Tennant Creek mineral chemistry

Geochemistry and geochronology of hematite and chlorite in the Tennant Creek IOCG district

Degree type


Closing date

25 September 2023



Citizenship requirement

Domestic / International

About the research project

Hematite and chlorite are the most widespread hydrothermal alteration minerals in the Tennant Creek iron oxide copper-gold (IOCG) district of the Northern Territory, which is one of Australia’s most important gold, copper, and bismuth producing areas. However, despite their ubiquity, relatively little is understood about the trace metal inventory of hematite and chlorite in and around the numerous IOCG deposits of the region.

This PhD project will focus primarily on defining the trace element character of hematite and chlorite at multiple key locations across the entire Tennant Creek district, including historic mines and recently discovered deposits. The newly identified East Tennant region, located approximately halfway between Tennant Creek and Mount Isa, QLD, will also be included in this study, along with the Rover field west of Tennant Creek.

The primary goal of the project will be to establish a trace element geochemistry library of hematite and chlorite compositions across Tennant Creek and East Tennant. This library can then be used as a guide for explorers in these two areas who wish to know whether the hematite and chlorite they have sampled from their tenements is likely barren or fertile, and how close they may be to an economic system.

In addition, hematite’s potential as a U-Pb geochronometer has been demonstrated in other IOCG districts, such as the Olympic province of South Australia, but not has not been well-tested at Tennant Creek. A secondary goal will be to identify which hematite generations are the most likely to be associated with economic mineralization based on their U-Pb ages.

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.

Other funding opportunities and fees

For further information regarding other scholarships on offer, and the various fees of undertaking a research degree, please visit our Scholarships and fees on research degrees page.


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

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:

  • Solid foundation in the basics of the large and diverse family of IOCG systems, from a genetic and exploration perspective
  • Strong mineralogy and geochemistry background
  • Indirect exposure to microbeam analytical techniques
  • Self-motivated but able to work in a team

Additional desirable selection criteria specific to this project:

  • Previous exposure to IOCG or IOA mineral systems from either a research or exploration perspective
  • Demonstrated first-hand experience with microbeam analytical techniques
  • Familiarity with machine learning techniques and programming (e.g., Python; R)

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 25 September 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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