Principal Geoscientist (Geologist, Geochemist, or Geophysicist)

About the company

KoBold Metals is a mineral exploration company created to increase the ethical supply of critical materials, including Ni, Co, Cu, and Li, that are needed to build electric vehicles and renewable energy storage. Many new mines will be needed if electric vehicles are to become widespread, but before new ore deposits can be mined, they must be found.

KoBold's objective is to make more discoveries with fewer failures by drawing on both world-class expertise in exploration geoscience and machine learning and other scientific computing techniques. KoBold employees' equity ownership in the company enables everyone on the team to share in the value we create through our discoveries.

Our technology includes a comprehensive data system and a broad suite of analytical tools that helps guide our decisions from concept generation to drill testing to resource expansion to mine development and operations. Our data platform, TerraShedTM, aggregates, structures, and QCs vast collections of scientific data and makes it rapidly available for visualization and analysis. Our suite of algorithms, Machine Prospector®, interrogates that data with a range of techniques -from computer vision to full-physics joint inversions to ensemble machine learning-to generate features that are tied to ore-forming processes or that tease out subtle signals in the data. We use those features to predict subsurface composition, permissive structural and stratigraphic settings, or other important controls on mineralization.

Our models are designed to rigorously quantify the uncertainty in our predictions and to estimate how different ways of collecting incremental data will decrease the uncertainty in our knowledge of the subsurface. These insights inform our decisions of where to acquire mineral properties, what data to collect in the field, and where to drill to discover new ore deposits. And our technology system enables us to use new information in the field to refine our models and adapt our field programs in real time.

Our team includes top mineral explorers who collectively have more than 300 years of exploration experience and have made nearly 20 discoveries. KoBold geoscientists work on exploration teams jointly with outstanding data scientists, who have Ph.D.'s in physics, math, materials science, and geophysics. And our technology backbone has been built from scratch by our team of software engineers who are alumni of top Silicon Valley tech companies.

KoBold Metals is backed by Andreessen Horowitz, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, and Equinor.

About the position

This role has several important components: You will lead evaluations of potential properties for acquisition, generate targets, and design and oversee field programs from target definition through to resource expansion. You will work closely with data scientists to generate and implement analytical methods in our software platform. You will advise exploration teams across the company in your area of expertise. And you will help shape the technical road map of the company through leading-edge thinking on exploration methods, the science of ore deposit formation, and priority areas and deposit styles.

You will work directly with our senior technical advisors, academic collaborators, and external experts, and you will work with the executive team on making the investment case for acquisitions, field programs, and partnerships.

Ultimately, your role is to help KoBold make valuable discoveries by generating novel ideas of where and how to explore and put them into practice through rigorous analysis of geoscientific data and close collaboration with KoBold data scientists.


The Principal Geoscientist will:

  • Demonstrate in all activities a commitment to the highest standards in health and safety, environment, and community relations
  • Rigorously analyze geoscientific datasets across a range of scales from provinces to prospects to determine exploration potential and to identify, rank, and prioritize exploration targets
  • Help to shape our exploration strategy, area selection, and evaluation of each project and set of targets through exceptional knowledge of the relevant ore system and exploration methods
  • Identify or develop innovative analytical methods and work with KoBold data scientists and software engineers to implement them in our software and to apply them to current or potential projects
  • Design and oversee field programs ranging from geological mapping and sampling of grass roots prospects through to large drilling programs on advanced projects
  • Devise data acquisition programs that improve upon current leading industry practice by leveraging KoBold's technological capabilities and see them through to successful implementation in KoBold field programs
  • Provide technical guidance to KoBold and our JV partners' in-country project teams


A great Principal Geoscientist candidate will have: Exploration experience:

  • A proven track record of discovery, as a leader or member of a team that found an ore deposit
  • Excellence in generative analysis ranging from new concepts to integration, interpretation, and modeling of large datasets
  • Excellent field skills and experience working across a range of project stages from grassroots prospects through to advanced projects with significant drilling and other geoscience data

Technical knowledge:

  • A deep understanding of one or more ore deposit types, preferably including sediment-hosted stratiform copper deposits and/or magmatic sulfide deposits
  • A high level of specific expertise in at least one specific subject area, such as sediment-hosted or orthomagmatic ore systems or the collection and analysis of geochemical or classes of geophysical data
  • Broad expertise in the geochemistry, geophysics, and geology of ore genesis with practical application to sediment-hosted, magmatic-hydrothermal, and/or magmatic sulfide systems

Other key skills and work practices:

  • Proficiency in exploration software packages such as QGIS/ArcGIS, Leapfrog, and ioGAS
  • Demonstrated leadership skills including the ability to motivate and inspire others, to share ownership and responsibility for project outcomes, and to work effectively in collaborative, interdisciplinary teams
  • A strong track record of coaching and training geoscientists of varying experience, educational backgrounds and cultures in leading-practice mineral exploration
  • Demonstrated commitment to high standards of health and safety in the workplace

Training and work experience:

  • A minimum of 15 years experience in the mineral exploration industry
  • An M.Sc. or higher degree in a geoscience field or in a related physical science
  • Insatiable intellectual curiosity

It is preferred but not required to have:

  • A Ph.D. in a geoscience field or related physical science
  • Research experience or other published work on exploration methods or ore-forming processes
  • Working knowledge of one programming or scripting language (e.g., Python, R, C/C++) and experience with scientific computing
  • Excellence in statistical or quantitative methods for analyzing geoscientific data

KoBold Metals is an equal opportunity workplace and an affirmative action employer. We are committed to equal employment opportunity for people of any race, color, ancestry, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, age, citizenship, marital status, disability, or veteran status.

This position is full-time, exempt.

Location: We are open to candidates anywhere in the world. KoBold Metals has offices in Vancouver, BC and Berkeley, CA, and a presence in Zambia.

Interested applicants should send a resume to Candidates should state whether they currently have authorization to work in the US or Canada.

posted: 22 February 2021     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.