Integrated Ore Deposit Knowledge

Integrated Ore Deposit Knowledge: Optimising Mineralogical Characterisation through the Mining Value Chain

Degree type

PhD

Closing date

7 March 2022

Campus

Hobart

Citizenship requirement

Domestic/International

About the research project

The demand for metals is vastly increasing with the need for base metals in the next 30 years projected to outpace all the base metals so far mined in human history. Mining of metalliferous ores is vital to support emerging technologies and society’s transition to sustainable energy sources. Innovative approaches to resource extraction are required to meet these increasing demands without compromising the environment for future generations. This project aims to demonstrate how the effective integration of datasets to assist in the holistic characterisation of metal resources, including critical metals, through all stages of the mining value chain, from discovery to closure.

Discovery of economically viable ore deposits exposed at or near the surface has become increasingly difficult in recent years. Future orebodies are likely to be deeper, of variable grade (with low grade deposits generating larger waste volumes) and technically challenging to extract valuable minerals from. Early mineralogical and geochemical characterisation is essential for unlocking an orebody’s full potential, as it aids both in identifying these buried deposits and facilitates effective planning and management of any potential issues that may affect mineral processing or waste management during a mine’s life cycle. This PhD project will develop workflows, methods, and tools for mineralogical characterization that allows effective upscaling from the microscopic to the deposit-scale, and that will aid opportunity recognition and decision-making through all stages of the mining value chain. The knowledge generated in this study will improve our understanding of the geological characteristics of ore deposits that impact mineral processing and waste products, as well as our ability to predict and manage future deleterious environmental impacts.  This project will provide insights to improving economic and environmental outcomes at present and future mines in Tasmania and Australia and will inform mine permitting and planning on a global scale.

Primary Supervisor

Meet Dr Clare Miller

Funding

Applicants will be considered for a Research Training Program (RTP) scholarship or Tasmania Graduate Research Scholarship (TGRS) which, if successful, provides:

  • a living allowance stipend of $28,854 per annum (2022 rate, indexed annually) for 3.5 years
  • a relocation allowance of up to $2,000
  • a tuition fees offset covering the cost of tuition fees for up to four years (domestic applicants only)

If successful, international applicants will receive a University of Tasmania Fees Offset for up to four years.

As part of the application process you may indicate if you do not wish to be considered for scholarship funding.

Eligibility

Applicants should review the Higher Degree by Research minimum entry requirements and the following additional eligibility criteria specific to this project:

  • Proficiency in written and oral English is required

Applicants from the following disciplines are encouraged to apply:

  • Geology, Earth Sciences, Environmental Chemistry, Environmental Science, Physical Geography

Selection Criteria

The project is competitively assessed and awarded.  Selection is based on academic merit and suitability to the project as determined by the College.

Additional desirable selection criteria specific to this project:

  • Experience designing and conducting independent field or lab-based projects is required
  • Hands-on experience with laboratory analysis and/or numerical modelling is preferred
  • Experience in environmental chemistry, mineralogy, and/or geochemistry is required
  • Experience in the mineral resource industry is an advantage

Application process

There is a three-step application process:

  1. Select the project, and check you meet the eligibility and selection criteria;
  2. Contact the Primary Supervisor, Dr Clare Miller, to discuss your suitability and the projects requirements; and
  3. Click here to submit an application by the closing date listed above.
    • Copy and paste the title of the project from this advertisement into your application. If you don’t correctly do this your application may be rejected.
    • As part of your application you will be required to submit a covering letter, a CV including 2 x referees and your project research proposal.

Following the application closing date applications will be assessed within the College. Applicants should expect to receive notification of the outcome by email.

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