PhD Projects

EGRU Research PhD Projects

PhD Projects

Postgraduate Study in Natural and Physical Sciences

The College of Science and Engineering (CSE) at James Cook University Queensland Australia, invites highly qualified students to apply  for postgraduate studies in the field of geosciences.

Studying at James Cook University will provide access to the outstanding Precambrian geology of tropical Australia, Papua New Guinea and the SW Pacific, with easy access to the Great Barrier Reef, savannah landscapes, and numerous world-class mineral deposits. JCU's research in geology, geochemistry and physical geography is recognised internationally.

Scholarships in all fields of geosciences are available for highly qualified students and additional scholarships may be available to incoming students to supplement their income.

On-going research projects in natural and physical Sciences include the study of:

  • Biogeochemistry
  • GIS and mineral prospectivity
  • Marine geosciences
  • Ore deposit geology
  • Petrology and geochemistry
  • Paleoenvironmental reconstruction
  • Palaeontology and Paleoanthropology
  • Radiogenic isotope geochemistry
  • Sedimentology
  • Tectonics

Email at any time of year to express your interest. Include a brief description of your research interests, an up-to-date CV, academic transcripts from relevant degrees and your publication history (papers and abstracts).

Current Available Positions

The Economic Geology Research Centre (EGRU) at James Cook University (JCU), Townsville and Dugald River Mine, MMG, are offering a PhD project in Structural Geology/engineering geology/geotechnical engineering, focused on developing a model for the geotechnical behavior of the ore zone and immediate wall rock at Dugald River Mine, North of Cloncurry, Australia.

Dugald River, is a world-class Zn-Pb-Ag deposit (64.8Mt @ 12.0% Zn, 2.2% Pb, 31g/t Ag) in the Mt Isa district which commenced mining in 2013. The ore zone is structurally complex with a strongly sheared and faulted hanging wall, which affects mining and ore recovery.

During the project you will develop a structural model for the orebody based on face mapping and drill core logging using advanced digital mapping techniques (ADAM Tech) in combination with 3-D modelling (Leapfrog and Vulcan). The work is aimed at gaining an improved understanding of fault distribution patterns and rock mass behaviour along the ore zone, to improve the efficiency of ore recovery.

You will be based on the JCU campus in Townsville, but you are expected to work at the mine for 1 week each month, to collect data and interact with the geological and geotechnical teams at the mine. EGRU is currently building a team of students and researchers, working on mining and exploration related questions in the central part of the Mt Isa block, and you will be part of this team. This is a unique opportunity to advance your research career and learn new skills in one of the world’s major mineral provinces. The PhD projects will benefit from state of the art analytical facilities hosted at JCU.

The successful applicants will have good 3-D skills with experience in structural geology, engineering geology and/or geotechnical engineering. Prior knowledge of Leapfrog, Vulcan and ADAM Tech software would be an advantage but is not a necessity. We are looking for candidates with an interest in solving practical geotechnical problems in a mining environment. A first class Honours or a Master by research are essential to be eligible for PhD studies at JCU, and be competitive for a scholarship.

If you are interested please send an expression of interest and your CV to:

Prof Paul Dirks on or

Dr Ioan Sanislav on

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More information about the Geoscience department and EGRU can be found at the following link:

Further information