Raymond Butler put himself through night school in the late 1950s to gain entry to the University of Western Australia where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Geology. His studies were partly funded by fieldwork he undertook with Lang Hancock and Garrick Agnew.
His early work as a geologist led to the development of the Robe River iron ore deposits which his 1976 Master’s thesis describes. He went on to work with Agnew Clough for more than 20 years as a corporate geologist specialising in industrial minerals and specialty metals. Raymond was part of the development team that opened the first vanadium project in Australia at Coates Siding near Perth.
With an undying commitment to professional development, Raymond continued to study, achieving a Master of Science, Bachelor of Business, Master of Business, Bachelor of Education, Master of Education and Bachelor of Social Sciences. His educational prowess was instrumental in the formation of the Nomads Charitable & Educational Foundation, where he led the creation of a number of remote community schools that operate to this day.
Raymond served in a voluntary capacity with the Nomads group for over 50 years. His work with Don McLeod helped to realise monies from mining ventures which was then used to buy a number of stations in Western Australia to help set up the schools.
An avid collector of books, Raymond’s personal collection exceeds 100,000 items, with many rare geological records. In later years he promoted and transacted a number of his own projects including Balla Balla (vanadium), Salt Creek (base metals) and Ravensthorpe (magnesite). A Fellow of the AusIMM, he held memberships with a number of international mining professional bodies and was a foundation member of the AICD.