Dr. Ralph J Holmes


Dr Ralph Holmes obtained BSc and PhD degrees in physics from the University of Melbourne in 1967 and 1972 respectively, and joined CSIRO in November 1971 to work on the application of nuclear techniques to the online analysis of iron ore and subsequently bauxite and coal. This precipitated an interest in sampling mineral commodities, and subsequently his involvement over many decades in the development of international and national standards for sampling coal, iron ore, bauxite, copper, lead, zinc and nickel ores, concentrates and smelter products.

Over the last 35 years, Ralph has also had a major involvement in mineral processing research and managed CSIRO’s iron ore processing research for more than 20 years. He is currently a Chief Research Scientist in CSIRO Mineral Resources and is recognised throughout Australia and overseas as an expert in iron ore processing and sampling.

Ralph received an inaugural Standards Award from Standards Australia in 1993 for his outstanding contributions to the development of mineral sampling standards and a Clunies Ross National Science and Technology Award in 1998. He also received the inaugural AusIMM Mineral Industry Operating Technique Award in 1987 for developing ‘Ironscan’ for the online analysis of iron ore on conveyor belts. More recently, Ralph received the Pierre Gy Gold Medal in Bordeaux, France, in 2015 for ‘Excellence in Teaching and Application of the Theory of Sampling’. He also received a CSIRO ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ in October 2015.

Ralph is an Honorary Fellow of the AusIMM, a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Physics and a member of the International Mineral Processing Council (IMPC). He has also been very active in organising technical conferences with the AusIMM and has chaired eight international iron ore conferences, four AusIMM sampling conferences, two World Conferences on Sampling and Blending and the 25th International Mineral Processing Congress in Brisbane.  Ralph is also the inaugural chair of the International Pierre Gy Sampling Association established at the Eighth World Conference on Sampling and Blending.

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