My name is Nate Bricker and I’m a Geologist for Comstock Mining. I earned my BS in Geology from the University of Nevada Reno and consulted briefly before joining this company. I have been fortunate to participate in two very different geological projects within the mine operation. When surface mining was peaking, I helped identify ore bodies and manage grade control using blast-hole drill samples. As the mine has begun transitioning to underground exploration and development, I now examine core samples extracted from this new drilling program. It’s very exciting to be the first person looking at these cylindrical sections as they come out of the drift.
I truly feel like I am part of this developing history. Understanding that mining was a founding industry and a continual influence in the territory since the later 1800’s, and that it contributed to the building of two universities (Stanford and UNR), a railroad, and even the State itself, really makes me feel like my job has significance beyond just earning a good living. I feel that sense of pride and contribution to history amongst my co-workers as well. I can’t think of a single person here with anything but a good attitude and I deeply appreciate working with such a great group of people.
Geology was a natural fit for a guy who enjoys being outdoors as much I do. My Uncle is a Geologist, which inspired my interest in rocks at a young age. When I am not looking at rocks, I do a lot of hunting and fishing with my two younger brothers and our very close extended family. I grew up in Santa Rosa, California, and we can boast six generations of roots on our non-working ranch in nearby Cobb Mountain where I do most of my hunting; even bird hunting, which I’m terrible at but still love to do. My dog, Reverend, is equally as bad. He’s a beagle, lab, pit bull, and who-knows-what-else mix and is awesome at kicking birds up from the bush, but he’s managed to train me to retrieve the ones I shoot. Being not-so-great at something doesn’t deter me or my dog from doing it though. Same goes for picking up my guitar at the end of the day. There’s something relaxing about playing without care or self-judgement, and Reverend doesn’t seem to mind listening, so it can’t be that bad!
Chief Of Security
My name is John Tyson and most of my 70 years was spent as a cowboy, rancher, peace officer, locomotive engineer, and television reporter for KOLO News channel 8.
I was born in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania in 1945 during the war. It was while my dad was overseas as an army Air force pilot in the India-China-Burma Theater that I came into the world, making my voice known to anyone who could hear me. It was my “voice” that would become my destiny in years to come.
I came to Nevada in December of 1981 by way of California, South Dakota, Arkansas, Nebraska, and Wyoming with no home, no job, a roping horse, and three dogs. After two years serving as Chief of Police for Eureka Spring, Arkansas, and in order to get my sense of humor back, I took a job on a cow ranch in Paradise Valley, north of Winnemucca.
At season’s end, I loaded up everything I had, and came to Virginia City to seek my fortune, but it didn’t happen overnight. Three days after I arrived, I met the program director of KSRN radio, Jack Slothhower. On the strength of my voice, I started a broadcast career that spanned 30 years; 25 of which were with KOLO-TV, where I developed my own show called “John Tyson’s Journal.”
In addition to broadcasting, I was also the Range Management Officer with the Storey County Sheriff’s Department, and a proud member of the Nevada Air National Guard. I retired from the Sheriff’s Office, as well as the Air Guard in 2005 as one of the last Viet-Nam veterans to be retired. I was a USAF dog handler at Bien Hoa Air Base, South Viet-Nam from 1966-1967, and ended my USAF/ANG career as an aircrew member on CH-47 Chinook helicopters.
I retired from KOLO in 2011 and came to Comstock Mining three years ago as a communications specialist with the external relations department. That, in turn, led to conducting public tours of our mining operations. Due to my law enforcement background, I now serve as security supervisor for the mining operation. I’m proud to be a Comstock miner. It suits me, just like being the rural reporter for KOLO did for so many years. As a story teller with a nose for history, it’s exciting to be a part of a continuation of a profession that began here so many years ago.
