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Wolfgang Maier

Adjunct Senior Research Fellow
Centre for Exploration Targeting (CET)


Contact details

Dept.of Geology
University of Oulu
Oulu, Finland 

P: +358 8 553 1432
M:+358 408293909
+358 8 553 1484

Wolfgang Maier is Professor for Ore Geology at the University of Oulu. He studied geology at the University of Munich, Germany (MSc on South African BIFs, 1987) and Rhodes University, South Africa (PhD on the Bushveld Complex, 1992). He taught igneous petrology and economic geology at the Universities of Pretoria (South Africa), Chicoutimi (Canada), and Western Australia. Wolf’s research deals with petrological and geochemical processes in mafic-ultramafic igneous systems that contribute to our understanding of continental magmatism, mantle evolution, plate tectonics and the formation of magmatic ore deposits including PGE, Ni-Cu, Cr, and V-Ti-Fe deposits.



Selected Publications

Fiorentini ML, Bekker A, Rouxel O, Wing BA, Maier WD, Rumble D (2012) Multiple sulphur and iron isotope composition of magmatic Ni-Cu-(PGE) sulfide mineralization from eastern Botswana. Econ Geol., 107, 105-116.

Barnes SJ, Osborne GA, Cook D, Barnes L, Maier WD, Godel B (2011) The Santa Rita Nickel sulfide deposit in the Fazenda Mirabela Intrusion, Bahia, Brazil: Geology, sulfide geochemistry and genesis. Econ Geol., 106, 1083-1110

Maier WD, Peltonen P, McDonald I, Barnes SJ, Barnes S-J, Hatton C, Viljoen F (2011) The concentration of platinum-group elements and gold in southern African and Karelian kimberlite-hosted mantle xenoliths: Implications for the noble metal content of the Earth’s mantle. Chem Geol., doi.org/10.1016/j.chemgeo.2011.06.014

Godel B, Seat Z, Maier WD, Barnes S-J (2011). The Nebo-Babel Cu-Ni-PGE sulfide deposit (West Musgrave Block, Australia): Part 2: Mafic dyke chemsirty with constraints on parental magma and processes. Econ Geol., 106, 557-584.

Said N, Kerrich R, McCuaig C, Maier WD (2011) Behaviour of Ni-PGE-Au-Cu in mafic-ultramafic suites of the 2.7 Ga Kambalda sequence, Kalgoorlie terrane, Yilgarn craton. Geochim et Cosmochim Acta, 75, 2882-2910

Maier WD, Groves DI (2011) Temporal and spatial controls on the formation of magmatic PGE and Ni-Cu deposits. Min Deposita, 46, 841-857

Fiorentini ML, Barnes SJ, Maier WD, Heggie GJ (2011) Global variability in the PGE contents of komatiites, J Pet 52, 82-112

Barnes S-J, Maier WD, Curl E (2010) Composition of the Marginal Rocks and Sills of the Rustenburg Layered Suite, Bushveld Complex, South Africa: Implications for the Formation of the Platinum-group Element Deposits. Econ Geol., 105, 1481-1511

Godel B, Barnes SJ, Barnes S-J, Maier WD (2010) Platinum ore in 3D: insights from high-resolution X-ray computed tomography, Geology, 38, 1127-1130

Maier WD, Barnes S-J, Sarkar A, Ripley E, Li C, Livesey T (2010) The Kabanga Ni sulfide deposits, Tanzania I: Geology, petrography, silicate rock geochemistry and sulfur and oxygen isotopes. Mineralium Deposita, 45, 419-441

Maier WD, Barnes S-J (2010) The Kabanga Ni sulfide deposits, Tanzania II: Chalcophile and sireophile element geochemistry. Mineralium Deposita, 45, 443-460

Markwitz, V, Gonzalez-Alvarez I, Maier WD, McCuaig TC, Porwal A (2010) Exploration criteria for magmatic Ni sulfide deposits in Zimbabwe’s Archean greenstone belts. Ore Geology Reviews; DOI: 10.1016/j.oregeorev.2010.07.004

