Jeff Steadman

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Jeff Steadman

Research Fellow in Geochemistry

Room 111, Physics Building, Sandy Bay Campus

+61 3 6226 5554 (phone)

+61 3 6226 2547 (fax)

Dr. Jeff Steadman is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Geochemistry at CODES (ARC Centre of Excellence in Ore Deposits) in the Faculty of Science, Engineering, and Technology (SET). He currently specializes in the utilization of pyrite geochemistry as a vector towards concealed gold, silver, and copper ore bodies. His other geologic interests are metamorphic geology and impact processes.

Career summary


DegreeThesis TitleUniversity Country Date of Award
PhDBIFs, Black Shales, and Gold Deposits: A Re-evaluationUniversity of TasmaniaAustralia1/02/2015
M.S.The Geology and Geochemistry of Zn-Pb-Ag mineralization in the Foster River area, northern SaskatchewanIowa State UniversityUSA1/05/2010


Prior to joining CODES as a research fellow, Jeff completed his PhD there on the geochemistry of sedimentary-diagenetic pyrite in Neoarchean-Paleoproterozoic black shales, and whether these rocks are viable sources of Au in certain Au districts around the globe. Jeff also holds a Master's degree in Geology from Iowa State University (USA), during which time he studied a series of small base metal showings in high-grade Paleoproterozoic metamorphic rocks of the Wollaston Domain in northern Saskatchewan.

Research Themes

Jeff's research falls under the University's research theme of Environment, Resources and Sustainability. His current project aims to equip the mining and metals industry with better targeting tools for 'hard-to-find' orebodies (i.e., those under surficial cover, a common issue in mainland Australia). Over the last few decades, new discoveries of gold, copper, and zinc resources have declined, and the grade of known ore which is being mined continues to decline as well. To mitigate these looming issues and improve the sustainability of mining, new or re-vamped methods of exploration are needed to help geologists locate and mine those resources which are either not known or known but currently uneconomical to develop. One such method of exploration is using laser ablation-inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICPMS) to record and analyse the variation in trace element content of pyrite (FeS2), the most common sulphide in Earth's crust. Because of its ubiquity, robust hardness (6/10 on the Mohs scale), and resistance to weathering, pyrite is an excellent candidate to use as a guide in mineral exploration. Pyrite crystals record hydrothermal fluid activity by scavenging certain trace metals (e.g., Co, Ni, As, Te, Cu, Hg, and Au) from said fluid and growing a new layer with each fluid pulse, in an analogous fashion to tree rings marking seasonal growth. As the concentration of these metals is commonly too low for normal assay techniques, the LA-ICPMS system is the preferred method for ascertaining not only which elements are present in a given pyrite but how much (down to ppb, or parts per billion, levels) of each element is there.

Through multiple case studies, Jeff's research demonstrates the value of pyrite geochemistry as a must-have tool for any serious explorer.


Professional practice

Jeff is an active member of the following geological organizations:

  • Geological Society of America
  • Society of Economic Geologists
  • Geological Society of Australia

Administrative expertise

Jeff is currently managing the 'Power of Pyrite' research project, which involves five separate sponsor companies operating in four countries on four separate continents.


Geology, Economic geology, Mineralogy, Metamorphic processes

Teaching expertise

Jeff has assisted in practicals for 3rd year economic geology (i.e. ore microscopy), 2nd year optical mineralogy, and 1st year introductory geology classes. Although he has not undertaken any supervisory roles to date, Jeff plans to begin co-supervising Honours-level students in 2016.

View more on Dr Jeffrey Steadman in WARP


  • Geology
  • Mineralogy
  • Petrology
  • LA-ICPMS analytical techniques


Jeff is teaming up with researchers from the University of Western Australia to map variations in S isotope compositions of various sulphides associated with ore deposits, in an analogous form to the trace element mapping that he and his colleagues have done and continue to do at CODES using LA-ICPMS technology. He is also collaborating with researchers at Curtin University in Perth, WA, on age dating Archean black shales using Re-Os techniques on carbonaceous matter.

