As a Texan and the daughter of a cattle rancher, my household album is peppered with images of males – and a few girls – with their arm slung over the dusty saddle of a horse, deep within the wilds of Montana, Wyoming, Alaska, the Amazon, or Mexico. Such exploits ceased to amaze me by the age of 5 as I had my image taken just about each weekend with a 10-foot alligator or a big fish pulled in from the Gulf. A couple of minutes into my dialog with Wyatt Yeager and I spotted that he may stand with any of those daredevils. But, nothing ready me for the actual Wyatt Yeager. Removed from being a “geologist kind,” Yeager is an eclectic breed of tweed and fearless, aptly named after the historic cowboy, Wyatt Earp.
Yeager would be the first to let you know that diamond-mining exploration is nothing like the enduring Indiana Jones depiction of the intrepid gentleman hero, jewel in hand and offended natives at his again, poised on the sting of the precipice between extinction and lavish wealth. Nevertheless, a couple of minutes into our dialog and I’ve uncovered that he is escaped from riots, been stabbed in Venezuela, bitten by piranhas, and met individuals who have by no means seen a white man earlier than.
Nicknamed “The Wolf” by his colleagues, Yeager is an undisputed wunderkind. “In my late teenagers, I grew to become obsessive about diamond exploration and mining after discovering just a few small stones in our California alluvial mining operation,” he knowledgeable me when requested how he selected such a occupation. Arguably, “Diamond Mining 101” will not be listed as a university credit score course. Nevertheless, Yeager refers to himself as an “explorationist” – one who, by commerce, explores and mines for diamonds in Africa and South America.
Seems, the small stones he unearthed in California fueled a ardour that has but to decrease. Yeager reveals how his upbringing ready him for the diamond commerce, “I used to be raised working the Alaskan, Central American, and Californian goldfields with my grandfather and father who have been each consulting engineers and mine house owners.” With a household that initially got here west to the California Gold Rush of 1849 after which later to the diamond fields of South Africa, it will appear that mining is in his blood.
With reference to his work, Yeager contends, “I contemplate myself to be part of the old fashioned colonial exploration crowd.” By this, Yeager signifies that he differs from the upcoming geology grads who would moderately sit behind a pc display screen and interpret maps and geologic experiences. At 36, Yeager is taken into account the youngest and one of many final to be doing actual “quaint” exploration work with a choose and shovel. As he fiddles together with his pen, he shares how lucky he was to develop up within the mining trade, educated by the “previous cranky geologists.” You may inform he relishes fieldwork and would contemplate it a punishment to be tied to a pc.
These interactions with the old fashioned South African geologists should have made an impression on him. Yeager’s quest for a diamond pipe has led him removed from know-how and deep into a number of the most inhospitable locations on Earth-places that even the bravest males may give a large berth. Even following his travels as a blue dot path on a map is horrifying. Throughout his early twenties, Yeager discovered himself neck deep within the piranha-infested waters of the Venezuela jungle. Nevertheless, this was greater than a short-term reconnaissance. Yeager, who can also be an academically educated anthropologist, had a knack for ingratiating himself with the native individuals, constructing a hospital and a college within the distant areas he inhabited as he looked for diamonds. Extra compelling, he appears to have received the loyalty of even essentially the most seasoned of warriors and adventurers as he moved via Venezuela to Africa and past, which says extra concerning the man than he’ll ever say about himself.
All through our interview, Yeager is humble. I’ve seen this earlier than in males resembling Yeager. They not often open up as a result of even their common exploits are so mind-blowing that they sound far-fetched to the remainder of us common of us. I do know that with a bit (or loads) of Cognac and a few goading, I am going to have the define of an awesome journey novel. After I ask for details and tales about his life, Yeager shrugs; he suggests different individuals, different interviews as a supply of data. I am left digging for extra info on diamonds as a result of that’s one thing that he’ll discuss.
It seems that Yeager has his eye on the US for his subsequent challenge. Although he nonetheless chases diamond prospects in Africa and Brazil, gold in Mali and Sierra Leone, and sapphires in Tanzania, it’s right here that he has begun his newest seek for “distinctive” diamonds. Yeager states, “I am generally known as “fixer” within the area. For years I frequently have been contracted to repair, run and make different firms mining operations worthwhile. In spite of everything these years, I wish to take the time to work by myself operations.” The rising demand for diamonds, coupled with the slowing manufacturing charges has raised the stakes for discovery. And why not? We have seen oil wells blossoming as soon as extra within the United States-more than even the Saudis have to supply. Why not diamonds, then? There have been only a few new diamond websites uncovered globally lately. In reality, Yeager foresees deposits in the US that will create a paradigm shift in international diamond manufacturing.
Having escaped civil wars, stabbing, ambushes, and offended natives, the US seems tame in even its roughest, most distant areas. If diamonds might be unearthed right here, Yeager is the person to do it. Just like the Indiana Jones of legend, Yeager has a tutorial and mathematical acumen coupled with the spirit of a risk-taker that has fueled his success. As a valued advisor for packages all through Africa and South America, Yeager established a brand new commonplace for diamond exploration and mining strategies. He is identified for creating engineering and fabricating mineral restoration gear that is thought-about a number of the finest within the area of mining.
Yeager’s in depth area expertise, mixed together with his technical data might make him the primary of his form to open diamond mining up in the US. Just like the wildcatters of previous, Yeager could be on his approach to legend. One factor is for certain although, given sufficient Cognac and a recording machine, he may simply money in as the latest contender to Clive Cussler.