Mineral sciences


Dr Jing Zhao identifying minerals using powder x-ray diffraction.

Research overview

Minerals are not just about sparkly gemstones. There is so much more to it. 

Extensive research by our Minerals team has yielded real-world applications to answer questions the rest of us never thought to ask. The team’s research interests centre on how ore deposits form and is called the Minerals Microbes and Solution Research Group. The research team investigates this central problem using high pressure and temperature experiments, sophisticated computer simulation methods and even advanced molecular biological techniques. Currently, the team is investigating how metals are transported by fluids at very high temperatures and pressures through the Earth's Crust.

Key questions to address are:

  • How do ore deposits form by mineral replacement reactions driven by the movement of hydrothermal fluids?
  • How can bacteria mobilise gold in the environment and how may these bacteria be used to help find new gold deposits?


For more information about specific projects, view the Research Project panels on the right-hand side of this page.