Current projects

  • P3B2A Sediment hosted gold arsenic tellurium deposits - genesis & exploration models
  • 'Trace Element in the Oceans through Geologic Time' (ARC-funded project)

Research Fields

  • Exploration Geochemistry (040201)
  • Ore Deposit Petrology (040307)
  • Mineralogy and Crystallography (040306)
  • Inorganic Geochemistry (040202)
  • Isotope Geochemistry (040203)
  • Tectonics (040313)
  • Geology (040399)
  • Basin Analysis (040301)

Research Impact

  • Mineral Resources (excl. Energy Resources) (849999)
  • Expanding Knowledge in the Earth Sciences (970104)
  • Precious (Noble) Metal Ore Exploration (840105)
  • Copper Ore Exploration (840102)
  • Mining and Extraction of Precious (Noble) Metal Ores (840205)


Jeff has published (either as a senior author or as a co-author) 6 peer-reviewed papers and 4 reports for industry clients, and he has several more papers and reports in progress. He publishes most frequently in Precambrian ResearchEconomic Geology,and Earth and Planetary Science Letters. Jeff is regularly invited to review articles for publication in Ore Geology Reviews and Precambrian Research, two highly-rated scholarly geology journals.

Total publications


Journal Article

(11 outputs)
2016Belousov I, Large RR, Meffre S, Danyushevsky LV, Steadman J, et al., 'Pyrite compositions from VHMS and orogenic Au deposits in the Yilgarn Craton, Western Australia: implications for gold and copper exploration', Ore Geology Reviews, 79 pp. 474-499. ISSN 0169-1368 (2016) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1016/j.oregeorev.2016.04.020 [eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Belousov I; Large RR; Meffre S; Danyushevsky LV


2016Meffre S, Large RR, Steadman JA, Gregory DD, Stepanov AS, et al., 'Multi-stage enrichment processes for large gold-bearing ore deposits', Ore Geology Reviews, 76 pp. 268-279. ISSN 0169-1368 (2016) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1016/j.oregeorev.2015.09.002 [eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Meffre S; Large RR; Gregory DD; Stepanov AS; Kamenetsky VS; Scott RJ


2016Steadman JA, Large RR, 'Synsedimentary, Diagenetic, and Metamorphic Pyrite, Pyrrhotite, and Marcasite at the Homestake BIF-Hosted Gold Deposit, South Dakota, USA: Insights on Au-As Ore Genesis from Textural and LA-ICP-MS Trace Element Studies', Economic Geology, 111, (7) pp. 1731-1752. ISSN 0361-0128 (2016) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.2113/econgeo.111.7.1731 [eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Large RR


2016Stepanov AS, Meffre S, Mavrogenes J, Steadman J, 'Nb-Ta fractionation in peraluminous granites: a marker of the magmatic-hydrothermal transition', Geology, 44 pp. e394. ISSN 0091-7613 (2016) [Letter or Note in Journal]

DOI: 10.1130/G38086C.1 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 1

Co-authors: Stepanov AS; Meffre S


2016Gregory DD, Large RR, Bath AB, Steadman JA, Wu S, et al., 'Trace element content of pyrite from the Kapai Slate, St. Ives Gold District, Western Australia', Economic Geology and The Bulletin of The Society of Economic Geologists, 111, (6) pp. 1297-1320. ISSN 0361-0128 (2016) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.2113/econgeo.111.6.1297 [eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Gregory DD; Large RR; Danyushevsky L; Bull SW


2015Gregory DD, Large RR, Halpin JA, Steadman JA, Hickman AH, et al., 'The chemical conditions of the late Archean Hamersley basin inferred from whole rock and pyrite geochemistry with Δ33S and δ34S isotope analyses', Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 149 pp. 223-250. ISSN 0016-7037 (2015) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1016/j.gca.2014.10.023 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 6

Co-authors: Gregory DD; Large RR; Halpin JA


2015Large RR, Gregory DD, Steadman JA, Tomkins AG, Lounejeva E, et al., 'Gold in the oceans through time', Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 428 pp. 139-150. ISSN 0012-821X (2015) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1016/j.epsl.2015.07.026 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 4

Co-authors: Large RR; Gregory DD; Lounejeva E; Danyushevsky LV; Halpin JA; Mukherjee I; Berry R