González-Álvarez I, Porwal A, Beresford SW, McCuaig TC, Maier WD (2010) Hydrothermal Ni Prospectivity Analysis of Tasmania, Australia, Ore Geology Reviews, 38, 168-183

Koek M, Kreuzer OP, Maier WD, Porwal AK, Thompson M, Guj P (2010) A review of the PGM industry, deposit models and exploration practices: implications for Australia’s PGM potential. Resources Policy, 35, 20-35

Maier WD, Barnes SJ, Campbell IH, Fiorentini ML, Peltonen P, Barnes S-J, Smithies RH (2009) Mantle magmas reveal progressive mixing of meteoritic veneer into the early Earth’s deep mentle. Nature, 460, 620-623

Barnes S-J, Savard D, Bedard P, Maier WD (2009) Selenium and sulfur concentrations in the Bushveld Complex of South Africa and implications for formation of the platinum-group element deposits. Min Deposita,  44, 647-663

Maier WD, Barnes S-J (2008) Platinum-group elements in the UG1 and UG2 chromitites and the     Bastard reef at Impala platinum mine, western Bushveld Complex, SAJG, 111, 159-176.

Maier WD, Barnes S-J, Bandyayera D, Peltonen P, Eglington B, Li C, Ripley E (2008) The petrogenesis   and ore potential of the Kapalagulu and Musongati intrusions, Tanzania / Burundi. Lithos, 101, 24-53.

Maier WD, de Klerk L, Blaine J, Manyeruke T, Barnes S-J, Stevens MVA, Mavrogenes JA (2008) Petrogenesis of contact-style PGE mineralization in the northern lobe of the Bushveld Complex: comparison of data from the farms Rooipoort, Townlands, Drenthe and Nonnenwerth. Mineralium Deposita, 43, 255-280.

Maier WD, Barnes S-J, Chinyepi G, Setshedi I, Barton J, (2008). The petrogenesis of magmatic Ni-Cu- (PGE) deposits in NE Botswana: Compositional data from Phoenix, Selkirk, Tekwane, and intrusions in the Selebi-Phikwe area (Phikwe, Dikoloti, Lentswe, Phokoje). Min Deposita, 43, 37-60

Maier WD, Peltonen P, Livesey T (2007) The age of the Kabanga and Kapalagulu intrusions, western Tanzania: implications for prospecting magmatic sulphide deposits in the Kibaran belt.Economic Geology, 102, 147-154.

Godel, B., Barnes S-J, Maier WD (2007) The Merensky Reef of the Bushveld Complex, South Africa: a mass balance of platinum group elements in sulfide minerals, platinum group minerals and the whole rock, J. Petrology, 48, 1569-1604.

Maier WD, Andreoli MAG, McDonald I, Higgins MD, Boyce AJ, Shukolyukov A, Lugmair GW,    Ashwal LD, Graeser P, Ripley E, Hart R (2006). Discovery of a 25 cm asteroid clast in the giant Morokweng impact crater, South Africa. Nature, 441, 203-206.

Godel, B., Barnes S-J, Maier WD (2006) 3-D distribution of sulphide minerals in the Merensky Reef (Bushveld Complex, South Africa) and the J-M reef (Stillwater Complex, USA) and their relationship to microstructures using X-ray computed tomography. J Petrol., 47, 1853-1872.

Maier, W.D. (2005) Platinum-group element (PGE) deposits and occurrences: mineralization styles, genetic concepts, and exploration criteria. Invited presidential review, Journal of African Earth      Sciences, 41, 165-191.

Manyeruke, T, Maier WD, Barnes S-J. (2005) Major and Trace Element Geochemistry of the Platreef on the farm Townlands, northern Bushveld Complex. S Afr J Geol., 108, 379-396.

Li, C., Ripley, EM, Merino E., Maier WD (2004) Replacement of base metal sulfides by actinolite, epidote, calcite, and magnetite in the UG2 and Merensky Reef of the Bushveld Complex, South Africa. Econ Geol 99, 173-184.

