Zdenek Johan

The 2007 SGA-Newmont Gold medal is awarded to Zdenek Johan. The citation was presented by Jan Pasava:

Citation: Zdenek JOHAN

Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am honoured to present citation of Dr. Zdenek JOHAN – the first recipient of the SGA-NEWMONT GOLD MEDAL.  I have known him more than 20 years. Dr. Johan graduated from Charles University, defending a thesis on the 'Mineralogy and metallogeny of the Cerný Dul deposit, Giant Mountains' (1957). He received his Ph.D. with the dissertation 'Mineralogical and physical-chemical study of the binary Cu-As system' (1965).

Since that time he has authored and/or co-authored more than 200 papers on various research topics that were published in various scientific journals including Nature, American Mineralogist, Lithos, Geochimica et Cosmochimica. Acta, Canadian Mineralogist, Mineralogy and Petrology and others. 

Dr. Johan has long been an icon in the world of mineral sciences, and more specifically of the mineralogy and origin of ore deposits, and has been regarded as such for several decades.  He was involved in the description of as many as 33 new mineral species. The Atlas of Ore Minerals, co-authored with Pickot remains a classic reference work nothing better yet produced even on internet. His research interests have taken him beyond the minerals themselves to the environments in which they form, especially ophiolite complexes, layered intrusions, and Uralian-Alaskan intrusions. He changed our understanding of the geological processes that form PLATINUM GROUP ELEMENTS and CHROMIUM deposits in mafic and ultramafic rocks of various settings. Beside his own research he supervised 28 research theses that were successfully defended.

Zdenek Johan’s leading role was recognised in B.R.G.M. (Orléans), where he continued his carrier after the occupation of Czechoslovakia in 1968. He became the director of the B.R.G.M.-CNRS group 'Fundamental and applied metallogeny' and was later director of the CNRS 'Centre de recherches sur la synthés et la chimie des minéraux' for 12 years.  After his return to B.R.G .M. he served as research director and inspector general until 2000.

His research results led several national geological societies and international organisations to use his expertise, his open and friendly nature and readiness to co-operate (amongst others IUGS, International Mineralogical Association, UNESCO, IAGOD.) He served as President of the Society for Geology Applied to Mineral Deposits from 1995 to 1996.

Dr. Johan´s contributions to science and society have been recognized by many organizations as evidenced by his corresponding membership of both the French and Austrian Academies of Science, his membership of the Russian Academy of Sciences, his receipt of 7 medals for distinguished work in science and his receipt of an honorary doctorate from Carleton University. He also became a Rider in the French National Order of Merit and Rider in the French National Order of “Palmes Académiques”. His full and happy integration into French life has been accentuated by acting in the role of mayor in Isdes (Loiret), where he lives with his wife Vera.   

Many of us have been fortunate to be able to enjoy Dr. Johan´s scientific results and his friendly temperament. Anyone who has heard him play piano and sing is not surprised that in his youth he had to choose between a career as a singer and a mineralogist. It is to the good fortune of the earth science community that he chose the latter.

On behalf of SGA I would like to congratulate Dr. Johan to this success and wish him many more achievements in the geosciences, and good luck in his private life.

Dublin, August 20th, 2007

Prepared and presented by:

Dr. Jan PašavaSGA Executive Secretary

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Zdenek Johan accepting the SGA-Newmont Gold Medal from Hartwig Frimmel (left), President of the SGA, and M. Stephen Enders (right), Newmont Mining Corporation.