To study ways and means of encouraging economic industrial development particularly in respect to the mineral industry - France, USA, Canada, UK, Italy

At the time of his Fellowship Ralph Pickering was Director of Research Electrolytic Zinc Co. Hobart.



On his return from the USA, Canada, France and Italy Dr Pickering felt convinced that what is being done in Australia was ‘pretty good’.
In 1974 Dr Pickering, together with Mr C.J. Haigh received a Prince Philip Prize for Australian Design in the operational systems category for their work in jarosite processing. The Prince Philip Prize awards were then considered Australia’s premier industrial design honours.
In 1977 Dr Pickering and the EZ Marketing Manager (minerals and technical) Mr A.R. Gordon won the Extractive Metallurgy Technology Award offered by the American Institute of Mining and Metallurgical Engineers. Their paper entitled ‘Improved Leaching Technologies in the Electrolytic Zinc Industry’ explained the origins and developments of the jarosite process which makes it possible to recover the zinc contained in zinc ferrite that was previously lost and discarded in residues.


Dr Pickering, as a co-inventor of the patented EZ process said in 1977 that it was “a process taken up by most major plants in the world” and described as one of the major advances in zinc production in the then last 50 years. Not only did it increase the zinc recovery rate it also improved the yield of lead, silver, copper, cadmium and gold.