Ore deposits and Critical Metals Research Group

Ore Deposits and Critical Metals

We are experts in the geology and processing of some metals regarded as ‘critical’ (PGE, REE, Nb, Ta, In, W, Li) as well as more traditional commodities such as Sn and Cu.

The Ore Deposits and Critical Metals research group is interested in a wide variety of metal and industrial mineral deposits.

Much of our research focusses on 'critical metals'. These are metals which have irreplacable applications but which are from a restricted supply source. We have particular expertise on:

  • Rare earth elements (REE),
  • Platinum group elements,
  • Niobium & tantalum,
  • Indium,
  • Tungsten

In order to find the future supplies of metals and industrial minerals that we need, we must understand the fundamental processes that control how our planet works. We are particularly interested in:

  • The geodynamic environment that created the granites and metamorphic rocks in South West England and their associated ore deposits. This involves detailed field mapping to facilitate structural interpretation and analysis of minerals and fluids.
  • Processes that take place in large magma chambers such as the one that produced the Skaergaard intrusion in Greenland.
  • Some of the Earth’s most unusual volcanoes that tap the mantle to erupt carbonate (‘carbonatite’) rather than silicate magmas.

Our group works in collaboration with the British Geological Survey, as part of the Crtical Metals Alliance, to improve our knowledge of critical metal deposits and to work on new extraction techniques from waste materials.

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