Hello, my name is David Reyes, and I’m the Lab Manager at Comstock Mining where I oversee the daily tasks of the metallurgical laboratory, including assays and other advanced metallurgical analysis. I’m a fifth- generation miner. My great-great grandfather built his home in Clifton, Arizona back when the state was in its infancy, in a place that was eventually named for my family and where my Father still lives today. Reyes Canyon is in the very rural area of Morenci that looks and feels much like Gold Hill, which makes me feel right at home here. I’ve worked for large mining corporations doing analytical chemistry and robotics technology for automated wet-chemistry laboratories that do sample digestion and assaying, but what makes Comstock Mining especially attractive to me is the personal and family-like atmosphere that a more moderately sized company offers. The history of this area, and especially the many mining innovations, along with the very science and methods of testing I utilize in my daily work, amazes, inspires, and keeps me learning every day. I love being a part of the processes that provide valuable data to the mine operations on a daily basis.
I live in the old northwest area of Reno, near the University of Nevada, in a house built in the 1940’s. It may seem modern compared to some of the old buildings Comstock Mining has renovated, but I love the older feel of the original hardwood floors. I’m generally a private, quiet person, but I do like socializing with my friends as well. I spend much of my free time hiking, camping, fishing, and traveling. I’ve been all over the United States and need to start a new bucket list as most all the things I wanted to see, I’ve seen. I love visiting cities as well as national parks (Yosemite’s my favorite) and the ocean every chance I get. I’ve seen the Muir Woods, but for my birthday this year, my girlfriend and I are planning a trip to see the giant sequoias near Eureka, California. My two free-spirited schnauzers, Charles and Maxwell, are avid hikers, campers, and are crazy about fishing with me as well. They stay far away from the groomer, but may have to deal with it to get rid of the goat-heads and thistle they collected on our last hike. They are great companions, but sometimes I think Charlie and Max get a little too excited about fishing. Isn’t the point to put your feet in the water and just relax?
Dora Luz Rodriguez
My name is Dora Luz Rodriguez and I’m the Controller for Comstock Mining. I’ve made my career in accounting for more than thirteen years, and came to work for the company just before the very first pour of Doré bars in September of 2012. That was a very exciting time for all of us! Since then I have seen the company through many changes and feel incredibly blessed to be a part of it all. Even now, as we begin underground mining, it feels as if I get to participate in history even as it is being made. I am very close with everyone on the accounting team and wouldn’t change a thing about any one of them!
The best part of my job, which I absolutely love, is the flexibility to spend time with my family. My husband, Pedro, is an engineer and works for the Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT). An employment opportunity brought us all the way from Chicago to Reno seven years ago. We quickly fell in love with the area and decided to make it our permanent home. We have three beautiful and amazing children, Lucas (11), Marina (9), and Abigail (7). We all share a passion for watching movies together, and I’m pretty certain that we have enjoyed EVERY Disney movie ever made. If not, we are pretty close and should reach that milestone shortly! We also love to travel, and consider it a parental duty, albeit a fun one, to introduce new experiences, cultures, foods, etc. to our children’s lives.
Above all else, we keep a spiritually close relationship with our religious beliefs. The foundation of a giving nature is learned by example, and therefore I make it a point to be very active in the lives of my children. I usually end up volunteering for anything that anyone needs my help for. I hope that when my kids are adults, with children of their own, that my example will be something that reflects in their own lives and in turn, all those they come into contact with.
I’m Darcy McMillin, Data Manager for Comstock Mining, and I am getting more and more involved in the community which I love. My job couldn’t be more perfect as far as utilizing the strongest of my skillsets, organization and communication. I love to dive into a spreadsheet, and at the same time can’t wait to get out and cultivate relationships with the Comstock community. The biggest draw with Comstock Mining is room to grow and learn something completely new! I appreciate their commitment to honest management practices, preserving the surrounding community and environment, and respecting the amazing historical attributes of the Comstock area, where I live. It thrills and energizes me to face a new challenge head-on and apply what I know to what I am learning every day.
