Nodes and International Research Partners
CODES is based at the University of Tasmania, with satellite facilities, known as ‘nodes’ and ‘international research partners’, at the University of Queensland, University of Melbourne, Australian National University , CSIRO, University of British Columbia, Colorado School of Mines, Imperial College London and the Russian Academy of Sciences.
This structure provides an exceptionally strong mix of skills and facilities by combining the research strengths of the CODES’ UTAS Hub with the diverse range of expertise available through the nodes and international research partners. It also provides a platform for international research projects and it augments the Centre’s access to the latest technology. The collaborative projects include a host of fundamental and applied research projects in various parts of the world.
The nodes strengths include:
- Metallurgy and mineral processing – JKMRC (University of Queensland)
- Structure of ore deposits (Australian National University)
- Isotope geochemistry (University of Melbourne)
- Micro-beam analytical techniques (CSIRO)
Collaborations with the four international research partners involve:
- Joint research projects in mineral deposits, geochronology and geophysics (University of British Columbia)
- Joint research projects with Murray Hitzman and his team (Colorado School of Mines)
- Joint research projects with Jamie Wilkinson and his team (Imperial College London)
- Joint research in igneous petrology and mineral deposits with leading researchers in the Russian Academy of Sciences.
Detail on CODES research collaborations with each node and research partner
Node at the Julius Kruttschnitt Mineral Research Centre at the University of Queensland
This collaboration has brought together two world-class groups to develop an interdisciplinary research program in the emerging field of geometallurgy. This unique collaboration has been highly successful, leading to a major AMIRA International research project supported by 20 companies. Leverage on CODES funds has increased from 1 to 1, when the project was established in 2005, to over 3 to 1; with $1,625,000 per year contributed by industry to match the $500,000 per year of CODES funds.
The collaboration involves a diverse research team of 30, including seven RHD students. The project has grown to become the largest university-based geometallurgy research project in the world, with substantial support from the global minerals industry.
The project is already having a significant impact on industry practice at selected mine sites. Outputs from the project to date include six major reports to industry sponsors, plus a series of in-house workshops on the development and application of geometallurgical research findings to improve mineral recoveries and mine planning, which were delivered to individual mining companies. Four of these workshops, involving over 200 industry geologists and metallurgists, have been presented by CODES over the period April to November 2008. Industry interest and involvement has been at a high level, which has resulted in the development of a new Masters course in Geometallurgy being considered by CODES.
Node at the University of Melbourne
This linkage was established to bring expertise in isotope geochemistry into CODES for application to a range of ore deposit problems in the Location, Formation and Discovery programs. The collaboration involves CI’s Janet Hergt, Jon Woodhead, Roland Maas; CODES postdoc. Chad Paton at the University of Melbourne node; and Leonid Danyushevsky, Sebastian Meffre, Tony Crawford, Ross Large, Trevor Falloon, Zaoshan Chang and CODES postdoc Helen Thomas at the CODES hub at UTAS.
This collaborative research is focussed on developing new techniques for measuring lead and copper isotopes in minerals and applying these isotopes to improve understanding of the source and timing of metals in ore deposits. A significant outcome to date has been the development of an innovative new LA-ICPMS technique for measuring Pb isotopes in pyrite, which has been applied to produce a new genetic model for the giant Sukhoi Log gold deposit in Russia and published in Geochemica.
Node at the Australian National University
Stephen Cox CI brings expertise on structural modelling of ore forming processes. Together with David Cooke, he is the leader of CODES project (P2F1) to investigate the effects of stress states and fluid pressure regimes on fluid dynamics and evolution of fluid compositions within intrusion-related hydrothermal systems. In addition, field work is underway on the Porgera gold deposit in PNG. There are also ongoing collaborations in petrology and geochemistry that are continuing to produce significant joint publications (6 in past three years). These collaborations involve Trevor Falloon, Leonid Danyushevsky and Dima Kamenetsky (ARC Professorial
Fellow) at CODES and Hugh O’Neil, Carl Spandler, Richard Arculus and David Green at ANU.
Node at the CSIRO
This collaboration has been developed to expand CODES technical capabilities in mineral mapping and magma-fluid chemistry studies related to melt- and fluid inclusions. Two joint CODES postdoctoral fellows have been appointed to facilitate the collaboration between CI’s Chris Ryan (CSIRO) and Leonid Danyushevsky, Anthony Harris, Jamie Wilkinson and a significant number of PhD students at CODES. A key aspect of the collaboration is the development at the Australian Synchrotron of a new generation detector for an X-ray microprobe to map element and valence state distributions in minute rock and fluid samples.
International Research Partner at the University of British Columbia
Mineral Deposit Research Unit (MDRU) at UBC is perfectly positioned to complement the activities of CODES. The location of the unit on the opposite side of the Pacific provides an ideal platform for research
activities in the vast, mineral-rich regions of Canada and other parts of North America. And because its research operations are so closely aligned to those of the UTAS hub, it provides the ideal environment for co-operation and support.
This has led to a number of collaborations, including a major industry-funded project on alkalic porphyry Cu deposits, which involves deposits in Canada, Australia and Papua New Guinea. Currently there are a total of 19 research staff and students involved in a variety of collaborative projects with UBC.
International Research Partner at the Colorado School of Miles
Colorado School of Mines was established in 1874 and is one of the USA’s finest universities. A major collaboration with CODES is a joint research project on the features and genesis of sediment-hosted copper deposits, which is supported by most international copper companies. Outcomes include two papers for the 100th anniversary volume of Economic Geology (2005), and ten invited presentations at international conferences, including a number of keynote addresses.
The final research meeting for this project, held in the Democratic Republic of Congo in October 2008, was attended by 90 industry geologists from 5 continents, making it one of the largest geological meetings ever held in central Africa.