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KESS2 Scholarship (MbyRes): Gold in Wales; soil geochemistry as an exploration tool.

Faculty of Computing, Engineering and Science

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Dr D Pirrie No more applications being accepted Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

Here is an exciting opportunity to study new methods of geological data analysis and visualisation which could lead to entirely new approaches for the mineral exploration strategy within the Dolgellau Gold Belt, Wales.
The selected candidate will apply their geological and geochemical skills and ambition to a new exploration data set, which will be used to evaluate the spatial distribution and significance of the geochemical anomalies in terms of potential exploration models and targets. The training and research will allow the student to develop transferable knowledge and skills in this most exciting and active field of ore genesis research.

This Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarship (KESS) project will be held in the Faculty of Computing, Engineering and Science at the University of South Wales. KESS is a programme funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) awarded by the Welsh European Funding Office (WEFO) in the Welsh Government.

In this project we will apply world-leading geostatistical and visualisation methods to the significant ~2000 sample, multi-variate geochemical dataset available for the Dolgellau Gold Belt. The data will be considered in light of the known geology of the target area, new exploration data sets and compared with modern models for gold mineralisation in similar geological terrains. Data will be used to evaluate the spatial distribution and significance of the geochemical anomalies in terms of potential exploration models and targets. The project is backed by Alba Mineral Resources (Gold Mines of Wales Ltd) who are actively undertaking mineral exploration of the Dolgellau Gold belt with the express aim of discovering new sources of Welsh Gold.

Programme of research:
The student will be based at the University of South Wales and will initially work in collaboration with the supervisory team at USW and the Partner Advisor at Alba Mineral Resources. Following the successful recruitment of a suitably qualified graduate (BSc Geology) the project team will participate in an induction and familiarisation exercise in the exploration area, gaining an appreciation of the regional setting, company ethos and expectations.

An understanding of the regional geochemical soil sampling campaign will be gained allowing the student and supervision team to have a clear understanding of the strengths and any limitations of the available dataset. Statistical and data analysis and visualisation packages will be agreed upon and the candidate will be provided with training in the agreed methodology. Alba Mineral Resources will provide the soil geochemical dataset along with additional data accrued throughout the study, including drillhole data.

A thorough review of existing relevant literature covering the regional geology, mining history, gold mineralisation models and geochemical exploration will be carried out. Data analysis and visualisation will be carried out. The geochemical dataset will be integrated with other outputs arising from ongoing exploration carried out by Alba Mineral Resources.

The candidate will then complete their MRes and research outputs with the express aim of developing an exploration model that can be applied to the greater Dolgellau Gold Belt under licence to Alba Mineral Resources. Joint progress and review meetings will be held between the candidate, supervisory team and the company on a monthly basis.

Application Process:

To download an application package, please visit:

For any queries on eligibility, please contact: KESS Team at Research and Innovation Services, University of South Wales: [Email Address Removed] Tel: 01443 482578

For informal enquiries or further programme information, please contact: Dr Duncan Pirrie, Associate Professor of Geology
([Email Address Removed]).

Further information at:

Funding Notes

The studentship will cover the fees for a full-time MbyRes programme and pay a stipend of circa £11k p.a. There is also around £3k project support costs available for consumables, travel, minor equipment, training (including the KESS Grad School) and conference attendance.
The position is available from 1st October 2020.

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