Transforming the Mining Value Chain

PhD Opportunity in Geological and geometallurgical characterisation of porphyry deposit alteration overprints

PhD Opportunity in Geological and geometallurgical characterisation of porphyry deposit alteration overprints

PhD scholarship is available within the Australian Research Council (ARC) Transforming the Mining Value Chain (TMVC) Industrial Transformation Research Hub, which is hosted at CODES, University of Tasmania. This PhD project will focus on advancing the geological understanding of a porphyry-style deposit with particular emphasis on the complex alteration overprinting relationships found within the transitional zone (potassic-to-phyllic). The current porphyry model fails to adequately resolve the various types of ‘sericite’ that may be encountered in transitional zones during exploration — which may be grade additive or destructive. These sericite overprints may host high grade ore, but also pose significant challenges to porphyry exploration and exploitation. During this project, detailed characterisation will inform predictive models of processing response and develop workflows which use automated hyperspectral data and multi-element geochemistry to resolve overprinting alteration styles. Key project outcomes will include:

  1. Updated deposit geological model
  2. Definition of variable ore types (and alteration styles)
  3. Detailed mineralogical and textural characterisation of each ore type
  4. Predictive models of mineralogy (using a combination of automated hyperspectral logging data and numerical modelling of geochemical data)
  5. Predictive models of processing response

Duration: 3 years, with the possibility of a six month extension.

Value: AUD 32,304 per annum.

Sponsor: Funded by the ARC TMVC Industrial Transformation Research Hub

The Applicant:

Applicants from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include: broad-based geology, economic geology, geometallurgy, mining industry and/or hyperspectral techniques. Applicants from outside Australia and New Zealand will be required to either obtain a tuition fee-waiver scholarship from the University of Tasmania or pay tuition fees.

Working Environment:

The PhD candidate will join the ARC TMVC Industrial Transformation Research Hub team which currently consists of 14 senior academics and industry professionals, six postdoctoral research fellows, four technical & administrative staff, and 12 PhD students. The candidate will have access to a range of analytical facilities at CODES including X-ray diffractometry and laser-ablation ICP-MS. In addition, CODES has several geochemical laboratories, which are equipped to perform various static and kinetic geochemical tests. The candidate will also have access to a range of SEM instruments, an electron microprobe, and vibrational spectroscopy microanalysis is also available through the university's Central Science Laboratory.

Enquiries to: Dr. Angela Escolme at

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Contact: Dr Angela Escolme

Phone: +61 3 6226 2664