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Eliza Smith

PhD student
School of Earth Sciences - Centre for Exploration Targeting

Contact details

Robert Street Building - Room 226
Centre for Exploration Targeting (CET)
School of Earth Sciences
The University of Western Australia (M006)
35 Stirling Highway

+61 8 6488 2637


After graduating with a Bachelor of Science and first class Honours from the University of Western Australia in 2011, Eliza found work as an exploration geologist for Newexco Services.  She spent two years exploring for magmatic nickel sulphide deposits in the Forrestania Greenstone Belt, Western Australia, and lost count of the kilometres of drill core she (happily) logged.

After taking an extensive backpacking trip in 2015 and returning with a bag full of rocks to add to her unashamedly large rock collection, Eliza realised she was ready to commit to studying more rocks. In March 2016 she joined the CET to work on a project investigating the links between felsic magmatism and mineral deposits in the Archean Carajás Mineral Province (CMP), Brazil.

The CMP hosts the largest number of high-tonnage iron-oxide-copper-gold (IOCG) deposits in the world, with combined indicated and measured reserved of more than 2 billion metric tons of Cu-Au ore. It also hosts intrusion related Cu-Au-Bi, Ni-sulphide, Au-PGE and BIF related Fe mineralisation. The metallogenic diversity and metal endowment of the CMP had Eliza feeling so “ore-struck” that she had to be involved.

Eliza will be working under the supervision of Steffen Hagemann and Tony Kemp of UWA, with help from Roberto Xavier, the director of the Institute of Geosciences, Brazil. The project aims to establish the exact timing of magmatism and mineralisation and to determine if felsic magmatism provides the metals for mineral deposits or simply acts as a heat source. This will be investigated using U/Pb geochronology, trace element geochemistry and Lu-Hf isotope systematics on zircons and hydrothermal accessory minerals such as allanite, and will help improve our understanding of the genesis of ore deposits and the evolution of magmatic belts worldwide.