Active filters :
Discard Filter

Geoscience Society October 2020 Newsletter

Read the October 2020 edition of the Geoscience Society Newsletter

Welcome from the Chair and Coordinator of Technical Information Sharing

We would like to welcome you to this newsletter of the Geoscience Society of the AusIMM. This edition shows some of our volunteers’ activity, and shares some technical contributions that have been collected by our Committee and considered to be of interest for wider distribution. We hope you find this edition of interest. Feedback and articles are welcome at

AusIMM actively supports scholarships in Geoscience:

Richard Lilly, MAusIMM Adelaide Branch has posted on LinkedIn: – There are some great PhD opportunities in the minerals space coming up at the University of Adelaide. These include 2 PhDs in critical metals with Carl Spandler, and an industry-linked PhD (iPhD) on Cu and S isotopes with Juraj Farkas and Lucy McGee. More information at the links below:

PhDs in critical metals:
Alkaline volcanic systems
Rare earth element ores
iPhD on Cu and S isotopes

UA iPhD: Tracing subsurface ore deposits through the isotope analysis of regolith/cover: Coupled Cu and S isotope approach applied to a rock-soil-water-plant system.

The University of Adelaide offers a comprehensive scholarships scheme for undergraduate and postgraduate students.


AusIMM Volunteer to encourage students of Geoscience

Richard Diaz Alorro PhD (MAusIMM) Kalgoorlie Branch, Shane Barker MAusIMM Adelaide branch,
Rebekah Smiles MAusIMM Kalgoorlie Branch were among 7 speakers at the Western Australia School of Mines [WASM] Metallurgy Club face to face “Meet the Mets” networking event. One take-away was that that when students enter the workforce, that they should not be afraid to take some risks, and to face obstacles.

The Kalgoorlie Campus [Curtin University] with its new library, laboratories and construction of new student accommodation underway provides a modern innovative learning experience. Interaction with industry, in the form of field trips, guest industry lecturers, Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, etc. help enable a smooth transition from university to work. The AusIMM website encourages members to sign up for the WASM student Buddy Program. This program is designed to help new students adjust to the life & work style of the Kalgoorlie area.

AusIMM members drive Research of the Geosciences

Andrew Jenkin, (MAusIMM Melbourne branch) Innovation Consultant was commissioned by Cooperative Research Centres Optimizing Resource Extraction [CRC ORE] to prepare “A Review of the minerals industry R&D landscape in Australia” (July 2020).

“The paper presents an analysis of significant Australian-based R&D programs that are focussed on the minerals industry. The dataset contains programs being conducted by or with Australian-based ‘Research Service Providers’ (RSPs), most notably Universities and CSIRO. It does not include R&D being conducted in-house by mining and METS companies, or by them with other organisations that are not RSP’s. The 2020 dataset contains 65 R&D programs, with total annual cash funding of $229m. The rough split of funding is 70% from industry and 30% from government. The industry funding is quite well spread across a mix of mining and METS companies. The majority of government funding is via the CRC program and CSIRO.

The AusIMM Bulletin (August edition) provides a link to the full paper.

AusIMM members share with webinars on Geoscience

Saut Simbolon, MAusIMM (CP) Melbourne branch presented for the Indonesian economic geology association [MGEI] webinar with the topic “Improving Reserve Estimation by Integrated Different Data Support”. This presentation reflects Satu’s geological research area in NW Queensland, Australia on a classical low sulphidation epithermal gold deposit, within a volcanic host rock. The study looked at the statistical comparison of gold grades between A) good quality core data from regularly spaced drill holes and B) closer spaced underground production drive face chip line sampling. The methodology looked at; – 1) Ordinary kriging using diamond drill core data only, 2) ordinary kriging using combination diamond drill core and face samples, 3) kriging with a variance of measurement error (integrating values with different levels of confidence). The presentation went into detail on the research and the comparison between each methodology.

