Mineral geochemistry of IOCG deposits

Mineral trace element vectoring in Australian Proterozoic iron oxide copper-gold deposits

Degree type


Closing date

27 March 2023



Citizenship requirement

Domestic / International

About the research project

This project will consist of three phases: the first phase will target epidote-, chlorite-, pyrite-, magnetite-, and hematite-altered rocks in and around known IOCG systems in Australia. These minerals are the most suitable candidates for establishing a knowledge baseline of trace element chemistry at each study site. The geochemical profile of these minerals will be ascertained for near-mine samples to 'fingerprint' the trace element signature of the ore. This information will then be utilized in follow-on 'footprint' mineral chemistry vectoring studies.

The second phase of the project will examine the trace element systematics of selected other minerals that are present in the alteration halos around IOCG systems, such as apatite and actinolite. A systematic approach will be developed where automated scanning electron microscopy will be used to quantify and locate all the target minerals that are large enough for analysis. This will be followed by LA-ICPMS trace element quantification and then a statistical appraisal of the results.

The third phase of the project will focus on optimization of the LA-ICPMS analytical techniques to enhance the chemical signals related to the hydrothermal systems. This will involve re-analyzing minerals and sites that show mineral geochemical gradients with different analytical parameters and different data reduction techniques to investigate whether these improve the initial results. As this will involve large amounts of data, statistical and machine learning techniques will be used to identify the most robust set of analytical and signal processing parameters for each mineral group.

Primary Supervisor

Meet Dr Jeffrey Steadman


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 $31,500 per annum (2023 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.


Applicants should review the Higher Degree by Research minimum entry requirements.

Ensure your eligibility for the scholarship round by referring to our Key Dates.

Additional eligibility criteria specific to this project/scholarship:

  • Applicants must be able to undertake the project on-campus

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 essential selection criteria specific to this project:

  • The successful applicant will have solid knowledge of iron oxide copper-gold deposits and the geochemical criteria that are used in exploration for these systems
  • The candidate will also possess a strong background in mineralogy and geochemistry and be familiar with microbeam analytical techniques
  • The successful applicant will be self-motivated and a good team player

Additional desirable selection criteria specific to this project:

  • Previous exposure to laser ablation (LA-ICPMS) analytical techniques
  • Familiarity with mineral liberation analysis (MLA)
  • Familiarity with Python and R software packages

Application process

  1. Select your project, and check that you meet the eligibility and selection criteria, including citizenship;
  2. Contact Dr Jeffrey Steadman to discuss your suitability and the project's requirements; and
  3. In your application:
    • 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.
    • Submit a signed supervisory support form, a CV including contact details of 2 referees and your project research proposal.
  4. Apply prior to 27 March 2023.

Full details of the application process can be found under the 'How to apply' section of the Research Degrees website.

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

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