Submitted by Dr Caroline Tiddy

Senior Research Fellow

Global demand for metals such as copper and gold is rapidly increasing with the development of new technologies such as electric cars and renewable energies such as photovoltaic cells and wind turbines.  Concurrently, the world inventory for these metals is rapidly declining so that we are hurtling towards a global supply-demand crisis of metals.  This decreasing inventory is primarily a function of mineral exploration being forced to move into deeper search spaces as ore deposits exposed at the Earth’s surface have mostly been discovered.

This project seeks to address the declining inventory through development of new, innovative data-driven geochemical tools that can be used for more informed targeting of potential mineral occurrences.  The tools are developed through establishing geochemical signatures that are unique to a mineral occurrence, assessing whether these signatures can be identified within resistate phase minerals (e.g. monazite, zircon, oxides) and developing geochemical targeting criteria that can be adapted to an exploration campaign.  Resistate phases are used as they can be associated with the broader alteration halo surrounding an ore deposit and can also be dispersed within younger rocks that overlie older mineralised rocks.  This dispersion has the potential to significantly increase the geochemical footprint of an orebody, making it easier to find that needle in a haystack!



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