2015Steadman JA, Large RR, Meffre S, Olin PH, Danyushevsky LV, et al., 'Synsedimentary to early diagenetic gold in black shale-hosted pyrite nodules at the Golden Mile Deposit, Kalgoorlie, Western Australia', Economic Geology, 110, (5) pp. 1157-1191. ISSN 0361-0128 (2015) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.2113/econgeo.110.5.1157 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 8Web of Science - 7

Co-authors: Large RR; Meffre S; Olin PH; Danyushevsky LV; Gregory DD; Belousov I; Lounejeva E


2015Steadman JA, Spry PG, 'Metamorphosed proterozoic Zn-Pb-Ag mineralization in the Foster River area, Northern Saskatchewan, Canada', Economic Geology, 110, (5) pp. 1193-1214. ISSN 0361-0128 (2015) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.2113/econgeo.110.5.1193 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 1Web of Science - 1


2014Steadman JA, Large RR, Davidson GJ, Bull SW, Thompson J, et al., 'Paragenesis and composition of ore minerals in the Randalls BIF-hosted gold deposits, Yilgarn Craton, Western Australia: implications for the timing of deposit formation and constraintson gold sources', Precambrian Research, 243 pp. 110-132. ISSN 0301-9268 (2014) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1016/j.precamres.2014.01.002 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 7

Co-authors: Large RR; Davidson GJ; Bull SW; Thompson J


2013Steadman JA, Large RR, Meffre S, Bull SW, 'Age, origin and significance of nodular sulfides in 2680 Ma carbonaceous black shale of the Eastern Goldfields Superterrane, Yilgarn Craton, Western Australia', Precambrian Research, 230 pp. 227-247. ISSN 0301-9268 (2013) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1016/j.precamres.2013.02.013 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 8

Co-authors: Large RR; Meffre S; Bull SW


Conference Publication

(4 outputs)
2015Belousov IA, Large RR, Meffre SJM, Danyushevsky LV, Steadman JA, et al., 'Pyrite compositions from Orogenic Gold and VHMS deposits from Western Australia', SEG 2015 Conference, 27-30 September 2015, Hobart, Australia (2015) [Conference Extract]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Belousov IA; Large RR; Meffre SJM; Danyushevsky LV

2015Meffre S, Large RR, Steadman JA, Gregory DD, Stepanov A, et al., 'Multi-stage enrichment processes for large gold-bearing ore deposits', SEG 2015 Conference, 27-30 September 2015, Hobart, Australia (2015) [Conference Extract]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Meffre S; Large RR; Gregory DD; Stepanov A; Kamenetsky V; Scott RJ

2014Steadman JA, Large RR, 'Pyrite nodules in black shales at the Golden Mile Gold Deposit, Kalgoorlie: their geochemistry, origin, and significance', Gold14@Kalgoorlie Extended Abstracts, 8-10 October 2014, Kalgoorlie, Australia, pp. 115-117. ISBN 1876118423 (2014) [Non Refereed Conference Paper]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Large RR

2013Large RR, Gregory D, Halpin J, Danyushevsky L, Lounejeva E, et al., 'Trace elements in sedimentary pyrite through time: application to understanding temporal changes in ocean oxygenation and ore deposit cycles in marine basins', 12th Biennial SGA Meeting: Mineral Deposit Research for a High-Tech World, 12-15 August 2013, Uppsala, Sweden, pp. 640-643. ISBN 978-91-7403-207-9 (2013) [Refereed Conference Paper]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Large RR; Gregory D; Halpin J; Danyushevsky L; Lounejeva E

Other Public Output

(8 outputs)
2016Large RR, Danyushevsky LV, Halpin JA, Steadman JA, Lounejeva Baturina E, 'UNSW Eureka Prize for Excellence in Interdisciplinary Scientific Research for the Trace Elements in Past Oceans (TEPO) project', Australian Museum (2016) [Award]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Large RR; Danyushevsky LV; Halpin JA; Lounejeva Baturina E

2016Steadman J, 'Report on RC drilling at Bono', University of Tasmania (2016) [Report of Restricted Access]

