Ross Louthean is well known in NZ minerals and petroleum circles, having made up to four extensive trips annually for the past 33 years, mainly in his role as publisher/editor of the three Perth-based mining publishing and conference groups he established.
These are Mining Monthly, the Gazettes of Resource Information Unit and Paydirt and Gold Mining Journal of Louthean Media (now Paydirt Media). With the latter two organisations he developed the Mineral Resources of New Zealand annual that detailed all the major mineral prospects and projects, the companies involved and also the institutions and government organisations involved.
He stepped out of publishing and management five years ago but has maintained regular visits to NZ writing articles for his former publishing groups, for Mining Journal of London, Canada’s Northern Miner, the website Mineweb.com and NZ newspapers the Otago Daily Times and The Independent. He has also been a columnist for the now defunct Australian magazines Bulletin and Australian Business and spent about two years as editor of the AusIMM’s Bulletin bimonthly magazine.
For more than three decades he has attended most of the annual event, the NZ Minerals Conference, and the biennial NZ Petroleum Conference. In recent years has played a consulting role for these programmes.
Louthean established a strong link with the African mining scene and has travelled widely to see mining projects in Canada, Wales, the United States, Papua New Guinea, Egypt and Sardinia.
Conferences he developed include the World Diamond Conference, Africa Downunder, Australian Nickel Conference, South Australian Resources & Investment Conference and Paydirt’s Gold Conference.
He won several journalism awards including the inaugural Association of Mining & Exploration Companies media award, later was a judge for that award and was honored by the NZ Branch of the Australasian Institute of Mining & Metallurgy for his contribution to the NZ Minerals Conference.
He began his working life as a junior at WA Newspapers in Perth, then joined the Whyalla News, followed by five years with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in Port Pirie, South Australia and in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia. On joining the Perth Daily News he helped re-develop political, industrial rounds and produced a weekly mining column, helped by spending two vacations working on a gold and a nickel mine in the Kalgoorlie-Coolgardie region. After that he freelanced and then joined the Maxwell Newton group and ran The Australian Miner newspaper in Sydney, and then started up the National Miner newspaper for iron ore magnate Lang Hancock.