Industry interaction  


CCFS has a strategic goal to interact closely with the mineral exploration industry at both the research and the teaching/training levels. The research results of the Centre’s work are transferred to industry and to the scientific community in several ways:

  • collaborative industry-supported Honours, MSc and PhD projects
  • short courses relevant to industry and government-sector users, designed to communicate and transfer new technologies, techniques and knowledge in the discipline areas relevant to CCFS
  • one-on-one research collaborations and shorter-term collaborative research on industry problems involving national and international partners
  • provision of high-quality geochemical analyses with value-added interpretations on a collaborative research basis with industry and government organisations, extending our industry interface
  • use of consultancies and collaborative industry projects (through the commercial arms of the national universities) which employ and disseminate the technological and conceptual developments carried out by the Centre
  • GLITTER, an on-line data-reduction program for Laser Ablation ICPMS analysis, developed by GEMOC and CSIRO/GEMOC participants, has been successfully commercialised and continues to be available from GEMOC through Access MQ (; the software is continually upgraded.

The Centre for Exploration Targeting (CET) at UWA ( provides CCFS with a unique interface with a broad spectrum of mineral exploration companies and many CET activities (e.g. research projects, workshops and postgraduate short courses). 


CCFS suports the national UNCOVER initiative



CCFS industry support includes:

  • direct funding of research programs 
  • industry subscriptions (CET)
  • “in kind” funding including field support (Australia and overseas), access to proprietary databases, sample collections, digital datasets and support for GIS platforms 
  • logistical support for fieldwork for postgraduate projects
  • collaborative research programs through ARC Linkage Projects and the University External Collaborative Grants (e.g. Macquarie’s Enterprise Grant Scheme) and PhD program support
  • assistance in the implementation of GIS technology in postgraduate programs 
  • participation of industry colleagues as guest lecturers in undergraduate units 
  • extended visits by industry personnel for interaction and research
  • ongoing informal provision of advice and formal input as members of the Advisory Board


  • TerraneChron® studies have enjoyed continued uptake by a significant segment of the global mineral exploration industry. This methodology, currently unique to CCFS/GEMOC, requires the integration of data from three instruments (electron microprobe, LAM-ICPMS and LAM-MC-ICPMS) and delivers fast, cost-effective information on the tectonic history of regional terranes (http://www.gemoc. The unique extensive database (over 32,000 zircon U-Pb and Hf-isotope analyses) in the Macquarie laboratory allows unparalleled contextual information in the interpretations and reports provided to industry.

    In 2018, MQ Faculty of Science highlighted TerraneChron® in the ERA Engagement and Impact exercises.


  • The Distal Footprints of Giant Ore Systems: UNCOVER Australia, (supported by CSIRO ex Science & Industry Endowment Fund (SIEF), MERIWA and industrycollaborators) continued. The project aims to develop a toolkit with a workflow to identify the distal footprints of the Giant Ore Systems in order toovercome the fundamental limitation in current exploration methodologies; Australia’s thick cover of weathered rock and sediment.
  • The CCFS collaboration with Shefa Yamim (A.T.M.) Ltd. (Akko, Israel) continued and expanded in 2018. Bill Griffin and Sue O’Reilly visited Israel in January to give talks at the annual congress of the Israeli Geological Society (IGS) in Eilat. There was also a very active and vibrant poster session. Following the meeting they returned to the Mt Carmel area to examine and sample several localities of the Cretaceous volcanic rocks, and to visit the alluvial exploration sites under the guidance of Dr John Ward, an expert on alluvial mining. Laboratory work on the remarkable super-reduced mineral associations continued, including collaboration with Prof Martin Saunders in the TEM lab at CMCA in Perth.

  • CET held their annual “Corporate Members Day” on the 27th of November 2018, to showcase its research to its Corporate Members. The day provided an audience of over 70 representatives from CET Member companies with the opportunity to discuss the innovative work of the CET, including its involvement in CCFS, and gave CCFS ECR and postgraduate students a chance to interact with industry. Posters and poster presentations by CET staff and students showcased the width and breadth of research activities. CCFS CI, Marco Fiorentini, presented a talk on “The metallogenic DNA of the continental lithosphere”.

