Maureen Muggeridge

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Maureen Muggeridge (13 August 1948 – 7 October 2010) was a niece of Malcolm Muggeridge but made her name in a very different field. After graduating in Geology from the University of St Andrews, she made her own way to Perth, Western Australia, with support from her family. Within a week she got a job with a mining company called Tanganyika Holdings and was flying over the Outback searching for diamonds. Tanganyika Holdings was involved in a joint venture with other companies.

In 1976 minerals were found which suggested the presence of diamonds. A joint venture was set up with CRA Exploration which they called the Ashton Joint Venture.[1] This was masterminded by Rees Towie, managing director of Northern Mining. In 1979, Maureen married Towie's son John, she became pregnant and she discovered diamond samples in the flood plains surrounding Smoke Creek, a small stream in East Kimberley that drained into Lake Argyle.[1] At the time word had got out that there might be diamonds and rival exploration teams were in the area. To put them off the scent, CRA put it about that Maureen had gone on maternity leave while in fact she was tracing the source of the diamonds to the headwaters of Smoke Creek and pegging out the boundaries of her claim.[1] This turned out to be the world's largest known diamond deposit, larger than all the rest put together. Today these diamonds are among the world's rarest gems and the mine produces one third of global output.[1]

Maureen Muggeridge received international recognition for papers on the applications of explosion-sampling techniques. She directed exploration for Moonstone Diamond Corporation in Perth and then set up her own Paramount Mining Corporation. It was floated on the Australian Stock Exchange in 2004.

She died of a stroke while sampling for diamonds at Napier Downs, in a remote part of Western Australia.


  1. ^ a b c d "Geologist left no stone unturned in quest for glittering prize". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. 26 November 2010. Retrieved 14 July 2011.