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Exploration Geochemist Russell Birrell Joins SRK Exploration

Russell has 40 years’ global experience in multi-commodity mineral exploration and research and development, with a specialised focus in geochemical exploration technology .CARDIFF, UNITED KINGDOM and BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA – SEPTEMBER 11, 2019 - SRK Exploration is pleased to announce the appointment of Russell Birrell as an Associate Principal Exploration Geochemist. Russell has 40 years’ global experience in multi-commodity mineral exploration and research and development, with a specialised focus in geochemical exploration technology in Europe, Africa, the Americas and Australia.

“We are very excited to have Russell working with us”, said SRK Exploration’s Managing Director, James Gilbertson. “Russell has consistently pushed the boundaries of technology, particularly the understanding and application of exploration geochemical methods and protocols.  As a co-developer of Mobile Metal Ion (MMI) geochemistry he has continued to push the limits of ionic geochemistry technology for surface exploration. Most recently this has involved developing and utilising the latest technical innovations in ICP-MP instrumentation in Europe to recognise lithochemical halos surrounding large mineralized systems.  Russell brings vast experience in the practical applications of this exploration technology in diverse environments across the globe. This experience will greatly benefit SRK and our clients and fits well with SRK’s use of the latest techniques in exploration geophysics and data analysis”.  

Russell’s experience combines the practical execution of geochemical programmes of up to +500,000 samples for a single client, coupled with an extensive research and development background, leading to positive outcomes for many projects. Russell’s recent success includes the discovery of numerous Cu-Mo porphyries in South America; blind gold deposits (to +300m depth) in Australia, North America and across Africa; and definition of a major gold deposit in the Middle East.”

Russell has been based near Brisbane, Australia and Seville, Spain since 2016 consulting to exploration and mining companies predominantly in Europe and Africa.  Before this he worked as head of exploration for numerous companies, his most recent roles being Director of Precious and Base Metals for Ma’aden, Saudi Arabia and Exploration Manager and Chief Geologist for both Ausgold Limited and Redbank Copper Ltd, Australia.  Russell has also carried out research as a Director of the Geochemistry Research Centre and for the CSIRO, Division of Exploration, both based in Western Australia; and was the founding Managing Director of Geochemex Australia, the consultancy firm which discovered a number of gold and base metal deposits.

Russell holds a Diploma of Applied Geology from the Bendigo School of Mines, an Honours degree in Geochemistry from the University of WA., and a Graduate Diploma in Secondary Education.

“I’m looking forward to being a member of the SRK Exploration team and adding to the continued development of SRK’s multi-disciplinary exploration capacity,” says Russell. “New advances in geochemistry are now enabling us to recognise not only commodity-element anomalies over previously undetected buried mineralisation, but also the multi-element patterns revealed at surface that define halos surrounding large systems.  It is a thrilling time for geochemistry and to be able to expand this diverse service offering to SRK’s international network is an exciting challenge.”


SRK Exploration provides a wide range of independent field and technical consulting services to the mineral exploration sector. Being part of the international SRK Group allows us to provide seamless collaboration on clients’ projects as they advance through exploration to resource estimation and beyond.

Established in 1974, SRK now employs more than 1,400 professionals internationally in over 45 offices on 6 continents. Please see for more information.

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