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Discovery Fund

Created by the SEG Foundation (SEGF)

SEGF creates the Discovery Fund
SEGF creates the Discovery Fund

The SEGF Trustees realize that the decline in university-level economic geology students, the decline in graduate- level economic geology research programs, and the aging population of economic geologists employed in the mining industry is a serious threat to the vitality of the mining industry and the academic community. Responding to this issue, the Board of Trustees, at its March 3rd meeting in Toronto, approved the creation of a special fund, The Discovery Fund, designed specifically to attract individual contributors who have enjoyed a successful career in economic geology and who want to provide significant financial support through the Foundation to encourage and develop a new generation of economic geologists. SEG is committed to "Advancing Science and Discovery." So it is appropriate that the Fund should be named in recognition of the ways many of us have benefited from a career in economic geology, whether it has been from the actual discovery of an ore deposit through exploration, from the discovery of new geologic and scientific concepts through academic or government-sponsored research, or from the discovery of economic value through exploration, mining, or investment in the minerals industry.

The Discovery Fund will provide financial support to a new generation of economic geologists who have not yet, or are just now, discovering the fascinating and exciting world of economic geology. The objective is to greatly expand and sustain SEGF’s core student programs—Student Research Grants, Student Field Trips, and Graduate Student Fellowships—by raising sufficient funds to significantly increase the SEGF’s student program (budgeted at almost $0.4 million for 2007) and sustain the higher level of support for at least the next five years. To that end, I have challenged the SEGF Fund Raising Committee with an immediate target of $1.0 million for 2007.

Most importantly, contributions to The Discovery Fund will not become part of the SEGF endowment, thereby permitting the Fund to be drawn down in its entirety over the five-year period. Unspent fund balances will be invested for growth in a readily identifiable subaccount within the Foundation’s investment portfolio, and funds will be disbursed as recommended by appropriate advisory committees (e.g., the SEGF Student Grants Committee, and others as required).

This is a popular initiative, and has already generated a lot of interest and significant contributions. Within two weeks of the Trustees meeting, pledges for $400,000 had been obtained from several key initial donors.

There are many ways that you can contribute, including a meaningful onetime donation, a pledge to provide a lower level of support annually over a five-year period, and through company matching programs.

You know who you are and why you have been successful. It is time to give something back, and there is no better way than through the SEGF’s student support program. You also know who else has been successful—challenge them to match your contribution. It is our time; now it is our turn.

—M. Stephen Enders (SEGF President, 2007) | SEG Newsletter, Number 69, April 2007.

Fund Overview

The Discovery Fund: "To Encourage and Develop a New Generation of Economic Geologists"

Why the Discovery Fund?

The Discovery Fund was established by the Board of Trustees of the SEGF to address the following:

  • The number of university-level economic geology students has been in decline for at least the last ten years, coupled with a similar decline in the number of graduate-level economic geology research programs
  • Consequently, fewer economic geologists are being trained and available to enter the profession, resulting in an aging population of mining and minerals exploration geologists
  • An expanding mining industry, striving to meet unprecedented global demand for metals and driven by correspondingly high commodity prices, faces a critical shortage of mining and minerals exploration personnel

What is the Role of the Discovery Fund?

  • To stimulate the education of potential economic geologists, the Foundation will expand its three core student-support programs (Student Research Grants, Student Field Trips, and Graduate Student Fellowships), "To encourage and develop a new generation of economic geologists."
  • The objective is to significantly increase funding for the three student-support programs, which are currently budgeted at $445,000 (up from $380,000 in 2007), and to sustain the higher level for at least the next five years.
  • Financial resources for this expansion will be provided through the Discovery Fund, for which an immediate fund-raising goal of $1.0 million has been set, with contributions and pledges totaling $475,000 having been received thus far.

What is the Future of the Discovery Fund?

Contributions will not become part of the SEGF endowment, so the Fund can be drawn down and disbursed in its entirety; further contributions will be sought to replace the disbursed amounts and sustain the higher level of program support over the five-year period.

Contributing to the Discovery Fund