Vale Tony Hope

It is with great sadness that we share with you the news that well-known geologist, historian and SMEDG supporter Tony Hope has passed away aged 82. Born in Hobart, Tony graduated from Sydney University in 1961 and like many of his colleagues, his career developed in the exciting early years of ‘modern’ mineral exploration.


Tony at SMEDG

The Hope Factor – Gingko – Arumpo Bentonite – Browns Creek Gold Powerpoint as 60!MB .pdf

POWERPOINT PRESENTATION AS 35MB.PDF – Mount Morgan – Murphyores HM deposits – Ginkgo HM deposit – Bougainville porphyry – Ok Tedi – Lihir

Farewell Ian Morrison

We’ve lost a good friend, an excellent geologist and, not so well known, a talented musician.

Ian’s life is encapsulated, as best we can, here.

Vale Toby Rose


It is deep regret that we inform you that Toby Rose AO passed away on the 15th of January.

He was indeed a giant in both his profession and the NSW Public Sector.
Whilst in the NSWGS he initiated, inter alia, the 1:250 000 geological mapping and metallogenic mapping programs, and the Broken Hill detailed mapping.

He went on to head up the then Department of Mines and subsequently the Department of Minerals and Energy. He retired from government in 1992 and continued in the industry through directorships.

In 1993 he received an Order of Australia for service to mining and minerals research.




Vale Mike Binns

Mike passed away 16th May 2022.

Mike was known to most people as a Robertson Research geologist, geochemist and geostatistician based in Sydney and Bowral. He travelled

for the company to many out of the way places around the world and to most mineral provinces in Australia.

Later he formed his own company Minstat Pty Ltd and contracted mostly to Nord Pacific working on their Simberi Island gold project

and Girilambone copper deposits (Tritton).

He moved to Brisbane in 2003 and worked for Hatch and later Nord Resources until his retirement.


Vale Bob Harrison


In the sudden loss of Bob Harrison, the minerals industry has lost a Tier 1 resource. For those outside the industry, Dr Richard Schodde defines a Tier 1 resource as “a ‘company making’ mineral deposit – they are large, long life and low cost”. They are the crown jewels for the industry and most of us would be lucky to find one in our lifetime.
Robert (Bob) Harrison was a one of a kind. With over 50 years in NSW and national mining title consulting, he was simply the most experienced, knowledgeable and competent practitioner of his ilk in Australia. The mining industry has lost a giant in our field, a true legend and I do not think we will see his like again. Lucy McClean

Bob’s Obituaries, The Eulogy, Funeral Program Cover and Inside and Bob’s Chile con Carne Recipe

Vale David Branagan

1930- 2022

It is with great sadness we share with you the news that Dr David Branagan has passed away aged 91. His influence on, and contributions to, so many facets of Australian science will be his legacy, and he will be greatly missed by his many geological colleagues.

Dave Branagan’s awards, contributions and appreciation from his colleagues, students and friends







Vale – Lincoln McClatchie

5 July 1936 – 31 December 2018

Beloved husband of Charlotte Elisabeth (dec). Cherished papa of daughter Chrissie, son-in-law Keith and grand-daughters Lottie and Tessa. Much loved by Joanna, Anthony, Eloise and Daniel Keary, his many grand-children and his brother Gordon.
Lincoln was an accomplished geologist and enthusiastic explorer with a focus on field work following up on concepts he created based on a long life of geological experience. He was also a good friend and colleague to many in SMEDG and the wider geological community and will be missed by all who knew him.
Passionate geologist, lifelong baseballer and proud animal lover.
A remarkable man and a remarkable life


Vale – Greg Kary

8 July 1957 – 12 December 2018

Memorial Page at Red Metal

My heart aches with grief upon the realisation of Greg’s passing. Over the last 19 years Greg and I have had lunch together almost every day, worked in the bush together on many occasions, and shared our love of rocks, science, family and the outdoors while tossing around our grand dreams for exploration success. Greg’s kind gentle soul and aura instantly connected with everyone who met him. This humanity coupled with exceptional geological skills, an embrace of new technology and love of field work made him a rare gem. I have lost a true best friend whom I admired and respected but I’m comforted in knowing that his kindness and integrity will live on in our memories and actions for generations to come. Rob Rutherford.



David was educated at Brisbane Grammar and the University of Queenslandthen, after a brief stint at Bougainville, replete with a PhD from Melbourne University, he embarked on a lifelong career with CRA/Rio Tinto. David worked with and is remembered by many of the great characters of the global mining industry. A true leader, modest and funny, his was a life well lived but gone too soon. We send our condolences to Georgia, Sam, Rachel and grandson Leigh; and to David’s sister, Ann and brother, John.