  • The ARC Linkage Project titled “Global Lithosphere Architecture Mapping” (GLAM) was extended as the “LAMP” (Lithosphere Architecture Mapping in Phanerozoic orogens) project through a Macquarie University Enterprise Grant with Minerals Targeting International as the external industry partner. A sub-licensing agreement with Minerals Targeting International accommodates Dr Graham Begg’s role and access to GLAM IP (in relationship to Macquarie, BHP Billiton and the GLAM project) as Director of this company. Dr Begg spent significant research time at GEMOC through 2018 as part of the close collaborative working pattern for this project.

  • In 2018 Matthew Smith, an MQ undergraduate internship student supervised by Elena Belousova, participated in a project in collaboration with Minerals Targeting to date the Donkerhuk Granite, Damara Orogen, Namibia. Matthew was mentored by Elena and Romain Tilhac from the TerraneChron® team. Matthew prepared a detailed report on the age and possible emplacement mechanisms of the granite.

  • The Linkage Project “Ore deposits and tectonic evolution of the Lachlan Orogen, SE Australia” continued between CCFS Associate Investigator Elena Belousova, the University of Tasmania, ANU, the Geological Survey of NSW, Geoscience Australia, Rio Tinto Limited, Alkane Resources Ltd, Sandfire Resources Nl, IMEX Consulting, Evolution Mining Limited, Heron Resources Limited and the Department of State Growth. The project aims to look at ore deposits and the tectonic evolution of the Lachlan Orogen in SE Australia.
  • The outcomes of this project will be used to identify areas of high potential for economically valuable ore deposits, enabling more efficient prioritisation of mineral exploration efforts in South-Eastern Australia.


  • The GEMOC technique for dating the intrusion of kimberlites and lamproites using LAM-ICPMS U-Pb analysis of groundmass perovskite continued. This rapid, low-cost application has proven very attractive to the diamond exploration industry, and has led to several collaborative projects. It played a significant role in Montgarri Castillo-Oliver’s PhD study of Angolan kimberlites, carried out in collaboration with the mineral exploration industry in Angola.

  • Industry partners provided mentoring and both logistical and financial support for CCFS postgraduate research projects in 2018. Participating organisations include: BHP Billiton (BHP Chile Inc.), Barrick Exploration (Compania Minera Barrick Chile Ltd.), Northern Star (Kanowna) Pty ltd., Teck Resources Ltd, CSIRO, ANSTO and MRIWA. See CCFS Postgraduates for a full list of postgraduate projects.

  • Industry visitors spent varying periods at Macquarie, Curtin and UWA (CET) in 2018 to discuss our research and technology development (see visitor list Appendix 7). This face-to-face interaction has proved highly effective both for CCFS researchers and industry colleagues.

  • CCFS publications, preprints and non-proprietary reports are available on request for industry libraries.

  • CCFS participants were prominent in delivering keynote and invited talks and workshop modules, and convening sessions relevant to mineral exploration at national and international industry peak conferences in 2018 ( see Abstracts, Appendix 6  ).

    CCFS supports the national UNCOVER initiative


    A full list of previous GEMOC publications is available at here


    Current industry-funded collaborative research projects

    These are brief descriptions of current CCFS projects that have direct cash support from industry, most with combinations from ARC, internal University or State Government support.

    Projects are both national and global. In addition to these formal projects, many shorter projects are directly funded by industry, and the results of these feed into our basic research databases (with varied confidentiality considerations). Such projects are administered by the commercial arms of the relevant universities (e.g. AccessMQ Limited, at Macquarie).

    CCFS industry collaborative projects are designed to develop the strategic aspects and applications stemming from the fundamental research programs; many are based on understanding the architecture of the lithosphere and the nature of Earth’s geodynamic processes that have controlled the evolution of the lithosphere and its important discontinuities.

