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Externally Funded Research Fellow A - School of Physical Sciences

The University of Adelaide
Adelaide, Australia
$72,829 - $97,927
Closing date
Aug 14, 2022

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(Level A6) $89,610 per annum plus an employer contribution of up to 17% superannuation will apply.

We are looking to recruit a MinEx CRC Researcher in Mineral Systems Geoscience to work with the School of Physical Sciences on a three year fixed term appointment commencing immediately.

This is a great opportunity to undertake research on minerals systems with The University of Adelaide and the Geological Survey of South Australia (GSSA) within the National Drilling Initiative in the MinEx Cooperative Research Centre (MinEx CRC).

The successful applicant will play a pivotal role in The University of Adelaide and Geological Survey of South Australia's mineral exploration research program.

Project context:

The GSSA is currently undertaking a program of geoscientific analysis in the western Gawler Craton as part of the Gawler Phase 2 project. Datasets that will be collected at the regional scale include gravity and magnetotelluric geophysical data together with a program of whole rock geochemical and geochronological characterisation of publicly available drill cores stored in the South Australian Drill Core Reference Library. This project has as its focus the region of the Gawler Craton that will be the location of GSSA's second National Drilling Initiative (NDI) project within MinEx CRC. The combined efforts of the Gawler Phase 2 and MinEx CRC research in this region has the potential to provide breakthrough insights into mineral systems in the region and support new mineral discovery.

In particular, the new geochemical, geochronological, isotopic, mineralogical and petrophysical data on samples from over 4500m of existing drill core samples are aimed at testing stratigraphic models for known mineralisation and characterising magmatic events.

To compliment this rock characterisation, this MinEx CRC researcher position will be tasked with developing new proxies for mineralisation-related fluid flow in metamorphic rocks. This project will focus on developing methods for identifying and measuring fertility in drill materials and thereby map regional fluid conduits which may provide broad controls on Au mineralisation. These new proxies can be applied to drill materials acquired during the MinEx CRC Gawler NDI and by explorers across the region and potentially in other metamorphic terranes.

The successful candidate will work collaboratively with other UoA and MinEx CRC researchers, will develop a research program focussed in the western Gawler Craton that will aim to:

• characterise fluids involved in Au mineralisation of the western Gawler Craton and

• enable the mapping of fluid movement at tenement- to deposit-scale, and thereby provide a mechanism of identifying more prospective regions of the western Gawler Craton.

The project will focus on accessory mineral phases in granulite to amphibolite facies metasedimentary rocks. Accessory phases such as monazite, apatite and xenotime are sensitive to changes in pressure, temperature, and fluid composition in the metamorphic environment. The aim of the petrological, chemical, and isotopic investigations of these samples will be to date them and to identify if there are signals of early or pre-metamorphic fluid flow events that may have been responsible for gold mineralisation. Mineral phases to be targeted may include monazite, zircon, pyrite, apatite, allanite and xenotime. Samples will be derived from drill core in mineralised, weakly mineralised and 'background' rocks in the western Gawler Craton.

The successful candidate will be able to use both in-situ (laser-ablation) and solution based dating approaches (established and/or to be developed), using our newly refurbished LA-ICP MS/MS and TIMS/ATONA systems.

Complementary to studies of accessory phases, the project will also investigate at the regional scale:

• whole rock and vein quartz oxygen isotope compositions to look for signals of fluid flow preserved through granulite/amphibolite facies metamorphism,

• sulphur isotopic composition and trace element compositional mapping of pyrite associated with gold mineralisation in order to better define fluid sources for mineralisation.

The outcomes of this project will guide sampling and analysis during the Gawler NDI and provide explorers with methods of recognising a mineralising system in the region.

The successful candidate will need:

Research capability in the broad area of mineral system geology, with demonstrated ability in at least three of the following areas:
  • a comprehensive understanding of metamorphic processes
  • an understanding of the use of stable and radiogenic isotopes to identify fluid-rock interaction in metamorphosed crust
  • an understanding of the geochemical expressions of alteration systems and their metamorphosed equivalents
  • an understanding of igneous geochemistry and its implications for tectonic setting
  • a demonstrated understanding of geochronological methods that provide age constraints in high-temperature poly tectonic terrains.

To be successful you will need:
  • To demonstrate the ability to conduct independent research and critically analyse data, in addition to working effectively as a member of a research team.
  • A proven track record of publication of research results.
  • Experience in manipulating data using data analytical techniques would be advantageous.
  • Ability to liaise and communicate effectively with professional and industry bodies, government and members of the community with excellent verbal and written communication skills .
  • Have obtained a PhD or equivalent in an area of Earth Sciences.

Enjoy an outstanding career environment

The University of Adelaide is a uniquely rewarding workplace. The size, breadth and quality of our education and research programs - including significant industry, government and community collaborations - offers you vast scope and opportunity for a long, fulfilling career.

It also enables us to attract high-calibre people in all facets of our operations, ensuring you will be surrounded by talented colleagues, many world-leading. Our work's cutting-edge nature - not just in your own area, but across virtually the full spectrum of human endeavour - provides a constant source of inspiration.

Our culture is one that welcomes all and embraces diversity consistent with our Staff Values and Behaviour Framework and our Values of integrity, respect, collegiality, excellence and discovery. We firmly believe that our people are our most valuable asset, so we work to grow and diversify the skills, knowledge and capability of all our staff.

We embrace flexibility as a key principle to allow our people to manage the changing demands of work, personal and family life. Flexible working arrangements are on offer for all roles at the University.

In addition, we offer a wide range of attractive staff benefits. These include: salary packaging; flexible work arrangements; high-quality professional development programs and activities; and an on-campus health clinic, gym and other fitness facilities.

Your faculty's broader role

The Faculty of Sciences, Engineering and Technology is a multidisciplinary hub of cutting-edge teaching and research. Many of its academic staff are world leaders in their fields and graduates are highly regarded by employers. The Faculty actively partners with innovative industries to solve problems of global significance.

Learn more at:

If you have the talent, we'll give you the opportunity. Together, let's make history.

Click on the 'Apply Now' button to be taken through to the online application form. Please ensure you submit a cover letter, resume, and upload a document that includes your responses to all of the selection criteria for the position as contained in the position description or selection criteria document.

Applications close 11:55pm, 1 September 2022.

The University of Adelaide is an Equal Employment Opportunity employer. Women and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who meet the requirements of this position are strongly encouraged to apply.

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