I majored in English Literature at Ithaca College, NY, and finished my degree at University of Nevada, Reno. After graduating I worked in banking and then became financial coordinator for Pitts Orthodontics in Reno. My husband, Rob, and I own operated Reno Sparks Plumbing and Captured Moments Taxidermy where I managed all the legal, promotional, and office administration for both businesses. I taught myself how to build websites, work with payroll, create job proposals, and bid government contracts. I did some administrative and organizational work for Storey County Fire Protection District and other Storey County departments as well as financial coordinating for Carson City Orthodontics before finally ending up here with Comstock Mining.
I’ve truly traveled a path that has been laid out one opportunity at a time. To pay my way through college, I had all kinds of fun jobs from park ranger, to white-water rafting guide, teaching braille to the blind, and even working in a wedding chapel in downtown Reno! It amazes me how each experience leads to the next; and I believe as long as I continue to apply myself and learn, the path will continue to be an exciting and fulfilling one.
Rob and I founded Nevada Outdoorsmen in Wheelchairs in 2008 and are so proud of how it has grown and reached so many people in some very outstanding and unpredictable ways. The yearly hunt is nationally televised and provides unforgettable experiences not only for the hunters, but all the volunteers and families as well. We have lived in Virginia City since 2004, in what began as a miner’s shack built in 1869. It eats up most of our free time (and money), but houses Rob’s Studio and gives us endless pride and joy. When we are not working on renovations, we like to fish, boat, and camp. I also sing with Bella Voce, a professional women’s singing ensemble, and am so excited to rejoin the group now that I’m working on the Comstock and no longer commuting to South Carson every day!
Directory of Safety
I’m Tammy Harding and I am the Director of Safety at Comstock Mining, Inc. After 20 years of mining, specializing in safety, environmental and materials management, I arrived on the Comstock excited to apply my broad safety experience, especially with the new underground mining developments, and for the opportunity to work in a continual learning environment and further develop my skills. Despite my experience, I am extremely excited to participate in the full life cycle of a new underground mine evolution, from the recent discoveries, to development to safe execution, reclamation and restorations. I’ve worked in many underground mines in my career, but have never witnessed one being commissioned. It is very exciting.
One of my early mentors encouraged me to pursue a safety career and I’m so glad he did. I love working closely with miners both in the field and the classroom, with the goal of keeping everyone safe. It is a responsibility that I take seriously. My experience with Emergency Medical Services gives me a special and unique perspective that allows me to see the big picture. Mining has provided me tremendous educational opportunities and career growth and I am currently working on an Occupational Health and Safety degree from Columbia Southern University.
My son, Gregory, works at Humboldt General Hospital in Winnemucca. Greg is also working on a degree, from Great Basin College, as he pursues his dream of helping others as registered nurse. Last May, the two of us rode 562 miles on bicycles from Boston to Washington D.C. as we participated in the National EMS Memorial Bike Ride, sponsored by the Muddy Angels. This grueling ride honors all aspects of Emergency Medical Services personnel by celebrating the lives of those who serve, those who have become ill or injured or even died in the line of duty. I’m hoping to participate again in 2016.
I recently moved to Virginia City (in the Highlands) and spend my time mountain and road biking, motorcycling, camping, reading, and volunteering at Humboldt General Hospital EMS/Rescue. I especially love the outdoors. I’ve played softball for many years in Winnemucca, so I’ll be searching for a local team/league to play with this season. The hardest part about leaving Winnemucca (besides leaving my son) is missing my yard, where I was surrounded by flowers, green grass, and shading trees. The Highlands are a new environment for me, and I am really looking forward to putting my green thumbs to work. I didn’t have much luck relocating my potted tomatoes and strawberries, but I don’t give up easily!
I’m Lindsay Dugas. I moved to Nevada from San Francisco’s East Bay area in 2003. I came to the Reno-Tahoe area on vacation and decided this was the place for me. It was the best move of my life. We have it all here. We are very lucky to have Lake Tahoe, Reno, Virginia City and the Gardnerville-Genoa foothills all within 3 hours of one another.