    The basic research strands that have given rise to strategic applications include the use of geochemical data integrated with tectonic analyses and large-scale datasets (including geophysical) to understand the relationship between lithosphere domains and large-scale mineralisation. The use of sulfides to date mantle events, and the characterisation of crustal terrane development using U-Pb dating and Hf isotopic compositions of zircons (TerraneChron®) have been developed as regional isotopic mapping tools for integration with geophysical modelling.

    This integrated approach, has been widely adopted by a significant proportion of the mineral exploration industry and has resulted in granting of licence to use methodologies developed. CCFS Chief and Associate Investigators, collaborating researchers and Board members have been instrumental in shaping UNCOVER Australia and in shaping the 2017 AMIRA “Undercover Roadmap” (ROADMAP). Indeed the 4-D Lithosphere Mapping approach, established by GEMOC and CCFS with industry partners, forms the robust conceptual basis for UNCOVER, contributed significantly to the AMIRA Roadmap process, and has become part of the vernacular in smart exploration strategies.




    Ore deposits and tectonic evolution of the Lachlan Orogen, SE Australia

    Linkage Project (LP160100483)
    Industry Collaborators: Rio Tinto Limited; Alkane Resources Ltd; Sandfire Resources Nl; IMEX Consulting; Evolution Mining Limited; Geoscience Australia; Geological Survey of NSW; Heron Resources Limited; Department of State Growth
    CIs: Meffre, Whittaker, Norman, Cracknell, Belousova, Collins, Arundall, Cooke, Maas, Huston, Musgrave, Greenfiel
    This project aims to develop and test models to evaluate past tectonic processes and configurations in South-east Australia, using both new and existing geological, geophysical and isotopic data. Over the past 550 million years, plate tectonic processes have formed metal-rich mineral deposits in South-east Australia. The project will identify areas of high potential for economically valuable ore deposits, enabling more efficient prioritisation of mineral exploration efforts. This is expected to increase the probability of significant ore deposit discoveries leading to national economic benefit.

    Australian Lithospheric Architecture Magnetotelluric Project (AusLAMP)

    Linkage Project (LP170100233)
    Industry Collaborators: CSIRO, Geological Survey of NSW Geological Survey of South Australia, Geoscience Australia, Northern Territory Geological Survey
    CIs: Regenauer-Lieb, Afonso, Clark, Thiel, Czarnota, Poulet, Jones, Walsh Summary: 
    This project aims to provide a newly developed science approach to the Australian Lithospheric Architecture Magnetotelluric Project (AusLAMP). AusLAMP provides unparalleled geophysical information aimed at unravelling the tectonic history of the Australian continent and its mineral potential. The project will use thermodynamically based geodynamic simulators to jointly analyse and quantify intraplate deformation. This will illuminate the cause of driving fluid flow thorough the lithosphere, mineralisation phenomena, their datasets and geometries, and dynamic aspects of the processes driving mineral systems.

    Enabling 3D stochastic geological modelling

    Linkage Project (LP170100985)
    Industry Collaborators: AUSCOPE, British Geological Survey, Department of Planning and Environment, Geological Survey of Canada, Geological Survey of South Australia, GSWA, Geoscience Australia, Northern Territory Geological Survey, Research for Integrative Numerical Geology, Georessources - Université de Lorraine, RWTH Aachen University of Technology, Germany
    CIs: Ailleres, Jessell, de Kemp, Caumon, Wellmann, Armit, Droniou, Lindsay, Cui, Betts, Cruden, Kemp, Gessner, Spampinato, Harrison, Kessler Summary: 
    The project aims to develop technologies to mitigate 3D geological risk in resources management. The project is expected to create new knowledge and methods in the field of 3D geological modelling through the innovative application of mathematical methods, structural geology concepts and cutting-edge probabilistic programming. The expected outcomes are an enhanced capability to model the subsurface, characterise model uncertainty and test multiple geological scenarios. This enhanced capability is extremely important for the future of Australia’s subsurface management; including urban geology and our continuously growing sustainable resources industry (including water).

