Ron’s long career has taken him to a number of major world events such as the fall of the Berlin Wall, the collapse of the former Soviet Union and the Hong Kong handover.
Mining is in Ron’s blood. His grandfather WG Manners, the son of a Ballarat prospector, “headed to the west” in 1895 to set up a mining engineering business in Kalgoorlie. WG Manners & Co originally designed and built mining plants and has today evolved to be known as Mannwest Group, headed by Ron.
He started out as an electrical engineer, training at the Kalgoorlie School of Mines, and took over the family business from his father C. B. Manners in 1955. Croesus Mining was founded by Ron in 1986 and during his time with the company it produced 1.275 million ounces of gold and paid 11 dividends. Between 1972 and 1995 Ron floated several Australian listed mining companies, before joining the board of a Canadian company with operations in Mexico, Brazil and Turkey.
The mining industry has seen many changes in the past 126 years. Mannwest Group has been an enthusiastic participant in the introduction of new technologies during the growth and “booms and busts” of commodity prices. Ron has weathered these changes with humility, enthusiasm and good humour.
Ron is a Fellow of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (FAusIMM), and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (FAICD). In 2005 he was elected as a “Mining Legend” at the Excellence in Mining & Exploration Conference, and in 2010 was appointed to the Advisory Council for the Atlas Economic Research Foundation in Washington DC. In 2011 Ron was inducted into the Australian Prospectors and Miners Hall of Fame as a “Living Legend.” He is an active member and on the co-ordinating committee for the Commonwealth Study Conference.
As a proponent of the free market model, Ron set up Mannkal Economic Education Foundation in 1997, a think-tank that has sponsored over 2500 students to study opportunities in both Australia and overseas.
In May 2020, Ron was made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for his “distinguished service to the minerals and mining sectors, and to youth through philanthropic support for educational initiatives.”
In August 2020 Ron was appointed to the board of the Mont Pelerin Society, an international economics-based group founded by F.A. Hayek, Milton Friedman and others in 1947.
In November 2020 Ron was presented with the Sir Antony Fisher Achievement Award by the Atlas Network and was honoured to be nominated for the 2021 WA Senior Australian of the Year Award. The below short video showcases the Mannkal Economic Education Foundation and Ron’s achievements (00:43).
Ron is the author of seven books – So I Headed West, Kanowna’s Barrowman, Never a Dull Moment, Heroic Misadventures, Poems of Passion, The Lonely Libertarian and Mannerisms (1985-2020) – as well as numerous papers and addresses, many of which can be found at mannwest.com
A tribute to Ron by Mannkal’s Executive Director Andrew Pickford can be read here.
Who wants peace?
Peace is what we get at last
when all else fails —
lying there in that wooden box
when they’ve hammered in the nails.
but you can have peace
any time you like —
cycling by the river
you alone on your bike.
No! We seek something more,
there’s something we really crave
and it’s probably been that way
since men — women sheltered in the cave.
So what we really seek is harmony,
entirely different from peace
and when we make this great discovery
life’s wonders, never cease.
– Ron Manners
In journalism, there has always been a tension between getting it first and getting it right.Ellen Goodman