Siegfried J. Muessig 1922 – 2018

The plaudits will be flowing in from everyone who fell into Sig’s orbit, especially from his time with US Borax, at Getty Oil and his close involvement with the SEG. At least two major mineral discoveries have Sig’s imprint; The Escondida porphyry copper deposit in Chile is one of the world’s great mines and the Jabiluka uranium deposit in Australia, one of the world’s best U deposits unfortunately trapped by political elements and which remains in the ground. He was a wonderful man, kind, thoughtful and a very good geologist. LA Times Obituary and Sig,from SEG Newsletter – Views

Sig on the Utah-Getty Discovery of Escondida


Vale – Vic Wall

Vic Wall Obituary


Vale – Warren Atkinson

Warren Atkinson 1935 – 2017

Warren was known to many SMEDG’ers. He was one of the good guys. The man behind the Argyle discovery and who spent his outstanding working life with Rio Tinto.

Farewell to the late Erwin Scheibner

Vale – Neil Cole

Neil Cole

It is with great sadness that we note the passing of Neil Cole, well known by many in the SMEDG community, a regular on the Cruises and a well-known and respected Sydney mining community identity.

Vale – Bob Carter

1942 – 2016

Professor Bob Carter

Bob Carter epitomized the true scientist with his firm belief in the scientific method, belief in observable facts, belief in the primacy of science before politics, and a core belief derived from his geological training that what passes for weather and climate today has been experienced and documented many times over for millions of years of Earth’s history.

Ian Plimer on his friend Bob.


Vale – Peter Macnab

1942 – 2015

Peter Macnab

One of the best geologists and prospectors of his generation and, from his country upbringing, became a great bushman

Alex Copeland Obituary

Alex Copeland

Alex formed Search Exploration Services with Peter Elliot and used Scintrex IP equipment for several years, building Search’’s reputation as a hard-working, reliable, geophysical contractor. However like many Australian geophysicists, he  realised that equipment designed and built on the other side of the world wasn’’t giving him the best answers in Australia, where electrically, the overburden often looked like sea
water. At this stage he could have done as most other contractors do and look for an off the shelf solution. Undaunted or perhaps not realising the cost both in time and money in building his own system,
he decided to do just that and with help from Phil Palmer on the hardware side and John Paine on the software side he built what is arguably the best IP system in the world and certainly the best system for Australian conditions. He took his systems all over the world.


Vale – Arnold Offenberg
13.07.1940 – 08.03.2015

It is with great sadness that we advise of the passing of Arnold.
Beloved and devoted husband to Denise. Loving brother of Anneke and Tinneke. Wonderful father to Adrian, Daniel, Laura and Rochelle. Amazing Opi to Alex, Seb, Tess and Lachie. Loved and missed by all.

Arnold was formerly General Manager of Exploration for Newmont Pty Ltd, Newmont Indonesia and Newcrest Mining Ltd over a period of 13 years.He was Vice President of Exploration for Newmont Mining in Indonesia and the South West Pacific Region.During this time he was involved in mine discoveries at Tolukuma in Papua New Guinea, Minahasa, Batu Hijau and Gosowong in Indonesia and Cadia in Australia.He was also responsible for reserves and resources maintenance and exploration at Newmont’s operating mines in Australia. He provided assessments and advice on the exploration potential, resources, reserves and valuations of over 40 various projects and mines in Australia and overseas.He was a Non-Executive Director of Bendigo Mining NL and a Fellow of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy.



Vale – Gavin Thomas

1950 – 2014

Gavin Thomas

We mourn the loss of a mighty figure, a great mate and a mining legend.

Farewell Dave Blake

1937 – 2014

Dave Blake Remembered

Dave, the accomplished geologist who was always seeking for the geological truth.
“A net-vein complex fanatic from the mixing of magmas.”


1922 – 2013

Jack Thompson

Jack will be warmly remembered by many in the Sydney geological fraternity for his time with Amax.
Michael Leggo recalls, in his letter to John Curdie, President of the Epping RSL sub-Branch, who kindly provided the attached article from the Club’s Routine Orders on Jack: “I worked with Jack for many years with the American mining company which you have mentioned (Amax), where Jack provided strong technical leadership and mentoring of many of our young geologists. His enthusiasm for geology never waned and as you have noted, he could become very passionate about his latest ideas and observations. He was one of the old-timers who would rather head out into the jungle with a horde of porters, food supplies and tent flies and build his camps as he went along rather than rely on helicopters and base camps.” Another geologist remembers Jack from the Getty-Amax Magavara joint venture in Milne Bay Province in 1973: “Jack’s aerial 3D photographs in PNG were legendary. I also remember his amusement at being able to talk to the Amax New York head-office using an SSB radio from a remote Highlands village in PNG via a Port Moresby telephone link.”
Here is Jack’s story by John Curdie.