    Lithospheric architecture mapping in Phanerozoic orogens

    Industry Collaborator: Minerals Targeting International (PI G. Begg)
    CIs: Griffin, O’Reilly, Pearson, Belousova, Natapov
    The GEMOC Key Centre has developed the conceptual and technological tools required to map the architecture and evolution of the upper lithosphere (0-250 km depth) of cratons (the ancient nuclei of continents). Through two industry-funded programs we have mapped most of the world’s cratons, making up ca 70% of Earth’s surface. The remaining 30% consists of younger mobile belts, which hold many major ore deposits, but are much more complex and difficult to map. This pilot project is developing the additional tools required to map the mobile belts.

    Multiple sulfur isotope systematics of the Kanowna Belle Gold deposit

    Industry Collaborator: Northern Star Resources Ltd
    CIs: LaFlamme, Thébaud, Fiorentini Summary: 
    This study aims to 1) resolve the paragenetic sequence of veins in relation to the mineralisation, intrusions and structural episodes of the Kanowna Belle deposit, Western Australia, 2) apply the quadruple sulfur isotope techniques in conjunction to the vein paragenesis and structural events to understand the evolution, possible source changes of hydrothermal fluids and their relationship to the tectonic framework changes in Archean orogenic gold deposits, and 3) carry out in-depth mineral scale quadruple sulfur isotope analysis incorporated with other geochemical analyses to interpret how gold is transported and precipitated in Archean orogenic gold systems.

    Geochemical appraisal of mafic and ultramafic rocks from a series of IGO prospects along the Albany-Fraser Belt of Western Australia

    Industry Collaborators: IGO Independence Group
    CI: Fiorentini Summary: 
    This study will carry out a comprehensive geochemical appraisal of mafic and ultramafic rocks from a series of IGO prospects along the Albany-Fraser Belt of Western Australia. A selected number of CA-IDTIMS high-precision analyses will be done to unravel the timing of emplacement and crystallisation of mafic magmas that display geochemical features that reflect fertility for orthomagmatic mineral systems.

    Predictive genetic study of the Nova-Bollinger deposit and host-rocks

    Industry Collaborators: IGO Independence Group
    CIs: Barnes, Fiorentini Summary: 
    This study aims to determine the multiple sulfur isotope architecture of the Nova-Bollinger deposit in the Albany-Fraser Belt of Western Australia by spatially mapping tracer S isotopes across the orebody as well as country rocks.

    Improving zircon morphology and chemistry as a tool for assessing and ranking the relative prospectivity for Cu porphyry deposits in “greenfield” terrains

    Industry Collaborators: BHP Billiton
    CIs: Fiorentini, Loucks
    A substantial exploration and research problem remains outstanding: although all porphyry copper ore-forming magmas are adakites (distinguished from ordinary calc-alkalic arc magmas by high Sr/Y ratio and spoon-profile rare-earth-element patterns), many adakites are apparently unmineralised or have weak, subeconomic copper mineralization. Then, how to distinguish a hydrothermally altered adakitic igneous complex that is weakly mineralised or barren from a hydrothermally altered adakitic igneous complex that is likely to contain a major copper deposit? This study is set to address this very question.

    The role of whole- lithosphere architecture on the genesis of giant gold systems in the El-Indio region, Chile- Argentina

    Industry Collaborator: Barrick Gold
    CIs: McCuaig, Fiorentini
    The overall aim of the project is to establish and link the near-surface, basement and sub-continental lithospheric structures in an integrated structural architecture and geodynamic model for the El Indio-Pascua belt to identify the fundamental controls of the location and formation of giant HS gold deposits. The research will focus on two main objectives: 1. Define the structural framework that acts as the magma/hydrothermal fluids pathway from the deep fertile source region to the shallow-crustal location of the major HS deposits. Specifically, the concept is to build a multi-scale interpretation of the fundamental structural framework and how the conduit structures are linked from surface through the lithosphere. 2. Link the Miocene metallogenic events to the geodynamic evolution of this segment of the Andean subduction system. The aim here is to document the proposed transient nature of the geodynamic evolution and its linkages to metallogenic / mineralisation pulses.

