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Russell Burdon

Russell Burdon


Russ was instrumental in the establishment of the Coal Preparation Society (of NSW) and was Foundation Chairman. He was a major driver in Coal Preparation Education, within universities and for the Society, and was a Life Member up until his death in 2016

Historical Notes:

  • In late 1965, Russ Burdon and Murdoch Mackenzie sent a circular letter to people associated with coal preparation, to determine the interest and possible membership numbers for a Coal Preparation Society.
  • The encouraging response led to the formation of a Committee, selected to represent all sections of the industry and the first meeting was held in the School of Mining Engineering, the University of New South Wales, on February 8, 1966.
  • It was agreed to form a Coal Preparation Society, and officers were appointed. The objectives of the Society were discussed and a constitution was drafted by Russ Burdon, based on that of the UK Society.
  • The inaugural meeting of the Society was held at the School of Mining Engineering, the University of New South Wales, on Wednesday March 16, 1966. 

Russ’s contributions are summarised below: 

NSW Committee:

  • 10 years on the Committee – from 1966-67  until  1976-77
  • 3 years as Chairman –  1966-67 to and 1969-70 

International Coal Preparation Congress:

  • National organising committee for 1976 VII ICPC (Sydney) 


  • Introduced courses in coal preparation at Universities of Newcastle and NSW
  • Wrote a series of papers entitled “Principles of Coal Preparation” in 1963
  • Organisation and lecturing at Introductory and Advanced Coal Preparation Courses.
  • Led the development of Standards for coal and coal preparation, including participation in ISO meetings.

Russ worked at both the Universities of NSW and Newcastle, and was an active consultant in mineral and coal processing.