Ore deposits are the source of metals essential for modern society, including the technologies that are critical for the green energy transition, but they are scarce and difficult to find with the lowest impact resources likely to be buried beneath up to a kilometre of barren rock. The student would join the LODE research group at NHM carrying out award-winning research into the development of mineral exploration tools and the underpinning science that allow recognition of the potential endowment ('fertility') of a belt of rocks at an early stage of exploration. The specifics of a DPhil PhD project would be discussed in detail with the student but could involve method development and the microanalysis of trace elements and isotopes in minerals using electron beam instruments including automated SEM, and LA-ICP-MS, and the application of machine learning and other data analytics for the development of multivariate discrimination tools. These would be applied to one or more ore deposit and/or exploration terrain case study sites worldwide, requiring fieldwork for mapping, drillcore logging and sampling, and to global heavy mineral samples supplied by industry collaborators. Possible study sites are located in Chile, Peru, Ecuador, USA, Mongolia and Australia.
Qualifications and Experience