Sir James Foots dies aged 93

25 Aug, 2010 02:00 AM
Sir James Foots
Sir James Foots

THE man who played an integral role in the development of Mount Isa Mines has died.

Sir James Foots, died on Saturday aged 93 at Caloundra, only months after his wife Lady Thora Foots died.

Late last year the bridge which physically links the city and the mine was named after Sir James.

Sir James Foots played an integral part in the Mount Isa community during his three decades in the city - and from the establishment of Rotary to our famous rodeo - Sir James used his influence in the city to benefit the broader community, not only those working at the mine.

Sir James started from humble beginnings, in the small gold mining town of Jamieson in Southern Victoria in 1916.

He grew up in a two bedroom cottage with 12 other children - which luckily for Sir James, being a people person, it didn't seen to trouble him too much.

Winning a scholarship to study at university, Sir James graduated in mining engineering from Melbourne University in 1937

Never forgetting the positive impact that scholarship and opportunity to study would have on his career, Sir James for many years funded scholarships for students, a philanthropic gesture he continued to this day.

Upon graduation, Sir James immediately followed his profession to Broken Hill, Darwin and Captain's Flat.

He arrived in North West Queensland to take a position as assistant general manager of Mount Isa Mines Ltd.

For the next 30 years he played a central role in the expansion of the MIM group's silver-lead and copper production.

He also led the group into a period of product and geographic diversification with wide spread international mining, processing, marketing, trading interests and investments.

Appointed a director in 1956, in 1966 Sir James took the position of managing director and subsequently, when MIM Holdings was formed in 1970, he was appointed chairman and chief executive officer.

He held these positions until well into the 1980s and only retired as director and deputy chairman in 1987.

Sir James also held positions on the boards of a number of major Australian mining companies.

Always committed to assisting those less fortunate, Sir James has made a long standing commitment to charity work through Rotary International and the Salvation Army.

Sir James was too frail to attend the renaming of the Grace Street bridge but his daughters Professor Pam Dyer and Merilyn Druve said at the time that their father was a humble and compassionate man who was very proud to have had the bridge named in his honour.

His funeral details will be released this week.


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