    CA-IDTIMS high-precision geochronology

    Supported by Department of Industry Innovation and Science - AusIndustry: Innovation Connections
    Industry Collaborator: Panoramic Resources CI: Fiorentini Summary: 
    This project aims to determine the precise timing of the Ni-Cu-Co-PGE ore-forming process(-es) at Savannah and along the Central Zone of the Halls Creek Orogen, Western Australia. The study builds on the outcomes of the recent MRIWA M459 and M484 projects, which established not only the petrological and geochemical architecture of the Savannah Ni-Cu deposit, but also resolved the ca. 1 Ma difference in the timing of emplacement of the mineralised intrusions through use of the high-precision CA-IDTIMS U-Pb method for geochronology.

    Distal footprints of giant ore systems: UNCOVER Australia

    Supported by CSIRO ex Science & Industry Endowment Fund (SIEF)
    Industry Collaborator: CSIRO, UWA, CU, Geological Survey of Western Australia
    CIs: Hough, Reddy, McCuaig, Tyler, Dentith, Shragge, Miller, Fiorentini, Aitken
    Australia is an old continent with much of its remaining mineral wealth masked by a thick cover of weathered rock and sediments that pose a formidable challenge for future mineral exploration. This project aims to develop a toolkit with a workflow to identify the distal footprints of the Giant Ore Systems to address a fundamental limitation in current exploration methodologies.

    Geology and ore genesis of the Nova- Bollinger Ni deposit, WA

    Industry Collaborator: IGO Independence
    CIs: Barnes, Fiorentini
    This study focuses on unravelling the multiple sulfur isotope architecture of the Nova-Bollinger deposit. Expected outcomes from this work will help to define the ore genesis of the most significant Australian nickel sulfide discovery in decades as well as provide a new framework for the exploration of mafic-hosted systems along the margins of Archean cratons.

    Distal footprints of giant ore systems: Capricorn WA case study

    Supported by MRIWA M436 Industry Collaborators: CSIRO, MRIWA, Northern Star Resources Ltd, Thundelarra, Sandfire Resources NL, MMG, Golden Phoenix Resources LTD, Marindi Metals Pty Ltd, Independence Group NL, RNI
    CIs: Hough, McCuaig, Reddy, Clark, Fiorentini, Gray, Miller
    This study investigates the distal footprint of mineral systems by examining the indelible nature of the mass-independent fractionation of sulfur (MIF-S), which was imparted to different sulfur-bearing reservoirs prior to 2.4 billion years ago, in the Archean eon. This fractionation process led to the unique preservation of this anomalous sulfur isotope signature (as ∆33S) in the Archean sedimentary rock record (Farquhar et al. 2000). Subsequently, as this signature was recycled through different geological processes operating at various scales in space and time, we are now in the privileged position to be able to use it as an indelible tracer and marker of different geological processes.

    Yilgarn 2020 Supported by MRIWA M530

    Industry Collaborators: Gold Road Resources, BHP Billiton Nickel West, Newmont, Northern Star Resources Limited, Saracen, Evolution Mining
    CI: Thebaud, Aitken, Jessell, Occhipinti, Dentith, Hagemann, Kemp, Fiorentini, Smithies, Lu, Gessner
    Yilgarn 2020 is a 3-year research-intensive program that integrates priority research and technology activities with complementary data compilation and targeted data acquisition. The research project is articulated into three modules ranging from regional- to camp- and deposit-scale studies applied to both well-mineralised, and less well-endowed areas. The combination of studies conducted on both mineralised and less mineralised areas is critical to evaluate and test the robustness of perceived mineralisation controls derived from the study of well mineralised domains.