About Mike O’Driscoll

Mike O'Driscoll
Mike O'DriscollIndustrial Minerals Consultant & Writer
After serving 26 years at Industrial Minerals (IM) magazine – 17 years as Editor – Mike left IM in July 2014 to pursue an independent career in the industrial minerals business.

In January 2015, he co-founded and launched, with Ismene Clarke, former Head of Sales, Industrial Minerals, IMFORMED Industrial Mineral Forums & Research Ltd – the new source of networking events and market research expertise for the global industrial minerals business.


International Trade in Industrial Minerals

by Mike O'Driscoll in Industrial Minerals & Rocks, SME 2006


A selection of upcoming and past presentations by Mike O’Driscoll


A selection of articles published by Mike O’Driscoll


A selection of recently researched and completed private and multiclient report topics by Mike O’Driscoll

Hardinge Award

Mike with Ihor Kunasz, leading authority on lithium brine deposits, former VP of Foote Mineral, and 1998 recipient of the Hal Williams Hardinge Award, after presentation of the award to Mike at the SME Annual Meeting, Denver, 2011. Founded in 1958, the award recognises outstanding achievement which has benefited the field of industrial minerals. Mike is the fourth British recipient of the award, and its first as a serving editor of an industry publication.

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Mike O’Driscoll is an independent consultant and freelance writer with over 26 years experience in the international mining and minerals industry, specialising in industrial minerals and markets.

Mike is Director of IMFORMED Industrial Mineral Forums & Research Ltd – the new source of networking events and market research expertise for the global industrial minerals business. IMFORMED was launched in January 2015, and co-founded with Ismene Clarke, former Head of Sales, Industrial Minerals.

Most recent work has focused on oilfield minerals and particularly ceramic proppants and frac sand. Other specialist areas include mineral supply and demand in refractories, foundry, new energy, and filler markets.

He was Editor of Industrial Minerals (IM) magazine for almost 17 years, latterly Global Head of Research at IM, and holds an MSc in Mining Geology from the Camborne School of Mines.

In 2011, he was recipient of the Hal Williams Hardinge Award, from the Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration (SME), for services to the industry as Editor of IM. Founded in 1958, the award recognises outstanding achievement which has benefited the field of industrial minerals and aggregates.

Mike has extensively researched, written, and devised editorial, event, and research report concepts on all aspects of the industrial minerals mine to market supply chain. He has visited a wide range of mineral supply and end user operations worldwide, meeting senior executives from all key sectors, and has regularly organised, chaired, and presented at many industry conferences.

He was Associate Editor and contributing author to the 7th edition of Industrial Minerals & Rocks, published by the SME in 2006.

He is a member of the SME, the Society of Petroleum Engineers, and the Association of Mining Analysts, and is interviewed by mainstream media as an expert on industrial minerals.

Director, IMFORMED Industrial Mineral Forums & Research Ltd
January 2015-Present
Responsible for editorial, programming, business development, research and consultancy. IMFORMED is the new platform for networking opportunities and market research expertise for the global industrial minerals business.

Independent Industrial Minerals & Markets Consultant and Freelance Writer
July 2014 – Present
Consulting, research, presenting, and freelance writing covering all aspects of the international industrial minerals business.

  • Specialist interests in oilfield, proppant, new energy, refractory, foundry, and filler minerals and markets.

Global Head of Research, Consultant Editor, Industrial Minerals
April 2012 – July 2014
Devising, developing, writing, editing, and managing production of premium bespoke and multi client research reports and publications, including:

  • China’s Proppants Market Report
  • Natural Graphite Report
  • Oilfield Minerals Wall Chart
  • Refractory Minerals Wall Chart

Specialist editorial contributions to IM.
Overseeing, supporting, and mentoring IM Editorial Dept.
Devising, developing, marketing, and organising the IM Roundtables series:

  • Moving Minerals
  • Oilfield Minerals Outlook
  • Oilfield Minerals Outlook: Middle East
  • Oilfield Minerals Outlook: Proppant Prospects for Europe
  • China’s Industrial Minerals & Markets

Chairing and presenting at external industry events, including:

  • Refractory Raw Materials Symposium, 55th International Colloquium on Refractories, Aachen, 2012

Interviews, including:

  • “Proppant goes to extremes”, by Stephen Rassenfoss, JPT Emerging Technology Senior Editor Journal of Petroleum Technology, December 2013
  • “Mining firms stockpiling sand until price goes up”, by Kate Prengaman, Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism, Tomah Journal, 31 December 2012

