Henry Muller

1934-2017

Henry Muller can claim to have revolutionised an extraction process, paving the way for scientific, economic and social advancement. His design of the innovative and unique Olympic Dam flow sheet made possible the extraction of copper cathode, uranium oxide concentrate, gold and silver bullion from a single orebody. In turn, the Australian economy has benefitted from Olympic Dam for thirty years with jobs, state revenues and infrastructure development in the region.

Henry Muller completed a Bachelor of Metallurgical Engineering at the University of Queensland in 1956 with first class honours and was awarded a University Medal for outstanding merit. He joined the AusIMM in 1954 and remained an active Fellow until his passing 63 years later.

Henry began his career at Mount Morgan as a Metallurgical Assistant and then joined Broken Hill South Limited as Mill Superintendent, involved in the design, construction, commissioning and operation of the Cobar concentrator. He then transferred to Alcoa as Technical Manager for the initial stage of the Pinjarra Alumina Refinery, before returning to Broken Hill South as Project Manager for the initial development of the phosphate deposit at Duchess. In 1980 Broken Hill South was taken over by Western Mining Corporation, and this coincided with the commencement of the detailed evaluation and development of the Olympic Dam (OD) deposit.

Following completion of the design and construction of the OD plant in 1988, Henry was posted to London as Managing Director of WMC’s nickel marketing companies and four years later he returned to Adelaide where he provided a technical service to WMC’s operations and particularly to the expanded OD operation. He was the recipient of the AusIMM President’s Award in 1999, was nominated for the Prime Minister’s Annual Science and Technology award, and received the inaugural BHP Innovation Heritage award in 2016.


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