Centre for Exploration Targeting (CET)
Mineral Systems Studies
Geological Survey of Western Australia
100 Plain Street
East Perth WA 6004
+61 8 9222 3155
+61 (0) 488 194 350
Franco Pirajno, a senior geoscientist in the Minerals Geoscience
Resources section of the Geological Survey of Western Australia (GSWA), has considerable experience in tectonics, ore deposit geology and mineral exploration in Europe, southern Africa, South East Asia, New Zealand, the southwest Pacific, China, Greenland, southern and eastern Siberia, and Australia.
Prior to joining the GSWA in 1993, Franco worked for the Anglo American Corporation of South Africa Ltd, as Exploration Geologist, following a spell as a post-doctoral research scientist at the Vesuvius Volcano Observatory. Whilst with Anglo American, he participated and supervised exploration projects in many parts of southern Africa, Australia, New Zealand, the South West Pacific islands and Indonesia. Promoted to Exploration Manager of the Company’s activities in the South West Pacific till 1983, when appointed to the Chair of Economic Geology at Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa.
As Director of MSc courses at Rhodes University, Franco was involved in both academic and administrative aspects. Research activity was mainly on precious metals and base metals mineral deposits in the southern African subcontinent. The MSc courses in Exploration Geology and in Economic Geology (course + research) were very intensive and with emphasis on field-based studies of ore deposits, their genesis and tectonic settings. This afforded the unique opportunity of examining and studying a large number and range of mineral systems in the southern African subcontinent. These included mineral systems in:
• Archaean granite greenstone terranes
• Proterozoic intracratonic basins
• Rift associated mineral deposits
• Layered mafic-ultramafic complexes
• Metamorphic belts of Proterozoic age
• Alkaline complexes and other types of anorogenic magmatism products
• Carbonate rocks in passive margin settings
In the last 20 years Franco Pirajno has worked extensively in Western Australia’s Proterozoic terranes and was instrumental in the discovery of a new large igneous province in Australia. Visiting Professor at Peking University in 2003 and China University of Geosciences, Beijing in 2004. Distinguished Foreign Professor at Hefei University of Technology, September-October 2012. Appointed Foreign Editor for the GeoScience Frontiers journal of Peking University and China University of Geosciences in 2004. Appointed Chairperson of SEG Fellowship Admissions Committee for 2009-2011. Associate Editor 2008-2014 for the Australian Journal of Earth Sciences, on the Editorial Board of Russian Geology and Geophysics and Lithos. Appointed Editor-in-Chief of Ore Geology Reviews in March 2012 and Series Editor of Solid Earth Sciences (Springer) in November 2012. Member of the Steering Committee of the Large Igneous Provinces Working Group.
Supervised and/or reviewed 57 MSc and PhD theses.
Current honorary appointments include: Adjunct Professor at Centre for Exploration Targeting (University of Western Australia). Research Associate at the Australian Centre for Astrobiology, University of New South Wales, Sydney and Honorary Research Fellow at CERCAMS (Centre for Russian and Central EurAsian Mineral Studies), Natural History Museum, London. Nominated highest cited author by Thomson-Reuter for 2011 in Economic Geology at University of Western Australia
FIELDS OF INTEREST
- Studies of regional tectonics and metallogeny
- Studies of hydrothermal systems and alteration patterns
- Ancient and recent volcanic systems and related mineralisation
- Conceptual modelling of ore deposit systems
- Meteorite impacts and related hydrothermal systems
- Analogues of hydrothermal systems on other planets of the Solar System
- Mantle plumes and large igneous provinces
Specialist courses offered:
- Ore deposits models to Honours class, University of Western Australia
- Short course on mineral systems, Korean Institute of Geosciences and Mineral Resources
Fluent in English and Italian. Good working knowledge of Latin, Portuguese, French and Spanish
Planetary Science, Early Roman History, Chinese history and culture
- Geological Society of Australia
- Fellow, Society of Economic Geologists.
- Society for Geology Applied to Mineral Deposits
- Geological Society of America
- International Association on the Genesis of Ore Deposits (IAGOD)