Maier, WD, Barnes S-J (2004) Pt/Pd and Pd/Ir ratios in mantle-derived magmas: a possible role for mantle metasomatism. S Afr J Geol., 107, 333-340.

Maier, W.D., Gomwe, T., Barnes, S.-J., Li, C., Theart, H. (2004) Platinum-group elements in the Uitkomst Complex, South Africa, Economic Geology, 99, 499-516.

Barnes, S.J., Maier, WD, Ashwal, L (2004) PGE distribution in the Main Zone and Upper Zone of the Bushveld Complex. South Africa. Chemical Geology, 208, 293-317

Li, C., Xu, ZH, de Waal, SA, Ripley, EM, Maier WD (2004) Magmatic and metamorphic controls on the compositions of olivine from the Jinchuan Ni-Cu sulfide deposit, western China, with implications for ore gnesis. Mineralium Deposita, 39, 159-172.

Maier, W.D., Roelofse, F., Barnes, S.-J. (2003) The concentration of the platinum-group elements in South African komatiites: implications for mantle sources, melting regime, and PGE fractionation during crystallization. Journal of Petrology, 44, 1787-1804.

Maier, W.D., Barnes, S.-J., Gartz, V., Andrews, G. (2003) Pt-Pd reefs in magnetitites of the Stella   intrusion, South Africa: a world of new PGE exploration opportunities. Geology, 31, 885-888.

Maier, W.D. Peltonen, P., Grantham, G, Mattari, I. (2003) A new 1.9 Ga age for the Trompsburg     intrusion, South Africa. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 212, 351-360.

Maier, W.D. (2003) The potential for magmatic Ni sulfide ores in South African komatiites: a review. South African Journal of Geology, 106, 35-40.

Maier W.D. Barnes, S.-J, and Marsh, J.S. (2003) The concentrations of the noble metals in Southern African flood-type basalts and MORB: implications for petrogenesis and sulphide exploration. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, 146, 44-61.

Maier, W.D., Marsh, J.S., and Barnes, S.-J. (2002) The distribution of PGE in the Insizwa lobe, Mount Ayliff Complex, South Africa : implications for Ni-Cu-PGE sulfide exploration in the Karoo Igneous Province. Economic Geology, v. 97, p. 1293-1306.

Barnes, S.J. and Maier, W.D. (2002) Platinum-group elements and microstructures of normal Merensky Reef from Impala Platinum Mines, Bushveld Complex. Journal of Petrology, 43, p. 103-128.

Maier, W.D., Barnes, S.-J., Ashwal, L. and Li, C. (2001) A reconnaissance study on the magmatic Cu-Ni-PGE sulfide potential of the Tete Complex, Mozambique. S. Afr. J. Geol. 104, 351-359.

Maier WD, Li C, De Waal SA (2001) Why are there no major Ni-Cu sulfide deposits in large layered mafic-ultramafic intrusions? Canadian Mineralogist, 39,  547-556.

Maier WD, Arndt NT, Curl E (2000) Progressive crustal contamination of the Bushveld Complex:   evidence from Nd isotopic analyses of the cumulate rocks. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, 140, 316-327.

Maier WD (2000) Concentrations of platinum-group elements in Cu-sulphide ores at Carolusberg and East Okiep, Namaqualand, South Africa. Mineralium Deposita, 35, 422-429.

Maier WD, Barnes S-J (1999) Platinum-group elements in silicate rocks of the Lower, Critical and Main   Zones at Union Section, Western Bushveld Complex: Journal of Petrology, 40, 1647-1671.

Maier WD, Barnes S-J (1999) The origin of Cu sulfide deposits in the Curaca Valley, Bahia, Brazil: evidence from Cu, Ni, Se, and PGE concentrations: Economic Geology, 94, 165-183.

Maier WD, Prichard HM, Barnes S-J, Fisher PC (1999) Compositional variation of laurite at Union Section in the Western Bushveld Complex: South African Journal of Geology, 102, 286-292.

