Haddon King


Haddon King was born in British Guiana (now Guyana) in 1905 and joined the Geological Survey of British Guiana as a field assistant, mainly with the Government Geologist H J C (Terence) Conolly, before graduating with a mining engineering degree from the University of Toronto.

King moved to Australia in 1936 to join Western Mining Corporation Ltd, which was applying geology, geophysics, geochemistry and aerial photography to mineral exploration. King served in the army from 1942 to 1946, after which he was appointed chief geologist of the Zinc Corporation Ltd at Broken Hill, moving to Melbourne as chief geologist for Consolidated Zinc Pty Ltd 1953. The company became part of Conzinc Riotinto of Australian in 1962 and King was appointed director of exploration overseeing the exploration and development of massive iron deposits in the Pilbara of Western Australia and the Panguna copper deposit on Bougainville.

King challenged the conventional view in the 1950s that the Broken Hill orebodies had been formed by metallic solutions, and he recognised the sedimentary origin of these deposits and many more around the world. He received the AusIMM Institute Medal in 1973 in recognition of his great contribution to the science and practice of geology and particularly to the exploration for and discovery of ore deposits in Australia and New Guinea. King’s ideas were encapsulated in a collection of essays written from around 1954 and published by the AusIMM as The Rocks Speak in 1989.

He also received the Penrose medal of the Society of Economic Geologists and the Clarke medal of the Royal Society of New South Wales in1973.


  1. F. Branagan, ‘King, Haddon Rymer Forrester (1905–1990)’, Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/king-haddon-rymer-forrester-12740/text22981, published first in hardcopy 2007, accessed online 24 June 2018.

Haddon Forrester King 1905 -1990, Obituaries, The AusIMM Bulletin No 3, May 1990, pp 43-48.

King, H F, The rocks speak, AusIMM, 1989

Image taken from Adventures in Iron by Alan Trengove, Stockwell Press 1976.

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