John Hugh Hill


John was born in Britain in 1932 and educated in Columbian, Scottish and English schools with completion at Durban High School, South Africa. He graduated with MSc (cum laude) from Natal University. His first job was as an underground geologist on a Union Corporation East Rand gold mine in Transvaal, South Africa.

John was later posted to the Solomon Islands for two years as a field geologist prospecting for porphyry copper mineralisation in jungle terrain and phosphate on the Polynesian atoll of Bellona. He returned to the UK to attend a Diploma course in Mineral Exploration at Imperial College, London, before being posted to Malaya (now Malaysia) as an economic geologist with the Survey. Work included jungle exploration, monitoring Chinese tin mines and evaluating Malay reservations.

From Malaya John joined EZ Industries as an exploration geologist reporting to Vic Cottle. Based in Captains Flat, he worked on VMS targets in the Lachlan Geosyncline and the Cobar Trough. He was headhunted by John Ivanac to join Central Pacific Minerals as a Sydney-based senior geologist to undertake base metal, gold and uranium search in central Australia and nickel search in the frenetic Eastern Goldfields. He joined International Nickel as Regional Exploration Manager under Dr Robin Curtis, working with VMS deposits in NSW and strata-bound deposits north of Mount Isa.

He was then appointed Australian Manager for Preussag AG, Hannover, and transferred to Melbourne. His work took him around Australia and South East Asia on project evaluation and joint venture activities before 1988 caused Preussag and other European companies to close their Australian operations.

Two years followed of consulting to junior gold explorers exposing the folly of constructing a mill before proving up reserves!

John returned to the UK for a Mineral Evaluation course at Imperial College. Later he presented lectures on the Australian mining industry, resulting in an invitation to visit Moscow State University. Under the auspices of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Canberra, John wrote a Mining Economics course and presented lectures at universities and institutes in Russia and Kazakhstan. The course was published by Moscow University Press. Consulting work took John to Eastern Siberia and to the Russian Far East.

In 2001, John returned to Australia to run a cattle property for the next sixteen years in the Upper Hunter, NSW. During this period his autobiography, Timelines & Faultlines was written and published. He now lives on the Central Coast.

He publishes a monthly blog on current affairs under and has commenced writing a book on an aspect of the Australian mining industry.

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