could go back and get her teaching degree. I never did understand why we had to move, as we were very close to St. Louis and she was already taking classes at one of the colleges there. I believe it had more to do with mom felt she needed to get away from all of the memories and start all over again."

Emails from David Vardiman 16 November 2010


Cape Girardeau, MO (1968-1972)

"In Cape Girardeau, during my sophomore year we were doing the musical Annie Get Your Gun. I was part of the choir crowd and I had only one definitive role as the Army captain who did precision drilling of my troops. I am the one on the far right of the line of soldiers."

Summer of 1969

"Your mom and dad (Jeannette & Larry), you (Michelle), and Grandma Lou and I drove to Colorado the summer of 1969 to allow your dad to interview for graduate school at CSU. We camped the whole way and it was a Loooong trip with so many of us in one car. The girls slept in the car at a rest area near Fort Hays, KS and your dad and I slept on the picnic tables. We then camped in Poudre Canyon for almost a week and we loved the mountains. I remember all of us listening to the car radio while camping in Colorado when Neil Armstrong landed on the moon (July 20, 1969) and did his first walk on the moon. We took a hike and I found this rattlesnake crossing the road. I am not sure if I spent more time running from the snake or the snake from me, but I had a bigger stick in the end. Louise displayed the pickled rattlesnake in a jar for years in her homes. Gee I miss that snake, wonder whatever became of him?"

Emails from David Vardiman 17 & 21 November 2010.

David visiting brother and  niece, Michelle, for Christmas at
Scott Air Force base, Illinois

David - Junior Year of High School in Cape Girardeau

David - Senior Year of High School in Cape Girardeau, Graduated 1972

Left Photo: "We are roasting marshmallows in a fake fireplace your dad (Larry) built for Christmas with a charcoal Hibachi grill. Not quite to fire code! This was taken in about 1970. I can just see your head in the foreground." 
Email from David Vardiman 17 November 2010.

Summer 1970

"I lived with you and your folks in the married student housing at CSU, the first summer your folks lived in Colorado."

Email from David Vardiman 16 November 2010

Summer 1971

"The next summer (1971) following my Jr. year, your Dad (Larry) got me my first job working my first summer on harvest crew before my Senior year with a friend of his (A. C. Drohman) who he knew from their friendship at the Baptist church in Ft. Collins, CO. A.C. and brother and their father ran harvest crews during the summer. I remember having to leave a week early so that I could be back in time for the start of my Sr. classes to begin. I went on to work a total of four summers on harvest crews, from Texas to Canada, with the last three years for one man named J.L. Thompson, out of Boise City, OK."

Summers 1972-74

"In 72, 73, 74 on harvest with J.L. Thompson. Hard, long hours of 14-16 hours per day and days off only if it rained. I earned $2.75 per hour with no overtime pay, my first summer and finished my last summer earning $3.25 an hour. Good money in those days, where you could come home with $1,000 - $1,500 in your pocket after taxes, if you did not spend it foolishly during the summer."

Email from David Vardiman 16 November 2010

David, Grandma Vardiman, Steve - Slater, MO 1972

Grandpa & Grandma Carter
with David - Hannibal, MO 1972

David's Big adventure

Left Photo: "Grandma Vardiman’s in Slater, MO. This would have been during my senior year sometime. That is Steve as well with Grandma."

Middle Photo: David with "Grandma and Grandpa Carter on their porch at their home at 116 South 5th Street, Hannibal, MO, August of 1972 I believe. This would have been during my senior year and prior to when I moved with Grandma Lou to Ft. Collins to go to college."

Right Photo: 1971 we (1st Baptist Church youth group) are heading for Ridgecrest Baptist Church camp in South Carolina. Following my first year in college at Colorado School of Mines, I took a bus back to see my high school friends in Cape Girardeau and then hitchhiked up to see Grandma and Grandpa in Hannibal. I then hitchhiked to Kansas City, MO to see Billie and Bill Vardiman. From there I took a bus to go back to Golden to pick up some friends of mine and to go to Boise City, OK to start harvest that summer. Following the summer of 1972 I drove one of their trucks and a combine pulled on a trailer behind, back down from Bowbells, ND to Boise City, OK, where my boss lived and then a bus back to Colorado to start college again."