[eCite] [Details]

2016Steadman J, Large R, Selley D, 'Trace element characteristics of sulfides and oxides in the Kitumba-Kayoma-Kakozhi IOCG district, Zambia', CODES, Hobart, Australia, pp. 1-71. (2016) [Report of Restricted Access]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Large R; Selley D

2015Steadman JA, Large RR, 'Geochemical study of pyrite from the Stavely district, Western Victoria (including Wickliffe, Thursday's Gossan, and Eclipse)', CODES, Hobart, Australia (2015) [Report of Restricted Access]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Large RR

2015Steadman JA, Large RR, 'Geochemical fingerprinting of enterprise pyrite - Borg, Beefwood and Azan prospects', CODES, Hobart, Australia (2015) [Report of Restricted Access]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Large RR

2015Steadman JA, Large RR, 'Trace element systematics of pyrite and marcasite from the Black Butte sediment-hosted Cu deposit, Montana', CODES, Hobart, Australia (2015) [Report of Restricted Access]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Large RR

2015Steadman JA, Large RR, 'Geochemical study of pyrite and pyrrhotite from select Golden Mile grab samples (DGN personal collection) and SE-18 (EIS 2014)', CODES, University of Tasmania,, Tasmania (2015) [Report]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Large RR

2015Steadman JA, Stepanov A, Large RR, Royle D, 'Final report on the Telfer pyrite project', CODES, Hobart, Tasmania, pp. 1-82. (2015) [Report of Restricted Access]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Stepanov A; Large RR

Grants & Funding

Jeff currently retains funding of A$36,000/year for his research project, provided through the project contract.

Funding Summary

Number of grants


Total funding



Pyrite and Phrrhotite as Ore Vectors and Stratigraphic Markers for Orogenic Gold, Carlin Gold, VHMS, IOCG, Sediment-Hosted Copper, and Stratiform Zinc targets (2015 - 2017)$306,000
Argent Minerals Limited ($51,000); Boliden AB ($51,000); Enterprise Metals Ltd ($51,000); Intrepid Mines Limited ($51,000); Pioneer Resources Limited ($51,000); Sandfire Resoures NL ($51,000)
Contract Research
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Steadman JA; Belousov IA; Large RR
2015 - 2017
South Australia Pyrite, hematite and magnetite Fingerprint Database (2014 - 2017)$204,000
The project aims to produce a database and associated interrogative software package that provides a chemical fingerprint for pyrite, hematite and magnetite of various mineral and ore associations in selected districts of the South Australia. CODES has pioneered quantitative trace element analyses and micro-mapping of pyrite and magnetite by LA-ICPMS, involving several AMIRA projects and multi-client projects with industry. The technique is now being applied in mineral exploration and mine feasibility studies by several mining and exploration companies. This project will apply the technique to fingerprinting the multi element composition of pyrite, hematite and magnetite in selected South Australian samples. Up to 1000 pyrite, hematite and magnetite analyses, will be taken from mineralised and barren rock types, with at least 35 trace elements (including Pb isotope ratios) measured and quantified per sample. The resultant database will enable fingerprinting of pyrite, hematite and magnetite from a range of ore deposits and barren environments within South Australia. Key elements in these three minerals will be developed as halo and vector tools. Exploration companies will be able to use the database, in conjunction with their own pyrite, hematite and magnetite data, to place priorities on pyrite, hematite and magnetite alteration and mineralisation intersected in exploration drill holes.
Geological Survey of South Australia - a Division of the Department of State Development ($204,000)
Contract Research
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Large RR; Meffre SJM; Gregory Dan; Steadman JA
2014 - 2017
Peak Gold Project (2014 - 2015)$37,970
This study will test whether the observations of high gold content in pyrite extends to other basins and, if so, whether this can be used to discover new ore deposits or new mining districts. This is a controversial project that is based on a new concept of the genesis of gold deposits recently published. The outcomes will aid the exploration community greatly as, if proven effective, it will yield a novel tool for early stage exploration target generation.
Drummond Gold Limited ($37,970)
Contract Research
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Large RR; Gregory Dan; Steadman JA; Wu WMS
2014 - 2015