Douglas Kirwan

Portrait of Douglas Kirwan

2015 College Recipient, College of Science and Engineering

Mr Douglas Kirwin works as an independent mining and geological consultant in Thailand, after forging a successful, global mining career for the past 45 years.

Born in Queensland, Mr Kirwin is a mineral exploration geologist and has worked in various senior management roles in international companies.

Mr Kirwin has been appointed to many roles in his career, including Executive Vice President of Ivanhoe Mines, covering Mongolia, China, Bulgaria and South Korea, as well as working as Executive Vice President for the company in Australia, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines and Myanmar.

In 1995 he accepted a role as Vice President, exploration for Indochina Goldfields, and later became a director of South Gobi Energy, Jinshan Gold.

He was also the founder and a consultant for International Geological Services, a Senior Geologist for AMAX Incorporated, and Geologist for Anglo American, Fiji, as well as working for Metals Ex Limited across various countries.

He is renowned for finding deposits in new areas or close to existing deposits, among which the discovery of the super giant Oyu Tolgoi deposit in Mongolia earned him the prestigious Thayer Lindsley Award in Canada in 2004.

Some of Mr Kirwin’s discoveries or significant resources expansions include a base metals mine in Jalisco, Mexico, Gasado in South Korea, the Jelai River in Indonesia, the Moditaung Deposit in Myanmar and Swan Hill in Australia.

In 2006 Mr Kirwin was named the International Exchange Lecturer for the Society of Economic Geologists and served as the Society’s Vice President from 2007 to 2019.

Mr Kirwin has also served as an Industry Advisor for the Society for Geology Applied to Mineral Deposits, has been awarded an Honorary Professorship at the Mongolian University of Geology, was an Industry Advisor for China Mining, an Industry Ambassador for the Queensland Mines Department, and has held several other roles on boards, committees and advisory panels.

Today, Mr Kirwin helps design and organise research projects in collaboration with the minerals industry.  He co-supervises PhD Students and promotes James Cook University’s Economic Geology Research Centre and promotes JCU generally among mineral companies across the world. Douglas Kirwin graduated from James Cook University in 1992 with a Master of Science degree in mineral exploration.

Updated April 2023