Contaminant management in mining utilising environmental chemistry and toxicology

Barry’s research focus is on contaminant pathways and processes of chemical forms of metals and metalloids in mine wastes using Synchrotron X-ray techniques, bioaccessibility and bioavailability of metals and metalloids and risk assessment of human and environmental toxicological effects from mine wastes, management of cyanide in gold mining and investigations of specific chemical applications. Much of Barry’s work covers issues for human health and the environment associated with current and post mining landscapes and offsite impacts.

Barry holds a PhD in environmental chemistry from the University of Tasmania (1978). He worked as a Research Fellow at the Australian National University and as Principal Environmental Chemist for the Department of Mines and Energy, Darwin. From 1998 to 2006 Barry was Deputy Director of the National Research Centre for Environmental Toxicology (Entox) at The University of Queensland. Since 2006 Barry has been Principal Research Fellow at the Centre for Mined Land Rehabilitation, The University of Queensland.

Barry has presented >400 conference papers and published >200 refereed papers, is Fellow, Royal Australian Chemical Institute, Fellow, Royal Society of Chemistry, Fellow Federation of Asian Chemical Societies, Fellow International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry. Barry received (2003) the Medal for Contribution to Development of Science and Technology in Vietnam from VUSTA and was awarded the Environment Medal Royal Australian Chemical Institute (2006).

Industry Engagement

Barry has engaged with Glencore-Mt Isa Mines, Perilya Broken Hill, Glencore-Oceanic Coal, Peabody-Metropolitan Coal, Duralie Coal, Ashton Coal, Carpentaria Gold, Newmont Asia Pacific, Petromin PNG Holdings and Gympie Gold.

Barry’s submission in 2005 was incorporated into International Cyanide Management Code and in 2007 appointed Principal Author of the Australian Government Sustainable Leading Practice Development Program for the Mining Industry Handbook on Cyanide Management. Barry is a National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) Assessor and appointed as NATA Technical Expert (Environmental Testing) of the Chemical Accreditation Advisory Committee 2014-2019.


  • Prof Jack Ng on quantitative risk-based criteria for mining wastes and mined land using measurement of absolute bioavailability.
  • Prof Hugh Harris on synchrotron studies on metals in mine waste.
  • Dr Tatiana Komarova Qld Health Scientific Services on environmental studies of trace contaminants.
  • Assoc Prof Chuleemas Boonthai-Iwai Khon Kaen University, Thailand on ecotoxicology of tropical species.


Barry has received funding from Glencore-Mt Isa Mines Ltd, Newmont Mining Asia Pacific, ARC Large Equipment, ARC Linkage, Australian Synchrotron and International Synchrotron Access Program.