Courtney Young

Lewis S. Prater Distinguished Professor
Mineral Processing & Extractive Metallurgy

Montana Tech Research Thrust: Natural Resource Extraction, Waste Management

Dr. Courtney Young is a graduate of three premiere mineral/coal processing and extractive metallurgy institutions having obtained his B.S. in Mineral Processing Engineering from Montana Tech in 1984, M.S. in Mining and Minerals Engineering from Virginia Tech in 1988, and Ph.D. in Metallurgical Engineering from U of Utah in 1994. He joined the faculty at Montana Tech in 1993. His specialties in mineral processing and extractive metallurgy include mineral analysis and characterization, flotation, physical separations, leaching, cyanide, uranium, base and precious metal processing, and adsorption.

Dr. Young enjoys applying technologies to solve mining sustainability problems including waste treatment, water remediation, tailings and slags recycling, energy reduction, and flowsheet development at all academic levels. While a faculty member for nearly 25 years, he has taught numerous courses but the latest include Introduction to Mineral Processing, Hydrometallurgy and Aqueous Processing, Fire Assay, Materials Handling Design, Flotation, Processing of Energy Resources (Coal and Uranium), and Processing of Precious Metal Resources (mostly Gold). During this time, Dr. Young has also worked on numerous research projects with various funding sources, particularly mining companies and often in collaboration with the Center for Advanced Minerals & Materials Processing (CAMP) at Montana Tech.

5-Page Curriculum Vitae    Full Curriculum Vitae    LinkedIn Page
Download here.                      Download here.               Courtney Young's LinkedIn


Ph.D. University of Utah


M.S. Virginia Tech


B.S. Montana Tech

2001-present         Tenured Professor, M&ME, Montana Tech, Butte, MT

1998-2019              Department Head, M&ME, Montana Tech, Butte, MT

1996-2001              Associate Professor, M&ME, Montana Tech, Butte, MT

1995-1996              Assistant Professor, M&ME, Montana Tech, Butte, MT

1994-present         Academic Fellow, CAMP, Montana Tech, Butte, MT 

1994                        Research Assistant Professor and CAMP Postdoc, Montana Tech, Butte, MT

1993                        Research Fellow and Postdoc, Mine Waste Technology Program (MWTP), Montana Tech, Butte, MT

Research Interests

Dr. Young is world renown for doing research with and for industry. His research predominantly involves mineral processing and extractive metallurgy and applying these separation technologies to critical materials, mining sustainability, recycling as well as waste treatment and minimization. Consequently, his research is broad, covering various topics: improving gold recovery, remediating cyanide, selecting and testing ores, recycling spent pot-liner, reducing energy consumption, designing flowsheets, treating acid-rock drainage, making pig-iron from slag, developing nano-particles, and doing anything involving flotation such as modeling, characterizing adsorption and other surface reactions, and analyzing new chemicals such as novel collectors for rare earth minerals and depressants for copper/moly separation. 

Research Expertise

Dr. Young's research expertise consists of Critical Minerals, Water Treatment, Flotation, Analysis/Spectroscopy, Electrochemistry, Extractive Metallurgy, Waste Minimization, Process Engineering, Remediation, Sulfate Chemistry, Mining Sustainability, and Mineral Seperations.He graduated from 3 premiere mineral and metallurgical programs in the USA. He has been at Montana Tech for over 30 years. As faculty, he has focused his research on industrial needs, including through federal grants.  By engaging industry in this manner, graduate and undergraduate students do research on real-world projects, not only solving problems but also giving students inside tracks to jobs, both temporary internships and permanent placement. 

Federal Programs

Army Research Lab (with Ron White/CAMP), Advanced Processing of REE Natural Resources,” (2015-Present).

Army Research Lab (with CAMP), Rare Earth Processing by Flotation Using Novel Collectors and Other Reagents,” U of Alabama-Birmingham (2014).

Office of Naval Research, REE Selective Processing by Leaching and Chelating SPCS,” (2012-2016).


  • Matching Grant,Lunar Soil Separates,” (2013).
  • Travel Grant,Lunar Soil Separates,” with Montana Space Grant Consortium at MSU-Bozeman, (2012-2013).
  • Ralph Steckler/Space Grant Space Colonization Research and Technology Program, “Multiple Terrestrial Resources for Simulating Lunar Soil,” with Montana Space Grant Consortium at MSU-Bozeman, (2010).


Industrial Grants

Chevron-Phillips Chemical, Confirmation of Orfom D8 Mechanism, Phase IV,” (2023-2024), Phases I-III, (2016-2020).

Clariant, Characterization of Frothers,” (2020-2021).

Integrated Recycling Technologies, With A. Das As Co-PI, “PCB Recycling,” (2018-2020).

Newmont Mining Company,Various Projects,” (2005-Present).

CAMP,Various Projects,” (1993-Present).

Google Scholar Profile                                  Research Gate Profile

  • Chapter 1.1: Mineral Properties, Characterization and Processing, with A. Das, accepted, Mineral Processing and Extractive Metallurgy Handbook, SME, Littleton, CO, 2018.
  • Carbothermal Reduction of Copper Smelter Slag for Recycling into Pig Iron and Glass, with P. Sarfo, G. Wyss, G. Ma and A. Das, Minerals Engineering, 107:8-19, 2017.
  • Modeling and Optimization of Rare Earth Mineral Flotation Using Salicylhydroxamic Acid. R. LaDouceur and P. Amelunxen, In: XXVIII International Mineral Processing Congress, CIM, Westmount, Quebec, Canada, 2016.
  • Development of a Novel Technology to Reduce Energy Consumption During Electrowinning of Copper. A. Das and F. Dakubo, In: XXVIII International Mineral Processing Congress, CIM, Westmount, Quebec, Canada, 2016.
  • Xanthate Chemisorption at Copper and Chalcopyrite Surfaces, J.L. Bowden, J of SAIMM, 116:503-8, 2016.
  • Utility of Mass-Balanced EH-pH Diagrams II Applications of Gibbs Rule, R.N. Gow and H. Huang, Miner. Metall. Process, 33(3):107-115, 2016.
  • Spectroelectrochemistry of Enargite III: Reactivity in Alkaline Sulfide Solutions, R.N. Gow, H. Huang and G. Hope, Miner. Metall. Process, 32(1):14-21, 2015.

Montana Tech  

2019, 2009, 2003, 1998      Faculty Achievement Award

2016                                       Lifetime Researcher Award

2009                                       Undergraduate Research Appreciation Award

Society of Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration

2024-2026                             Board of Directors (just elected)

2023                                       Annual Meeting MPD Top 5 Presentation​

2022                                       Registered Member (RM)

2021                                       Henry Krumb Lecturer

2020                                       Antoine M. Gaudin Award

2017                                       Distinguished Member/Fellow

2009, 2015                            President’s Citation

1999-present     American Exploration and Mining Association (AEMA) 

                              Trustee 2015-2018

1998-present      Montana Mining Association (MMA)

                              Honorary Lifetime Member since 2007

1982-present      Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration (SME)

                              Distinguished Member/Fellow since 2017

  • Camping
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Dr. Young's Public Outreach

Articles from The Billings Gazette, The Great Falls Tribune, KMMS, The Montana Standard and SME.

Courtney wearing the colors with his wife Miriam on a windy day visiting the ruins around Cuzco, Peru.
Courtney feeding a llama on a weekend between meetings in Cuzco and Lima, Peru.
Yes, at Montana Tech we have our own Santa. Looks like the elves forgot this one.
Connect with Dr. Young.

I look forward to speaking with you.

Engineering Building 212
Montana Tech
(406) 496-4158