Thomas Collingwood Kitto, a British-born mining engineer, was the son of John Middleton Kitto of Redruth, Cornwall. He, two brothers and a sister all emigrated to Australia, Thomas doing so probably during the eighteen-sixties. He and his brother Robert Kent Kitto both settled in the Moonta Mines and Yelta Mines region of Western Australia.
During the late eighteen-seventies Kitto was in South Africa to inspect some mines and mineral deposits for the government of the Cape of Good Hope. In 1878 he wrote his Report by T.C. Kitto of his examination of parts of the George, Knysna, and Oudtshoorn districts for traces of gold, which was published as Government Notice No. 1119, 1878, and republished as Government Notice No. 937, 1884. He was then commissioned by the administrator of Griqualand West, Colonel Charles Warren, to report on the diamand diggings of that territory. His survey led to four reports that were published in the Griqualand West Government Gazette, and reprinted as The diamond mines of Griqualand West. Reports on the river diggings, Kimberley, Dutoitspan, Bultfontein, and old De Beer's mines, with remarks on diamond mining generally... (Kimberley, 1879). Some of his reports, with others by J.B. Finlayson and F.W. North*, were later reprinted in Reports on the diamond mines of the Cape Colony (London, 1885). In 1880 Kitto was examining mineral deposits in the South African Republic (Transvaal) and in December that year reported on the gold diggings at Blaauwbank, on the Crocodile River near Hekpoort, and the arrangements made for re-opening them.
In 1896 Kitto was consulting engineer, with an office in London, to Hannan's Consolidated Gold Mines, which was developing a mining property in the Kalgoorlie District in Western Australia.