Orebody Knowledge of the Western Tharsis

Orebody Knowledge of the Western Tharsis Cu-Au Deposit, Tasmania: implications for ore processing and mineral exploration

Degree type


Closing date

18 July 2022



Citizenship requirement


About the research project

This PhD project will focus on the Western Tharsis Cu-Au Deposit in the Mount Lyell district, Western Tasmania. To improve orebody knowledge of Western Tharsis to help develop robust geometallurgical and exploration models. This study aims to: 1) understand the geology, alteration and mineralization evolution processes, mineral textures and chemical characteristics of the copper and gold system; 2) test and develop geological and geochemical vectors to high-grade copper-gold ore zones and the centre of the ore-forming fluid; 3) investigate alteration patterns, ore texture and mineral assemblages that may impact on metallurgical processes. Research techniques will include Anaconda-style mapping and graphic drill core logging aided by hyperspectral techniques (e.g., TerraSpec, HyLogger and FTIR), high-resolution imaging, automated optical microscopy, mineral liberation analysis (MLA), and LA‐ICPMS analyses of ores.

Primary Supervisor

Meet Dr Lejun Zhang


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.


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

Applicants from the following disciplines are encouraged to apply:

  • Economic Geology
  • Geology
  • Geochemistry
  • Earth Sciences

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:

  • Experience designing and conducting independent field or lab-based research, or equivalent industry experience is required
  • Industry experience with regards to mineral exploration and/or mine geology and/or academic research experience in economic geology, mineralogy, geochemistry, or other fields of geological research is preferred
  • Proficiency in written and oral English is required

Application process

There is a three-step application process:

  1. Select your project, and check you meet the eligibility and selection criteria;
  2. Contact the Primary Supervisor, Dr Lejun Zhang to discuss your suitability and the project's requirements; and
  3. 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 by the advertised outcome date.

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