Mark Sonter: Short Biography for AusIMM Future Mining Conference , 2019

Mark Sonter started his career with 2 years as a high school science teacher (Monaro High School, Cooma, NSW), followed by 6 years as a University Physics lecturer at UPNG in Papua New Guinea (1970-1975), and then 40+years in the Oz mining industry in radiation and safety management.

Mark’s uranium mining safety and occupational hygienist career grew out of his MAppScin Medical Physics from QUT, and Grad Dip in Occ Hazards Management, ultimately resulting in his broad-topic industrial radiation safety. Industrial safety ,and industrial hygienist scope.

Mark was directly responsible for all radiation planning, permitting, and implementation of controls, in two uranium mining projects, WMC’s Olympic Dam and Heath gate (General Atomic’s) Beverley Project. He set up his family consultancy Radiation Advice & Solutions Pty Ltd in 1995 and through it has consulted on many uranium, mineral sands, and rare earths projects in Australia and overseas, plus on NORM management in oil & gas, and several contaminated site cleanups including as an auditor on the Maralinga A-bomb Test Site Cleanup.

Mark has followed the developing literature around space industrialization since the 1970s,incorporated Asteroid Enterprises P/L, gave his first Conference presentation on Asteroid Mining in 1986, and organized a placement as a visiting scholar at University of Arizona Lunar & Planetary Laboratory in 1995. During 1995-97 he wrote a research thesis titled The Technical and Economic Feasibility of Mining the Near-Earth Asteroids, which has become a much-referenced text, and earned a MSc(Honours) through University of Wollongong, NSW

Mark has continued to study and write scholarly articles investigating various aspects of space mining, including detailed discussions of asteroid mining mission project planning. These papers result in his present standing as a subject matter expert in the resources and mining prospects of the Near Earth Asteroids

He was a Co-Founder with Rick Tumlinson and others of Deep Space Industries(2012), later co-founding Beyond Earth Resources Pty Ltd, in 2017, then Asteroid Resource Projects Planning & Services Pty Ltd in 2019.