Minett E. Frames, mining engineer, was the son of William Minett Frames and his wife Elizabeth Cecilia, born Titterton. One of his brothers was Percival Ross Frames*, solicitor and political agent for Cecil John Rhodes and De Beers Company. Minett was married three times: To Henrietta Ruth Loxton (died 1905), Eleanora Jane Loxton (died 1906), and Annie Maria O'Reilly, who survived him. However, he had no children.
In March 1896 he was working in Johannesburg and made his first contribution to the activities of the Geological Society of South Africa, of which he became a member in 1897, by delivering comments (published in the society's Transactions, Vol. 2, pp.26-28) on an important paper by David Draper dealing with the westward extension of the Main Reef. He stated that he "did not profess to be profoundly learned in the science of geology", but had 18 months experience in geological surveying in the relevant area of the Witwatersrand. In July 1896 he read "A few observations on the Potchefstroom and Klerksdorp districts" (Transactions, Vol. 2, pp. 87-90), stating that his knowledge of the geology of the area was based on three months residence and several visits. This was followed by a second paper in December, "Notes on the coal fields of the Transvaal" (Transactions, Vol. 2, pp. 150-155), in which he compared the age of local coal (Triassic) to that of the coal measures of Europe (Carboniferous). He was elected a member of the society's council for 1897, participated in the discussion of several papers during 1898 and 1899, and in the latter year read a paper on "Sub-Karoo coal" (Transactions, 1899, Vol. 5, p. 63). As co-author with David Draper he contributed to a publication on The diamond. A pamphlet describing the most reliable indications and the principal minerals associated with the diamond in South Africa..., which was published in Johnnesburg in 1898. He was again involved in geology on the Witwatersrand in 1904 (after the Anglo-Boer War of 1899-1902), when he participated in the discussion of a paper by F.H. Hatch* on the geology of the Bezuidenhout Valley, near Johannesburg.
In 1899 Frames was elected a Fellow of the Geological Society of London. He was still a member of the Geological Society of South Africa in 1919, residing in Johannesburg. From 1903 to at least 1910 he was also a member of the South African Association for the Advancement of Science.
Frames's other interest was archaeology. In 1898 he published a paper, "On some stone implements found in a cave in Griqualand East, Cape Colony", in the Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute (Vol. 28, pp. 251-257). It contained a description of rock paintings and stone artefacts from a rock shelter in the Drakensberg on the Natal-Griqualand East border. He also collected stone artefacts near Pretoria. Both collections were donated to the British Museum (Natural History) in November 1899.
In January 1907 Frames was in England, where he and G.W. Lamplugh* exhibited a collection of fossils from around Mombasa, Kenya, before the Geological Society of London. Just before his death he was on an expedition in Angola for the South West Africa Company. His health was poor for some time and he died of pneumonia before his contract expired.