My childhood dream was to be a veterinarian and take all the animals and build a huge sanctuary. My family was very outdoorsy and we spent a lot of our family time outdoors, so as I grew older I realized it was more than just animals, we needed to care for our planet too. I went to college and earned my BS in Environmental Science and obtained associate degrees in both geo science and GIS.
I found my passion for the Comstock via Comstock Mining. It is beautiful here and I enjoy working outside. Learning about the history of the area and using my degree is doubly rewarding. I worked for the Company a couple of years ago and jumped at the opportunity to return in June of this year. I am the Environmental Compliance Coordinator for Comstock Mining and I spend my days monitoring the mining and processing activities as they relate to our numerous permits. At Comstock Mining, we go above and beyond what is required to maintain our permits. We are environmental stewards and try to do what is right rather than what is expected.
I am an adrenaline junkie and explorer. I spend my time off exploring the desert on my mountain bike and hiking in the mountains. On the weekends I grab my hubby-to-be, Dave, and our dogs… and off we go. I love to scuba dive and skydive. I have a bucket list of all the wonderful things I want to do in this life. I like to live my life as an ongoing adventure.
I’ve lived in many places. Family and work have taken me to Oregon, Idaho, Washington, Alaska, Tennessee and Nevada. For the past three years I’ve been a resident of Silver City with my wife, father-in-law and two dogs. I am the proud father of two grown sons who have given me two grandchildren. Silver City is a unique community. I can think of no other place I’d rather be and I’m proud to call it my home. In my spare time you may find me partaking in some recreational wrenching on the cars, camping or exploring the hills on quads. My former hobby was drag racing. I built and raced a 79 Pinto wagon and can boast a time of 14 seconds on a quarter mile track. While no longer actively participating, I still carry a strong interest in anything racing related. And, it is with apologies, that I admit I’m also a fan of John Cena and the WWE wrestling scene.
After high school in Alaska, I studied diesel mechanics which landed me in the automotive mechanic industry. I’ve served as a Public Safety Officer, owned and operated a private security company and a restaurant. On a fun note, I’ve also worked as a disc jockey which totally suited my love of music. Earlier experience working with Schucks Auto Supply prepared me to own and operate an automotive parts store in Idaho. Then, after moving to Nevada in 2008, I made a career change to mining.
My first job in mining was with Round Mountain Gold where I operated a haul truck, water truck, rubber tire dozer and loader. My next position was with Coeur Rochester in Lovelock as a rubber tire operator and lead man on a pit crew. From there, I moved to join the crew at Comstock Mining.
Little boys play with Tonka Toys. Big boys, if they’re lucky, get to play with the real trucks and equipment they only dreamed of in childhood. That’s how it was for me and mining. It was like a dream come true. Once I started, I knew this is what I wanted to do. Another thing I quickly learned about was the quality of personnel you’ll find on a mine site. Due to strict hiring procedures and zero tolerance policies, you find yourself surrounded and supported by a very admirable group of competent and committed people. My personal experience with modern mining has shown me companies with a commitment to responsible resource development and a strong emphasis on environmental preservation/restoration. They demonstrate a very real commitment to their employees and families as well by providing a good living wage and exceptional health care benefits.
Big equipment, a fabulous family of co-workers and the opportunity to be part of providing a necessary commodity to the world market while preserving/restoring the environment. What’s not to love? I can’t help but feel honored to be part of such an endeavor.
At Comstock Mining, I began as a dispatcher. After completion of the State of Nevada MSHA program, I became a Safety Trainer and was then moved into Purchasing. I am currently the manager of Purchasing, Light Vehicle Maintenance, Safety and I oversee the Dore’ shipments.
The mining community is pretty close knit. People move from one mine to another as personal or company needs evolve. As a result, a great many of us miners know each other much like a large extended family. Additionally, each mining company develops a personality or reputation based on their philosophy, mining practices and personnel. Due to their efforts, Comstock Mining enjoys an exceptional reputation in the industry and I’m proud to be a part of that.