Emails from David Vardiman 16 November 2010 & 28 November 2010.

Summer 1971
Harvest Crew Campers

1972 Fort Collins, Colorado

Castle Rock, Colorado

Fort Collins, CO (1972-1977)

Left Photo:  This "is the crew trailer that four of us lived in for the summer of 1971 as we did harvest crew."

Middle Photo: David visiting his mom, Louise's house in 1972 in Fort Collins, CO

Right Photo: This "photo is taken in Golden, CO with Castle Rock in the background. I was proud of my big lamb chop sideburns." David attended Colorado School of Mines, Golden, Colorado: BSc. Geological Engineering graduated 1977.

Email from David Vardiman 17 November 2010

1973 - David and Mary Phil

February 1973
David's 19th Birthday
Michelle's 5th Birthday


Left Photo: "Mary was in the Air Force and I was a freshmen at Colorado School of Mines (CSM). At this time CSM required all US citizens to take one year of ROTC. Friday’s were “Dress Day” and you were required to wear your uniform all day. Mom wanted a photo of both Mary and I in uniform in front of her house. The little Ford Pinto is Aunt Mary’s first car."

Email from David Vardiman 22 November 2010

Middle and Right Photos: David and Michelle celebrating their birthdays together in Larry & Jeannette's home at
501 Columbia Fort Collins, CO.

4 April 1976
David & Debbie
Vardiman's Wedding

Louise married John Robinson
23 Oct 1976
David & Debbie right front


Colorado School of Mines,
Golden, CO
David graduated with B.S. in 1977

Summer 1975

"Debbie and I were engaged in the summer of 1975 and I went to work with Amoco Minerals in Prescott, AZ, my first summer in the industry. Debbie went to Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington Ill. With a major in Elementary Education and a minor in Music. She graduated the spring of 1976 and did her student teaching in Golden, CO. She worked as a pre-school teacher in Golden after we were married, along with working for her Uncle George in his phone booth maintenance business, custodian at the Credit Union in Golden, CO, I worked at the Conoco gas station in town and as a student employee in the economics dept. at CSM."

Email from David Vardiman 21 November 2010


EXPLORATION GEOTECHNICIAN - Homestake Mining Company, Denver, Colorado
"I attended Colorado School of Mines from the fall of 1972 until the spring of 1977. I worked for Amoco Minerals the summer of 1975, working out of Prescott, AZ searching for copper deposits in the Bradshaw Mtns. I then worked for Homestake Exploration out of the Lakewood, CO office the summer of 1976 working both in Creede, CO and Silverton, CO and during the school year on random projects in New Mexico and Arizona. HMC continued my employment as a part-time researcher through the fall and winter. My job was to take properties and compiled a list of important documents and references to allow geologist to visit the properties with some basic knowledge."

David Vardiman's Resume' and email 22 November 2010

John and Louise Robinson with grandson, Benjamin 1979

David Vardiman family at Vardiman Family reunion at Estes Park, CO 1987
Left to Right: Jeremiah, Ben, Debbie, Katie and David

David going through Louise's trunk of photos at family reunion 1987

Lead, South Dakota (1977-1981)

"I was offered a regular staff position with the Homestake Mine in the spring of 1977. I worked out a deal to allow me to finish my last semester at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology and to transfer those credits back to CSM for my graduation in Dec. of 1977. Deb and I moved to Lead, SD the first time in July of 1977. I worked night shift and attended college day shift. It was a long semester."

Email from David Vardiman 22 November 2010


STAFF AND SENIOR MINE OPERATIONS GEOLOGIST - Homestake Mining Company, Lead, South Dakota
Supervised initial exploration activities of deep level ore potential that successfully generated +2.0 million ounces of mineable ore reserves at the Homestake Mine, 17, 19, and 21 Ledges. Duties and responsibilities of production and exploration geologist in new production areas of the Homestake Mine.
First child, Benjamin, born 7 July 1979.