Editor, Industrial Minerals
August 1995 – April 2012
Overall management and supervision of the IM editorial team and IM business; in particular, in producing IM monthly magazine, daily online news and features, associated supplements and projects, organising and chairing IM conferences, and steering website development.
Researching, investigating, writing, news and in-depth articles
Editor of IM/MBR Global Lithium Market Outlook Report
Magazine re-design and launch
Devising, launching, writing, and editing a series of ancillary IM publications, including:

  • Mineral PriceWatch
  • North American Minerals News
  • Industrial Minerals Directory
  • Industrial Mineral Traders Directory
  • World Refractories Directory
  • Chinese Industrial Minerals Directory
  • Raw Materials for the Refractories Industry
  • Fused Minerals
  • Industrial Minerals of the Far East
  • Trading in Industrial Minerals – an IM Special Review

Devising, organising, and chairing IM conferences, including:

  • MagMin
  • Chinese Industrial Minerals Conference
  • Fluorspar
  • Industrial Minerals International Congress
  • Bauxite & Alumina International Seminar
  • Chromite
  • Lithium Supply & Markets
  • Euromin
  • North American Annual Industrial Minerals Meeting
  • Special Meeting: China Chamber of Commerce & UK Minerals Industry
  • Industrial Minerals Annual Forum & Dinner

Chairing external industry events, including:

  • Silica Arabia 2012, Jeddah, 2012
  • Investment Opportunities in Saudi Industrial Minerals Workshop, Jeddah, 2009
  • IMA-Europe Conference, Strasbourg, 2006
  • SME Short Course on Industrial Minerals Due Diligence, Denver, 1999

Presenting at external industry/corporate events, including:

  • Critical Mineral Resources: Challenges & Opportunities, SME Annual Meeting, Seattle, 2012
  • Silica Arabia 2012, Jeddah, 2012
  • Refractory Raw Materials Symposium, 55th International Colloquium on Refractories, Aachen, 2012
  • Robert Bates Symposium: Other Strategic Mineral Changes, SME Annual Meeting, Denver, 2011
  • Cofermin Agents Meeting, Essen, 2011
  • Magnesita Global Summit, Contagem, 2011
  • Industrial Minerals & Alternative Energy, SME Annual Meeting, Phoenix, 2010
  • 4th China Liaoning International Magnesia Materials Exposition, Shenyang, 2010
  • Impact of China on industrial minerals, SME Annual Meeting , Denver, 2009
  • Investment Opportunities in Saudi Industrial Minerals, Jeddah, 2009
  • 3rd China Liaoning International Magnesia Materials Exposition, Shenyang, 2008
  • Future Trends in Industrial Minerals, SME Annual Meeting, Denver, 2007
  • Geology & Markets for Value-Added Carbonate Minerals, SME Dreyer Conference
    Atlanta, 2006
  • Tehran International Conference on Refractories, Tehran, 2004
  • IMA-Europe 10th Anniversary Conference, Brussels, 2004
  • 4th International Symposium on Refractories, Dalian, 2003
  • China’s Refractories Seminar 2001- Technology & Markets, Beijing, 2001
  • International Chromium Development Association Meeting, Paris, 1998
  • 2nd Caribbean Industrial Minerals Workshop, Jamaica, 1995

Interviews, including:

  • “Cost of metals used in hi-tech devices soars as China limits supplies”, by Tom Bawden, The Observer, 19 June 2011
  • “Rare earth market”, Adam Shaw business segment, BBC Radio 4 Today Programme, 23 May 2011
  • “Special Interview on Minerals”, CCTV, September 2001, Qingdao, China

Industry Award

  • Recipient of the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers’ (AIME) 2011 Hal Williams Hardinge Award for services to the industry as Editor of IM. Presented by the Industrial Minerals and Aggregates Division of the internationally respected Society of Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration (SME).
    The citation reads:
    “In recognition of Mr. O’Driscoll’s efforts as editor of Industrial Minerals in supporting technical information exchange and the dissemination of technical and commercial information on industrial minerals throughout the world, and particularly his leadership in the exchange of information with the Chinese IM sector.”
    The Hal Williams Hardinge Award, established in 1958 and funded by the AIME, recognises outstanding achievement which has benefited the field of industrial minerals and aggregates.

Other publications, including:

  • Associate Editor and Contributing Author (Chapter 4: Internatonal Trade in Industrial Minerals) to Industrial Minerals & Rocks, 7th Edition published by the SME, 2006

Deputy Editor, Industrial Minerals
August 1991 – August 1995
Supervising IM magazine production in Editor’s absence; organise/chair events; research,
investigate, write news/reports.
Presenting at external industry conferences, including:

  • Institute of Refractory Engineers Annual Conference, Sheffield, 1994
  • Industrial Minerals ’92: Opportunities & Trends, São Lourenço, Brazil, 1992

Senior Analyst, Leeds Mineral Services Group
January 1991 – September 1991
As part of an independent consultancy group for the minerals industry, researching and writing confidential reports on a range of topics across the industrial minerals industry to customers’ specifications.

