The 2008 Butt Smith Medal for Outstanding and Sustained Research Excellence in Geoscience was awarded to Dr Nigel Radford of Newmont Asia Pacific in a special presentation during the Australian Earth Science Convention in Perth during July.
The Award was presented by Dr Steve Rogers, chief executive officer of the CRC for Landscape Environment and Mineral Exploration (CRC LEME) and Dr Mike McWilliams, chief of CSIRO Exploration & Mining.
Dr Radford, a Consulting Geochemist at Newmont, is widely known throughout the Australian and International exploration geochemistry community through his personal research in application and testing of innovative ideas in regolith geochemistry.
He has a world-class reputation in the mineral exploration community and is a committed teacher and mentor of younger staff members.
The 2006 Butt Smith Medal winner, CSIRO’s Dr Ravi Anand, said Radford was a visionary geologist.
“In the 1980s he played an important role in the exploration community, convincing them that the regolith had positive exploration aspects, providing a vital interface between scientists and explorers.
“Dr Radford’s work on the Bulk Leach Extractable Gold technique of stream sediment sampling of gold together with Bill Griffin of Newmont has resulted in world leadership in the field,” Dr Anand said.
“He has also been a strong advocate of the role of organic processes in the regolith and the formation of geochemical anomalies. This initiative has been confirmed by the discovery that metal signatures are preserved in specific organs of native trees.”
The Medal honours eminent geoscientists Dr Charles Butt and Dr Ray Smith of the CSIRO Division of Exploration and Mining, who made invaluable contributions to mineral exploration, regolith geochemistry and ore deposit research over the past 37 years.
Butt increased awareness of the geochemical processes that operate in deeply weathered, lateritic terrains, while Smith worked on developing methods for locating mineral deposits hidden by deep weathering profiles or overlain by sediments. The Butt Smith Medal is jointly awarded by CRC LEME and CSIRO Exploration & Mining every two years.
Radford has been an active member of the Association of Applied Geochemists since 1982, serving on council for eight years and as Association President in 2001.
He was the co-chairman of the committee that organised the Applied Geochemistry Symposium in Perth in 2005.