Henry A. White, assayer and metallurgist, received his scientific training at the Gloucester Technical Institute in England. He came to South Africa in or before 1897 and settled on the Witwatersrand. After serving in the Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902) he became associated with the gold mining industry and was concerned with the metallurgy of gold extraction for the rest of his career. In 1905 he was an assayer at the May Consolidated Gold Mining Company in Germiston.
White became a member of the Chemical and Metallurgical Society of South Africa (from 1902 the Chemical, Metallurgical and Mining Society of South Africa) in 1897. He published two early papers in the society's Journal, namely "The theory of the tube mill" (1904/5, Vol. 5) and "The solubility of gold in thiosulphates and thiocyanates" (1905/6, Vol. 6). The latter paper was read also at the joint meeting of the British and South African Associations for the Advancement of Science in 1905 and was included in the Addresses and papers... (Vol. 1, pp. 211-215) published after the meeting. Other early publications by him included "The development of gold extraction methods on the Witwatersrand" (Report of the South African Association for the Advancement of Science, 1910, pp. 96-103); and a contribution to A textbook of Rand metallurgical practice (London, 1912) by R.S.G. Stokes and others. Some of his later papers read before the Chemical, Metallurgical and Mining Society of South Africa contained important contributions to metallurgy, resulting in his being awarded the society's gold medal for research in 1921. He was a member of its council from 1906 until just before his death, served as joint vice-president for several years, and as president for 1925/6. He was elected an honorary life member of the society in 1934.
White became a member or the South African Association for the Advancement of Science in 1910. He took an active part in the training of students at the University of the Witwatersrand, which awarded him an honorary Doctor of Science (DSc) degree in 1930. In January 1943 he was elected an honorary member of the British Society of Chemical Industry. He resided on the Witwatersrand during his entire career in South Africa and was survived by his wife, Minnie Goodwin, and four children.