Transforming the Mining Value Chain

PhD Opportunity on the enhanced geological and geochemical vectoring tools toward Au–Ag mineralization in the Cerro Negro district, Patagonia, Argentina

PhD Opportunity on the enhanced geological and geochemical vectoring tools toward Au–Ag mineralization in the Cerro Negro district, Patagonia, Argentina

A PhD project is available within the ARC Transforming the Mining Value Chain (TMVC) Industrial Transformation Research Hub, which is hosted at the University of Tasmania. The TMVC draws on expertise from personnel within CODES (Centre for Ore Deposit and Earth Sciences) and Engineering.

The Project:

The Cerro Negro epithermal district is located proximal to the north-western margin of the Deseado Massif, Patagonia, Argentina. Gold–Ag-bearing low sulfidation epithermal veins have been identified in the Eureka, Vein Zone, and Mariana Complexes. Cerro Negro is considered to be somewhat barely eroded thereby potentially limiting the exposure of the epithermal veins beneath near‐surface. Furthermore, vein exposures are limited due to post-mineralization volcanic cover. The recently discovered, blind gold-rich Silica Cap vein complex encourages further exploration focused on locating blind ore-bearing veins.

This PhD project will focus on studying three key Au–Ag-rich epithermal systems in the Cerro Negro district (i.e. the Silica Cap, Eureka, and Marianas systems). The candidate will use a combination of field mapping, core logging, hyperspectral, microanalytical (e.g., SEM, CL, LA-ICPMS), whole rock geochemical and geochronological techniques to characterise epithermal systems. The proposed project encompasses the study of surface and sub-surface lithology, hydrothermal alteration assemblages, and mineralized vein and breccias; with strong emphasis on exploration and genetic significance of epithermal systems. A major aim is to test and improve those vectors towards mineralization proposed during our current research project and as well as develop new ones.

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

Scholarship: The candidate will be required to be self-supporting, or to be successful in attaining a UTAS Scholarship (2019 rate of AUD 27,596 pa).

Research Costs: funded by Newmont Goldcorp Corporation

Closing Date: 31 August, 2019


Please refer to the Entry Requirements for a Doctor of Philosophy degree.

The following eligibility criteria apply to this scholarship:

  • The scholarship is open to Australian and New Zealand (domestic) candidates and to International candidates.
  • Research must be undertaken on a full-time basis.
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a First-Class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector.
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills.
  • Applicants must meet English speaking and writing requirements.
  • A background in some of the following areas will be ranked highly: field mapping skills, mineralogy and crystallography, exploration geochemistry, porphyry copper geology, mineral exploration
  • Experience in working as part of a research and/or exploration team is desirable

The Applicant

Applicants should make themselves aware of the costs associated with living and studying in Tasmania.

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, eight postdoctoral research fellows, four technical & administrative staff, as well as 17 PhD & 3 Honours students.

Enquiries to: Dr Lejun Zhang at or Francisco Testa at

Contact: Dr Lejun Zhang

Phone: +61 3 6226 7211