Jimmy Gunarso, Perhapi, MAusIMM Indonesia branch, presented “Understanding Mine Planning” at the Indonesian Mining association (PERHAPI) webinar along with other senior engineers. His presentations was well prepared with great picturesque slides that may appeal to high school students anticipating entering University. The emphases was a mixture of technical and business (profit driven).

Ade Kadarusman, MAusIMM Indonesia branch, Geosains department (FMIPA) University of Indonesia undertook a webinar on behalf of The Sedimentary Geology (FOSI) section of the Indonesian Geological Association (IAGI) on “The Geology and Tectonic of the Banda Arc, Eastern Indonesia: Update from Zircon Age dating of the Outer Arc”. Ade undertook his masters in the 1990’s on the geology of the Banda arc, and some 2 years ago returned to complete the research in collaboration with Taiwan and Japan parties. Samples from his earlier work were sent to China to extract the zircons. The presentation included an introduction to the orogeny of eastern Indonesia, the geology of the Timor – Tanimbar. The ongoing research is focussed on the detailed study of regional metamorphic rocks with U-Pb zircon age dating, leading to the interpretations on the tectonic configuration. There are 3 age groupings of the metamorphic rocks.

Robert Keagile Jele MAusIMM(CP) Perth branch, posted a LinkedIn article “Rock cut slope analysis and design:part2” that is a great introduction for advanced high school students or early year University students to become enthused about the science of rock mechanics.

Posters for AusIMM members to share with Schools

The Geological Society of London has a number of Geoscience posters to encourage young students to associate with the broader mining industry. See source

We stand on the shoulders of the giants that have gone before us.

The AusIMM New Zealand branch will hold their annual branch conference in combination with the New Zealand Minerals Forum on 13-14 October 2020, in Hamilton, NZ. Perhaps this is a good time to be reminded of one of New Zealand’s geologist of global significance; –

Stuart Ross Taylor (b. 1925) was an undergraduate in geochemistry from the University of New Zealand and completed a PhD in geochemistry from the Indiana University, United States. By 1954 Taylor and Ahrens set up a new optical spectrograph. Taylor then headed up the Oxford program in spectrographic analysis, before ending up at the Australian National University in 1961.

The post WW2 cold war was further intensified by the Russian first satellite, wherein western governments funded and supported the geo-science research groups to win accolades, and to source minerals for global growth. Record numbers of geoscientists graduated, and a proliferation of publications and petrologists became more specialized. The concept of plate tectonics revolutionized geology and our understanding of the planet. Tholeiitic ocean ridges and other igneous rocks were studied in detail.

In Australia Taylor developed a technique of spark-sourced spectrometry for the accurate and precise quantitative determination of a vast range of minor and trace elements in geological materials.

Researching into layering of igneous sills, Taylor & Walker at the ANU worked with Arie Poldervaart of Colombia University (1969) to undertake a thorough examination of the major and trace elements of the Palisades sill. Geochemical patterns pointed towards a second pulse of magmas, and Walker suggested crystal settling. Latter research continued to developing a greater understanding of this sill, and the implications for many intrusions.

Taylor headed up the preliminary examination team that studied the first lunar samples returned by Apollo 11 in 1969. He continued as a principal investigator for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for 20 years, in which Taylor was able to develop models of lunar composition, origin, and evolution. Petrological knowledge obtained from all the lunar missions was summarized by Ross Taylor in a couple of books (1975, 1982).

Related News


Australian Earth Sciences Convention 9-12 February 2021

The Geoscience Society is happy to promote the Australian Earth Sciences Convention (AESC) 2021


Australian Earth Sciences Convention 9-12 February 2021

The Geoscience Society is happy to promote the Australian Earth Sciences Convention (AESC) 2021


Reminder - Closing soon - AusIMM Geosoc virtual coffee with a colleague

AusIMM GeoSoc invites you to build your network over a virtual coffee with colleague.