This book contains a collection of 32 short stories by 26 geologists and a mining engineer who have given some, and often much, of their professional careers in the endeavour to find and help develop economic mineral deposits in lands remote from Australia. The stories are not technically oriented, and the standard of the prose is variable. The general theme is the adventures, frustrations, inevitable dangers, and different cultural challenges which have been experienced. Sometimes we overcame these challenges, and sometimes vice versa.
It may lead the general reader to an appreciation of what is required at the personal level to find the minerals which are the basis of the consumer goods on which we all rely these days to a huge extent. Collectively, they may answer the questions I asked myself in Siberia in 1993, as described by my story in the book: “What the hell am I doing here, and why?”
The collection has been grouped by geographic region, then by time sequence. Readers will be exposed to wild animals and wild people; shady, generous, and lucky individuals; dodgy jurisdictions, revolutions, and war; dangerous, frustrating, and challenging situations; harsh to idyllic work surroundings; and more. We hope you will enjoy doing so and, through it, gain an appreciation of what we do, where, how and why as we go about earning a living and trying to find the mineral deposits the world needs.