Ralph Holmes


Ralph Holmes obtained a BSc degree in Physics from the University of Melbourne in 1967 and a PhD degree in 1972 for electron microscopy and diffraction studies of barium titanate. He joined CSIRO in November 1971 to work on the application of nuclear techniques to the on-stream analysis of iron ore and subsequently other mineral commodities. Over the last 30 years, Ralph has been involved largely in mineral processing research and for more than 20 years managed CSIRO’s iron ore processing research spanning ore characterisation, comminution, beneficiation, agglomeration and quality control. He is currently a Chief Research Scientist in CSIRO Mineral Resources and an Adjunct Research Professor at the University of South Australia in Adelaide.
Ralph has received numerous awards, including a Clunies Ross National Science and Technology Award in 1998 for his “outstanding contributions to the development of mineral sampling standards”, a Pierre Gy Gold Medal in June 2015 for “excellence in teaching and application of the theory of sampling”, and a CSIRO Lifetime Achievement Award in October 2015 for “sustained and meritorious achievements over a CSIRO career spanning more than 43 years in the field of mineral processing and international standards development”. Ralph is also a Fellow of the AusIMM (Chartered Professional – Metallurgy), a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Physics, and a member of the International Mineral Processing Council (IMPC).
Why are you excited about participating in IMA2018?
Participation in IMA2018 provides an invaluable opportunity to learn about the latest research in iron ore mineralogy, which is critical to the future of industry as iron ore grades slowly decline and the mineralogy becomes more complex.

Session – Iron Ore Mineralogy


Iron ore is a key raw material for production of steel which is vital to the global economy.  However, as the world’s resources of high grade iron ore slowly decline, a detailed knowledge of the mineralogy of iron ores is crucial to understanding their genesis for exploration purposes as well as their behaviour in downstream processing operations, particularly in relation to removal of unwanted mineral components such as silica, alumina and phosphorus to meet blast furnace feed requirements for steelmaking.  The proposed session will cover the mineralogy of key iron ore resources around the world, including their genesis, and the characterisation of these ores in terms of their mineralogy, petrology and geometallurgy at regional, mine and orebody scale.