John Michael Higgins (metallurgist)

John Michael Higgins (Metallurgist)

John Michael Higgins (metallurgist)

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Sir John Michael Higgins GCMG (9 December 1862 – 6 October 1937) was an Australian businessman and metallurgist, and was founder the Australian Metal Exchange.

Early life

Higgins was born at Eureka Reef, Castlemaine, Victoria, the son of Enedor Stephens Higgins and his wife Elizabeth Jane, née Stephens, both Cornish. Higgins was educated at Rae's School, Sandhurst (now Bendigo) and at Bendigo High School. Afterwards he studied metallurgy and chemistry at the Bendigo School of Mines. Higgins was indentured to Mr. Garside, a chemist at Bendigo, and afterwards had a pharmacy business of his own, which he sold to become an analyst in a New South Wales mine. He later became metallurgical chemist to the Australian Smelting Company at Dry Creek, South Australia, and when these works closed down, practised as a consulting metallurgist. Higgins also acquired interests in the wool industry and had land in Queensland and New South Wales. This led to his making a study of wool and he became an expert in its technology.


With the outbreak of World War I in 1914, Higgins placed his knowledge at the disposal of the Federal Government, and was appointed honorary metallurgical adviser. Higgins represented the Federal Government on the Zinc Producers' Association and on the Copper Producers' Association, and also founded the Australian Metal Exchange. After the Imperial government bought the Australian wool clip in 1916, Higgins became Chairman and Governing Director of the...
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