Professor John Stuart Webb (1920–2007), and the Applied Geochemistry Research Group (AGRG) he established at Imperial College, London, were highly influential in the development of geochemical exploration in Australia over the past 40 years. This influence was partly due to the conduct of four PhD research projects in the early- to mid-1960s but, more importantly, to the numerous AGRG PhD and MSc graduates who have worked in Australia since that time, when mineral exploration has surged. The AGRG research projects studied base metals at Broken Hill, NSW, and Mt Isa/Cloncurry, Queensland, and gold in the Eastern Goldfields of Western Australia. Australia became a focus of the global mining industry following the discovery of nickel at Kambalda in 1966 and AGRG graduates contributed geochemical expertise as employees of exploration companies, specialist consulting firms, analytical laboratories, government research organizations and tertiary education institutions. The application of the basic tenets espoused by Webb in a continent marked by a thick and complex regolith has led to a somewhat unique style of geochemical exploration and a vibrant community of geochemists.

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