Rodney Johnson Ph.D.

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Professional Title
Endowed Taconite Chair

Career Summary

A respected geologist, mineralogist, and geometallurgist with over thirty years of experience in exploration, mining, research, and mineral processing. Recognized for exceptional field and laboratory skills in evaluating mineral deposits. A leader in the application of geometallurgy for ore characterization, process development and improvement, and control of product quality. Known for solving complex exploration, mining, and metallurgical problems using multi-discipline approach.

Areas of expertise:

  • technical competence in iron ore geology, mineralogy, and geometallurgy
  • ability to identify and quantify critical ore characterization, ore blending, and process parameters
  • excellent communication skills with management and technical staff
  • experienced geometallurgical educator
  • multi-discipline problem solving


Ph.D. Geology, Michigan Technological University, Houghton, Michigan, graduated November 1993, dissertation: Stratigraphic, Structural, Tectonic, and Economic Studies of the Archean Ishpeming Greenstone Belt, Marquette County, Michigan. Comprehensive exams in areas of structural geology, aqueous geochemistry, hydrology, and metallic ore deposits

M.S. Geology, Michigan Technological University, Houghton, Michigan, graduated May 1987, thesis: Geology and Precious Metal Mineralization of the Silver Creek to Island Lake Area, Marquette County, Michigan

B.S. Geology, Michigan Technological University, Houghton, Michigan, graduated May 1985 with high honors

Recent Publications

NRRI News Articles

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NRRI researchers to present industry innovations at SME 2024.

A man swings a large steel cap onto an orange hot vertical kiln.

U.S. Department of Energy and NRRI fund project to develop biocarbon to replace fossil carbon in steelmaking process

Red hot taconite pellets coming out of an industrial furnace

Changing ore bodies and expanding ore products require research and development.

Media Coverage