Maier WD, Barnes S-J, De Waal SA (1998) Exploration for magmatic Ni-Cu-PGE sulphide deposits: a review of recent advances in the use of geochemical tools, and their application to some South African ores: South African Journal of Geology, 101, 165-182.

Maier WD, Barnes S-J (1998) Concentrations of rare earth elements in silicate rocks of the Lower, Critical, and Main Zones of the Bushveld Complex: Chemical Geology, 150, 85-103.

Maier WD, Bowen MP (1996) The UG2 - Merensky Reef interval of the Bushveld Complex northwest of Pretoria: Mineralium Deposita, 31, 386-393.

Maier WD, Barnes S-J (1996) Unusually high concentrations of magnetite at Caraiba and other Cu-sulfide deposits in the Curaça valley, Bahia, Brazil: Canadian Mineralogist, 34, 717-731.

Maier WD, Barnes S-J, Pellet T (1996) The economic significance of the Bell River Complex, Abitibi Sub-province, Québec: Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, 33, 967-980.

Maier WD, Barnes S-J, De Klerk WJ, Teigler B, Mitchell AA (1996) Cu/Pd and Cu/Pt ratios of silicate rocks in the Bushveld Complex: Implications for PGE exploration: Economic Geology, 91, 1151-1158

Maier WD, Teigler B (1995) A facies model for the Western Bushveld Complex: Economic Geology, 90, 2343-2349.

Eales HV, Botha WJ, Hattingh PJ, De Klerk WJ, Maier WD, Odgers ATR (1993): The mafic rocks of the Bushveld Complex: A review of emplacement and crystallization history and mineralization, in the light of recent data: Journal of African Earth Sciences, 16, 121-142.




Maier WD, Barnes S-J, Ripley EM (2011) The Kabanga Ni sulfide deposits, Tanzania: A review of ore forming processes. Econ Geol Special Paper, Rev in Econ Geol., 17, 217-234

Howard HM, Werner M, Smithies RH, Evins PM, Kirkland CL, Kelsey DL, Hand M, Collins A, Pirajno F, Wingate MTD, Maier WD and Raimondo T (2011) The geology of the west Musgrave Province and the Bentley Supergroup – a field guide. Geol Survey of Western Australia, Record 2011/4

Evins PM, Howard HM, Smithies RH, Maier WD (2010) Finnlayson, WA Sheet 4446, Geol Surv Western Australia, 1: 100 000 Geological Series

Maier WD, Barnes S-J (2009) Formation of PGE deposits in Layered Intrusions. In C Li and EM Ripley (eds) New developments in magmatic Ni-Cu and PGE deposits. Geological Publishing House, Beijing, 250-276.

Evins PM, Smithies RH, Maier WD, Howard HM (2009) Holt, WA Sheet 4546, Geol Surv Western Australia, 1: 100 000 Geological Series

Smithies RH, Howard HM, Maier WD, Evins PM (2009) Blackstone, WA Sheet 4545: Geol Surv Western Australia 1: 100 000 Geological Series

Maier WD (2008) The Kunene anorthosite Complex, its satellite intrusions, and possible links to early Kibaran intrusions in Tanzania and Burundi. www.largeigneousprovinces.org

Maier WD, Teigler B., Miller R. (2008) The Kunene anorthosite complex and its satellite intrusions. In R.Mc.G. Miller, (ed.), The Geology of Namibia, Geol. Survey of Namibia, 9-1 to 9-18

Maier WD, Barnes S-J. (2005) Geochemical prospecting: lithogeochemistry. In Mungall, J (ed),       Exploration for deposits of platinum-group elements, Geol Assoc Canada, Short Course Series, V 35, 309-341.

Barnes S-J, Maier WD (2002) PGE distributions in the Rustenburg Layered Suite of the Bushveld   Complex, South Africa, in Cabri, L., (ed), The geology, geochemistry, mineralogy and mineral beneficiation of PGE, Canadian Institute of Metallurgy, Special Volume 54  p. 553-580

Maier WD (2001) Platinum-group elements in Southern African rocks. Special issue of the South    African Journal of Geology, v. 104, Nr.4.