Creede, Colorado (1981-1988)


CHIEF MINE OPERATIONS GEOLOGIST - Homestake Mining Company, Bulldog Mountain Mine, Creede, Colorado  Managed geologic staff, mine and district exploration programs and grade control efforts for a 350 ton/day, narrow vein bonanza silver mining operation, with requirements for aggressive grade control.
Jeremiah born 2 February 1982 and Catherine (Katie) born 7 Jan 1985.

David Vardiman home in 840 West Main Street
Lead, South Dakota

Fixed up 100 year old home

Refurbished the stairs

Small town 4th of July Celebration


Waiting for photo

David Vardiman Family June 1995
Vacation to California Coast

Ben graduated from
Lead, SD high school 1997

Lead, South Dakota (1988-1997)

David fixed up the 100 year old home in Lead, South Dakota


SENIOR MINE OPERATIONS GEOLOGIST - Homestake Mining Company, Lead, South Dakota 1988-1996

Planned and coordinated mine wide, Vulcan based, exploration programs including 88,000 meter per year, in-mine diamond core drilling programs and 6,100 meter annual in-mine drifting programs.  Production geologist duties in production team-based organization.


SENIOR MINE OPERATIONS GEOLOGIST – Homestake Mining Company, Eskay Creek Mine, British Columbia, Canada 

Designed and supervised integrated, Vulcan based, mine exploration programs leading to successful delineation of the Eskay Creek NEX zone and subsequent justification for the capitalization of a 150 ton per day floatation facility.

Katie, Jeremiah & Ben
This is Ben’s graduation party in May of 1997. The dog is Roy’s puppy, Zeus, who came along on the trip.

David Vardiman Family Christmas 1998

Genealogy Vacation to Lookout Mountain 1998

Jeremiah wrestling his Senior year of high school

Jeremiah graduated from
Woodland Park, CO high school 2000

August 1999

December 2000

Katie graduated from
Woodland Park, CO
high school 2003

2003 Vardiman Family Reunion at Crab Orchard Cemetery, Kentucky organized by David

David Vardiman Family at
Jeremiah's Wedding
11 October 2009

Victor, Colorado (1997-2006) & Ely, Nevada (2006-2009)

1997- July 2006

EXPLORATION MANAGER – Anglo Gold (Colorado) Corporation, Cripple Creek & Victor Gold Mining Company, Victor, Colorado
Planned and managed integrated, 3D/GIS, Vulcan based, district exploration programs designed to expand surface ore reserves and discover new district underground production opportunities.  Managed a ten-year exploration program, ($28.6M USD), which successfully added 6.43 million gold ounces to mineral resources, at $6.10/ gold ounce, justifying the recent $USD200 million expansion of the Cresson Mine.

July 2006-Oct. 2009

MANAGER DEVELOPMENT GEOLOGY – Quadra Mining Ltd, Vancouver, BC, Colorado

Planned and managed a $37M USD, four year, integrated, 3D/ArcGIS, Vulcan and MineSight based corporate exploration program at the active Robinson Mine, Ely, NV. Responsible for the establishment of corporate geologic databases, models, standards and procedures to capture and manage geologic data into a systematic modeling design. Created and manage a comprehensive review procedure to update, revise and improve resource/reserve modeling and underlying geologic models. Responsible for the full delineation of district-wide copper, gold, silver, molybdenum, and rhenium ore reserve and resource growth in variable metal markets and mining cost scenarios, utilizing a 150,000 feet per year core/RC drill program.

David explaining the
DUSEL project

Click here for pdf with details:

10 September 2010 DUSEL

Click here for pdf with details:

12 November 2010
Science Magazine DUSEL


May 2011
Preliminary Design Report


Lead, South Dakota Nov. 2009 – Current

MANAGER GEOTECHNICAL DESIGN AND EXCAVATION – Deep Underground Scientific and Engineering Laboratory – South Dakota School of Mines, Lead, South Dakota  Management of geotechnical and excavation design consulting team for the construction of a deep underground location advanced physics laboratory within the former Homestake Mine. Responsible for the design and completion of geotechnical site investigation programs, geotechnical design, ground support design, excavation design, equipment selection and excavation sequence for the world’s largest dimension and deepest underground excavations.

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