Associate American Editor (New York), Industrial Minerals
July 1988 – July 1990
Anchoring New York office desk for IM; responsible for coverage of Americas for industrial minerals
supply/demand news; research, investigate, write news/reports; attend and chair events.

Assistant Editor, Industrial Minerals
January 1987 – June 1988
Research, investigate, write news/features on industrial minerals; attend events

Editorial Assistant, Institute of Metals (now IOM3)
May 1984 – June 1985
Correcting and proof reading paper abstracts covering the mining and metallurgical industries for publication in IoM periodicals.

Camborne School of Mines
MSc, Mining Geology, 1985 – 1986
Thesis: Study of carbonate hosted hydrothermal gold mineralisation, Abitibi Greenstone Belt, north-west Quebec.

Dept. of Crystallography, Birkbeck College, University of London
Short Course in Scanning and Transmission Electron Microscopy, 1984

St Paul & St Mary’s College, Cheltenham (now Univ. of Glos.)
BSc, Geography & Geology, 1980 – 1983
Thesis: A geological field mapping exercise in the Sannox area, Arran, Scotland.

  • Communicating
  • Writing
  • Rugby
  • Travel
  • History
  • Guitar
  • Cooking
Peter Harben, Independent Consultant on Mineral Markets, Peter W Harben Inc., USA, former American Editor, Industrial Minerals
Mike’s work with Industrial Minerals has made him a household name in the industry. Over the years he has developed an unparalleled breadth of knowledge and a wealth international contacts. He pioneered IM’s reporting on China and continues to cover this and other global markets through his writing, editing, and conference participation. Receiving SME’s Hal Hardinge Award in 2011 was a fitting accolade for a job well done.

Richard Flook, Consultant, former Managing Director, Shinagawa Refractories Australasia Pty Limited, Australia
Mike is the most recognised face of industrial minerals in the world. As editor of IM Magazine he has been a leading public advocate of industry issues as well as a leader in the expansion and globalisation of the industry into developing regions particularly China and the Middle East. Mike’s generous nature and excellent communication skills have enabled him to form strong personal relationships throughout an industry that is very geographically, technically and culturally diverse.

Ray Will, Director, Chemical Industry Consulting, IHS, USA
Mike is an energetic, thoughtful and charismatic leader. I have enjoyed presenting at his conferences.

Gerry Clarke, former Editor, Industrial Minerals, and Director, Metal Bulletin
His achievement in leading and developing Industrial Minerals magazine and insightful conference programming is outstanding and I know recognised globally across the IM spectrum.

Mian Habib, Technical Advisor, Industrial Minerals, Saudi Geological Survey (SGS), Jeddah, Saudi
I knew Mike since 1998 when he organised the Industrial Mineral Congress, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. After that we met from time to time during various congresses and workshops. Mike has presented papers during industrial minerals workshops organised by the Saudi Geological Survey. Mike has sound knowledge and a good background of industrial minerals markets, applications and recent advances in industrial minerals processing. He maintained the high standard of Industrial Minerals magazine.

Murray Lines, Managing Director, Stratum Resources Ltd, Australia
Having known Mike well for many years and read his editorials and articles in Industrial Minerals magazine and related publications he is at the forefront of information in the minerals field. He has run numerous technical forums and is a superb chairman. He is personable and reliable.

Bob Freas, Minerals Consultant; former Vice President Corporate Development, Franklin Industrial Minerals, USA
Mike is an extremely knowledgeable and very professional individual. He works from a basis of solid knowledge and experience and can be relied upon for his professional and technical input.

Charlie Landis, Technical Director, Industrial Drilling Products, Halliburton Energy Services Inc.
Industrial minerals nourish civilisation and without the commitment from Mike over the years to lead a world class publication, to faithfully organise and chair perhaps the most impressive high level natural resource conference, and to bring industry leaders together with these venues is easily one of the highest achievements in our industry. Mike was global when the rest of the industry was looking for Christopher Columbus, bringing the industry together since the 1980s. Mike became the connective tissue well before digital media facilitated any efforts to do so. Thanks to Mike, the global industrial minerals industry had a beachhead in China before the oil and gas industry, before the precious metals industry, and before the coal industry. If you stroll the aisles of most professional trade shows in the minerals business, you will be lucky to find publications of the quality in content and style as the Industrial Minerals monthly magazine. Mike led that effort as editor for the organisation. And you don’t carry an effort like that for decades with smoke and mirrors. Mike has long ago documented his versatility and expertise across the full range of minerals, markets and regions to such a degree that outsizes the efforts of his peers in possession of greater resources.