Vale – Ian Sweet
Passed away in Canberra on 28th December, 2013

Order of Service

Ian was farewelled by family, friends and colleagues from Geoscience Australia dating back to the BMR days

Professor Willard C. “Bill” Lacey

1916 – 2013

Some sad news for the Australian geological community. I’ve just had an email from Bill’s daughter Marian and son-in-law Mike Fellows (a Townsville-based geo) which in part reads:
“A note to advise that Bill Lacy died December 7th in Tucson, Arizona. He was 97 and a half. He enjoyed a full life that would have been more than enough for two lesser men and had a gracious and peaceful ending. He had very fond memories of his time in Australia and the many people who made him feel welcome here. “
Bill had a big impact on minerals side of geology down under, particularly during his time as Professor of Geology at James Cook University. His James Cook MSc course for geo’s working in industry was legendary and touched the lives of many who are now industry leaders. He was a true gentleman geologist and was greatly respected by all he came into contact with.

Neil Williams, President, Australian Geoscience Council
23 December 2013

Farewell to David Clappison

1940 – 2013

A Celebration of Dave’s Life was held at

Macquarie Park – Palm Chapel – North Ryde
Monday, 25th November, 2013. 1:15 p.m.

Remembering Dave Clappison The Eulogy – The Limericks – The Anecdotes


Vale – Jodie Gillespie
Passed away 5th October, 2012


IAGC – In Memory of Jodie


Vale – Hugo Hoogvliet

1955 – 2011

A Commemorative Service for Hugo Hoogvliet

was held on Wednesday, 16th November
at Magnolia Chapel, Macquarie Park, North Ryde, NSW.
Please send any messages and memories you would like us to add to Hugo’s memorial

mail link here

Vale – Dave Suppel

1943 – 2011

Dave Suppel passed away on 11 March this year after a three year battle with cancer. Many in the minerals industry would have known Dave as the long-time Principal Geologist Metallic Minerals in the Geological Survey of New South Wales. To encounter a Dave Suppel in a career is to have had an experience one should value for a lifetime. Quality individuals such as Dave are unfortunately rarer than we would like to think. Accordingly, Dave Suppel’s death is not only a loss to our professional cadre but also a loss to that small cohort of good men.



Another very good year…..


A very good year…..


A very good year…..


Vale – Terry Leach & Jampa Tashi

1948 – 2007

On the twenty-eight of February 2007, the world lost not only a fine geologist and petrologist, but also an outstanding human being.

The Terry Leach Scholarship Remembrances & Reminiscences Messages on Mail Archive Ray Merchant’s last visit with Terry

Vale – Dr Robin Curtis

1933 – 2006

An inspiring celebration of his life took place on Monday 20th November.
Robin’s two great legacies were revealed – his family & his contributions to geology.

Robin Curtis Remembered
Robin Curtis by David Curtis

“Robin was a very upright kind of bloke, well-liked and admired, highly ethical, took no shortcuts and was a very good geologist.”


A very good year…..


Another very good year…..


Paul A. Riddell

1922 – 2003

Paul Riddell passed away in Salt Lake City in August 2003. Paul will be remembered fondly in Australia as a most delightful and capable head of Getty Oil Development Company based in Sydney. Paul and Jackie lived here from 1972 until 1979, made many friends and were missed by all of us when they returned to Salt Lake City.

Sig’s Memories

Tribute to Ilmars “Bill” Gemuts – March 30 1939 – April 25 2003.


Reg Gersteling


Reg Gersteling, geologist and SMEDG supporter, passed away in October. We extend our sympathy to Reg’s family and his wide circle of friends.

Peter Mewkill – Planning the Over-50’s Walking Tour


via Yerranderie – Historic Ag-Pb-Au Mining Town
140 kilometres in 8 days. No comforts. No care. No responsibility.
Was departing Katoomba on Saturday, 20th October, 2001
Peter, the Mystery Organiser, and great mate to many of us, died on Wednesday, 17th October, 2001, aged 60 years. He was step-weight training to lead the Walking Tour.

Peter’s Farewell was held at 10am, Thursday 25th of October, at the Leura Memorial Gardens in the Blue Mountains.
Please send in any “Mewkill Anecdotes” covering his early days at RMIT, Australian Groundwater Consultants, McPhar Geophysics, Geoquest, the early electrical surveys, Pacminex at Cudgegong, the move to solo magnetics and gravity, the Selwyn-Starra days, Georgetown FNQ Glory, the Iranian Adventure, the US tours, contracts with Amoco, Cyprus, Getty, Delta and the many other exploration groups he worked with.

Text and image contributions are being used to build Peter’s Page

Kerin Mary Donovan


Kerin (Hall) Donovan passed away on Wednesday, July the 4th, 2001. Kerin’s funeral was held at 1.30 pm on Tuesday, 10 July at the Blessed Sacrament Church, Bradleys Head Road, Clifton Gardens.
A Memorial Service was also held for Kerin in Manila.
Kerin, a very capable geologist, was part of SMEDG for many years and, while resident in Sydney, attended most of our meetings and events. She battled cancer courageously and was very grateful for the excellent hospice care she received in the Philippines over the last few years before returning recently to Victoria . Kerin is missed by her many friends and colleagues and we extend our sympathy to her family.



1938 – 2001

Gold in Madagascar – A Treatise, 1996. Central Africa – Mineral Potential Madagascar Mineral Exploration Africa Symposium