My name is Phill and I’m a proud Comstock miner.
In Memory of Comstock’s Proudest Miner
March 12, 1951 - June 19, 2015
Health & Safety Manager
Randy Harris lived off the Comstock for many years, but he always considered this his “home,” the place where it all started. It was 1960 when Randy moved to Silver City with his grandparents, Jerry and Elaine Harwood. Randy’s grandparents bought the Savage Mansion in Virginia City and from the time he was in grade school and throughout his high school years he would always help with restorations after school and on the weekends. Randy always proudly adored the mansion, knowing his special role in preserving such a significant piece of Comstock history.
After graduating from high school Randy received a scholarship to Denver Automotive and Technology Institute and moved to Colorado. He stayed in Denver for just a little over eighteen months before he returned to Silver City and married his high school sweetheart, Marjorie Williamson. Marge and Randy were happily married for 43 years.
After returning to Nevada, Randy worked odd jobs until signing on at the Storey County Sheriff’s Office, working with Bob DeCarlo for nearly seven years. He also served on the Storey County Fire Department where he received his Emergency Management Training (EMT). This introduced Randy to what would quickly become his life’s passion, protecting others through health and safety.
Randy said he had been around mining most of his life, but became an actual miner after taking a job in maintenance with Houston Oil & Minerals on Gold Hill. He soon began operating heavy equipment and finally landed the lead safety and security position that would develop into his long-term career. Randy was then transferred to Manhattan, Nevada with Tenneco Minerals. He served as the safety supervisor for Smokey Valley Common Mine (that later became Round Mountain Gold Company) and lived in central Nevada for nearly 20 years. He next became a mining regulator as a district safety inspector for Nevada Safety and Mine Training.
In 2008, Randy joined Golden Predator Mine near Lovelock as their Safety and Security Director before becoming the unground safety supervisor for the Turquoise Ridge Mine near Winnemucca. It seemed ironic that mining would take him away from the Comstock for the rest of his career, that is, until he received a call from Comstock Mining. Randy was the Director of Health and Safety for Comstock before his untimely passing on June 19, 2015 after a short illness. Under his governance, the Company won the 2013 Safety Award from the Nevada Mining Association.
“Randy was the most selfless person I have ever met. He cared about others first and most and would do anything for anyone, individuals, teams, companies and communities. His leadership was always by example, strong, honest, kind, wise, careful, and smiling. It’s the saddest days for our whole community. God blessed every person who ever met Randy Harris.”- expressed Comstock Mining CEO Corrado De Gasperis.
Light Vehicle Mechanic
Hi, I’m Jason; I grew up on this mountain and I am a lifelong Comstocker. I’ve never taken the history of the Comstock for granted. Mining and mining history were ingrained into me from my early years and, together with the friends I have made, is what I truly love about living here. I learned my trade here and I’ve been in mining since I was 20 years old. I learned the trade from a number of old timers that taught me everything from running a jack leg to blasting to square set timbering. I feel like I learned from the best on the Comstock. Being a “hands-on” and “in-the-dirt” kind of guy, coupled with the love of local history, mining came natural to me.
I currently work in the capacity of light vehicle mechanic for Comstock Mining. My favorite part of my job is the people and working in the area that I grew up in. I am happy to have the opportunity to work locally, be so close to friends and family, and work for an outstanding company like Comstock Mining.
I live in Gold Hill, but I am currently working on my dream house, a historic little house that was moved out to my property just above American Flat. The little house was one of the four that were moved from a location next to the courthouse last year. I am excited about finishing my new home and feel privileged to live and work in such a unique place.
My hobbies include mechanics, history, hiking, and just enjoy the great Nevada lands in general. On my time off, lately, I have been working on my new house on the side of the hill or just doing all the other things I enjoy.