Vale Professor Richard Stanton - Distinguished Fellow of the Society

Professor Richard Stanton The Society is saddened to learn of the death of one of its Distinguished Fellows, Professor Richard Stanton AO DistFRSN FAA, on 25 August 2020 at the age of 94. Richard Limon Stanton was a distinguished economic geologist.

Born in 1926, he completed his BSc degree at New England University College, University of Sydney (later to become the University of New England) and subsequently worked in mineral exploration in mines in Broken Hill, far north Queensland and Burraga.

After a teaching fellowship at the University of Sydney, where he completed his MSc and PhD, and a postdoctoral fellowship at Queen’s University of Ontario, he became Professor of Geology at the University of New England, Armidale from 1975 to 1986, and subsequently Emeritus Professor. He was a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, elected in 1975 for his original contributions to the genesis of ore deposits. Richard Stanton’s subsequent achievements focused on mineral exploration. He recognised the role of volcanism and sedimentation in the formation of new ore deposits, and the physics and chemistry involved in the concentration of copper, zinc and lead in volcanic lavas. This is documented in his numerous publications and books, including Ore Petrology, The Precursor Principle, and Ore Elements in Arc Lavas.

Professor Stanton was the Royal Society and Nuffield Foundation Bursar at Imperial College London and the University of Durham in 1964 and won a Fulbright Award in 1966. He won the Goldfields Gold Medal of the Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (London) in 1976 and the William Smith Medal of the Geological Society (London) in 1987. He became an Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (London) in 1984 and was Vice-President of the Australian Academy of Science from 1989 to 1990. He was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Geological Society of America in 1991, and was awarded the W. R. Browne Medal of the Geological Society of Australia in 1990, the Penrose Medal of the Society of Economic Geologists in 1993, and the Haddon Forrester King Medal of the Australian Academy of Science in 1998.

Professor Stanton joined the Royal Society of NSW on 27 July 1949 and was one of its longest standing members. During his career, he received several awards from the Royal Society of New South Wales, including the Olle Prize in 1972, the Society’s Medal in 1973, and the Clarke Medal in 1998, and he presented the Clarke Memorial Lecture in 1985. He was made an inaugural Fellow of the Society in 2009 and was elevated to Distinguished Fellowship in 2012. Also, he was instrumental in the successful operation, and served as a long-standing chair, of the New England Branch of the Society. He was honoured for his achievements by becoming an Officer of the Order of Australia in 1996.

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