S2A3 Biographical Database of Southern African Science

Alexander, Mr Fraser Frederick (metallurgy)

Born: February 1865, St Helena, United Kingdom.
Died: 13 January 1943, Benoni, South Africa.

Fraser F. Alexander, metallurgist and mining contractor, came to South Africa with his parents in the eighteen-seventies and grew up on the Kimberley diamond fields. In 1886, at the age of 21, he moved to the Witwatersrand where he introduced several mining innovations, including a technique for building slimes dams that became the industry standard for half a century. He became a member of the Chemical and Metallurgical Society of South Africa in 1897 and remained a member when it was renamed the Chemical, Metallurgical and Mining Society of South Africa after the Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902). He served on the society's council from 1904 to 1906 and again for the year 1907/8, and presented two papers before its members. The first, "Notes on the common practice of quartz milling on the Rand", was published in the Proceedings (1902-1903, Vol. 3, pp. 298-346). The second, "The treatment of black sands", was published in the society's Journal (1909-1910, Vol. 10, pp. 174-).

In 1905 Alexander held the position of metallurgist and cyanide manager at Ferreira Deep, Ltd., Johannesburg. In 1912 he and his cousin Fred established the firm Fraser F. Alexander and Company (Pty) Ltd to provide a tailings disposal service to the Witwatersrand gold-mining industry. His first wife, Mary Gooch, died in 1936. He was survived by his second wife, Emily E. Doveton, and three children.

List of sources:
Chemical and Metallurgical Society of South Africa. Proceedings, 1897-1899, Vol. 2, list of members.

Chemical, Metallurgical and Mining Society of South Africa. Proceedings, 1902-1903, Vol. 3; Journal, 1905-1910, Vol. 5, 6, 8 and 10.

National Archives Repository, Pretoria (TAB). Source MHG, Ref. 1002/43: Estate papers, Fraser Frederick Alexander.

National Automated Archival Information Retrieval System (NAAIRS). http://www.national.archives.gov.za/naairs.htm Documents relating to Alexander, Fraser Frederick/Alexander, Fraser F.


Compiled by: C. Plug