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Life Members

Andrew Swanson

Andrew Swanson


Andrew’s first serious involvement with the Coal Preparation Society was around 1979, almost 40 years ago, when Jim Donnelly pulled together a team of Novocastrians to form the local organising committee for the First Australian Coal Preparation Conference. He was also roped in to be the Editor of the Proceedings. The conference was an outstanding success, forming the basis for future conferences, and he has attended every conference since, helping out with many conference organising and technical committees. 

However his most concentrated involvement with ACPS was in the middle part of the Society’s life – the time leading up to the formation of the Australian Society and the ten years or so immediately after that. This allowed him to have the privilege to know, and work with, the forefathers of the society. He was a founding director of the Australian Society, a past Chairman and Secretary for an extended time, as well as serving on the NSW Branch Committee. 

Professionally, his formal training comprises a Chemical Engineering degree from the University of Newcastle and a Master’s degree in Mineral Processing form the University of NSW. His first contact with coal preparation came while working at BHP Central Research Laboratories (1975-83). He then worked at Carbon Consulting International (1983-89) but is probably best known for his role in developing QCC Resources (1989 to date). 

Andrew has extensive experience in the provision of consulting services in coal preparation, technology disciplines, coal quality evaluations, coal terminal operations, feasibility studies, plant designs, financial optimisation, minesite operating strategies, due diligence investigations and research and development. He has participated in the establishment of many CHPP EPCM projects. Projects have included a wide range of clients both in Australia and overseas. He has published over 100 technical papers covering coal preparation, coal quality and coal technology. 

His contributions to the Society are summarised below: 

NSW Committee:

  • 8  years on the Committee – 1988-89 until 1995-96
  • 3 years as Chairman – 1991-92 to 1993-94
  • 2 years as Secretary – 1994-95 until 1995-96. 

National Board:

  • 15 years on the Committee – 1989 until 2001-02 and 2009-10 to 2010-11
  • 1 year as Chairman – 1992-93
  • 12 years as Secretary – 1989 to 1991-92 and 1994-95 to 2001-02
  • Australian Coal Industry Reference Samples (ACIRS) – established MOU with ACARP/industry and served on management committee since 2010 

Conference Committees:

  • 5 Local Organising Committees, chairman of one. 
  • 11 Technical Subcommittees, chairman of three.
  • Editor of Proceedings, First Australian Coal Preparation Conference
  • ACPS representative on Organising Committee for the 2001 International Pittsburgh Coal Conference, held in Newcastle 

International Coal Preparation Congress:

  • National organising committee for 1998 Brisbane Congress (XIII International Coal Preparation Congress)
  • Technical subcommittee for 1998 Brisbane Congress
  • Australian delegate on IOC for International Coal Preparation Congress since 2001 


  • Lecturer at Introductory and Advanced Coal Preparation Courses in areas such as coal quality, coal evaluation, process design, fine coal treatment, sampling and quality management.
  • Co-editor of the first edition of the Advanced Coal Preparation Monograph series
  • Editor of Principles of Coal Preparation and some subsequent revisions of the Advanced Monograph series. 

Andrew considers that the first conference was a watershed event in the development of the ACPS.  After reflecting on his time on the ACPS Board, he believes the most notable achievements were:

  • the formation of the Australian Society in 1989
  • the publication of the Advanced Monographs
  • 1998 ICPC in Brisbane
  • a consistent focus on education and training.