D. Holwell


David is an Honours graduate of Durham University, an MSc graduate of Cranbourne School of Mines, and a PhD graduate at Cardiff University, all in the UK.    

To date, David’s research focus has been on the giant Platreef PGE deposit in South Africa, in collaboration with his supervisors, Dr Iain MacDonald, and with Dr Adrian Boyce, his nominator and a Councillor of SGA.  David has now published a substantial body of peer-reviewed publications which have provided a much improved understanding of the genesis of the Platreef, and PGE deposits in general.  In particular, his research has pointed to an hiatus between the Platreef and overlying magma, resolved the source of sulphur, realised the potential implications of high-PGE sulphides in a staging magma chamber, and demonstrated sulphide-liquid migration and associated PGE fractionation processes. In doing this research, he has integrated classic techniques of field mapping and mineragraphy with state-of-the-art, analytical methodologies to develop an holistic model firmly based on field relationships.  During these studies David received outstanding support from Anglo Platinum and in particular, Robert Schouwstra and Gordon Chunnett.

What most impresses me, as a prolific PhD supervisor, about David is not only his Christian name but the fact that he completed his PhD thesis within the requisite 3 year period AND published 6 papers within the period.  I only know of two others with similar achievements, both interestingly with names starting with D.

This is not the only Award that David has received in a short career.  He was awarded the Wardell-Armstrong Prize of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining for one of his seminal papers in 2006 and awards for both the best oral presentation AND poster at the Geological Society of Londons Flagship Fermor Meeting in 2006.  He has recently been appointed a Lecturer in Economic Geology at Leicester University.

I think it is fair to say that David is a truly worthy recipient of the SGA-Barrick Young Scientists Award.  Adrian Boyce indicates that the only downside is that he supports Sunderland rather than Manchester United.

The Award will be presentd by Rex Brommecker, Chief Geologist Australia-Pacific of Barrick.

D. Groves, SGA President