VALE JOHN REED
8th May, 1922 – 20th December 2014
Announced in to-day’s AusIMM News & Review. Dr John Reed was a great geologist with encyclopaedic memory for minerals, alteration styles, with over 100 publications in scientific journals, mostly with the New Zealand Geological Survey, where he was the Chief Petrologist and a Director before joining the Planet Group from 1968-71. I will remember him especially for the three year opportunity (1972-75), after Planet, with the French firm Afmeco (part of Areva), in Adelaide where he was their exploration manager. I was taught the ins and outs of work diplomacy during a time when the French were exploding nuclear weapons at Murouroa atoll, and exploring for uranium development opportunities in Australia with BHP, whilst operating uranium mines in France, Niger, Gabon and Canada, half of which, through John, I was privileged to visit and work. You will all remember him as head of Planet Lab from 1968-71, who with the late Ross Freeman, would analyse your samples, write petrology reports (with Nigel Russell) on unidentified rocks and mineralisation styles, which added a sense of scientific rigour to the various state departments of mineral resources via Planet Annual Reports on exploration. Since Adelaide John was posted by the UN Overseas Mining project appraisals to Yemen, Lesotho and New York over a six year period. In the 1990s he was an occasional guest at the Planet Christmas reunions, from where he had retired on the waterfront at Gosford, and where boating, fishing and attending Probus meetings were his main occupation. His wife died two weeks before him and he is survived by two sons, who did not follow their father in the mining industry, but has a grandson, son of Peter, who is a Geologist.