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Ashley Uren

PhD student
Centre for Exploration Targeting (CET)

Contact details

Geography and Geology Building, Rm G09
Centre for Exploration Targeting (CET)
The University of Western Australia (M006)
35 Stirling Highway


Ashley commenced his PhD in May 2015 within the Centre for Exploration Targeting (CET), University of Western Australia (UWA).  He is working within the Western Australian Capricorn Orogen project that is part of the Distal Footprints of Giant Mineral Systems initiative, a collaboration between UWA, Curtin University, CSIRO, GSWA and the minerals industry.  It is to address the problem in basin dominated terranes that is mapping crustal scale faults at surface can be difficult.  The sedimentary basin obscures the significance of an underlying fault or the lack of petrophysical contrast between the different sedimentary units limits the ability to map the faults in the geophysical data.  Knowledge of the locations of these structures, as well as the geodynamic setting that is suggested by the basin fill or basin structures is important inputs into the mineral system.  Consequently, the research will draw upon Ashley’s broad generalised background to integrate structural and sedimentological field mapping and drill core logging with regional geophysical datasets and geochronological studies.  The integration, similar to other basin analysis studies, should provide context for the interpretation of the fundamental basin-controlling architecture at surface and, therefore, help constrain how to map these in the various geophysical datasets.  Knowledge of the major pathways for mass and energy transfer before, during and after basin formation is an important step in indicating the potential location of mineral deposits, particularly undercover.  The Paleoproterozoic Bresnahan Basin in the northern Capricorn Orogen will be the focus of his research. 

Ashley began his geology journey at the Camborne School of Mines, University of Exeter, where he graduated with first class (Hons) in 2010.  His honours project involved working with the Norwegian Geological Survey where he mapped a series of REE pegmatite bodies in Southern Norway with associated geochemistry mineral studies (XRF, EPMA).  This was with a view to determining the pegmatites genesis to help focus exploration for high purity quartz that is hosted within them.  In addition to the honours project his dissertation studied kimberlite samples from the DeBeers Finsch diamond mine, South Africa, to evaluate kimberlite - carbonatite interactions during formation of the deposit. 

After graduating he flew over to Brisbane, Queensland where he gained a job as an Exploration Geologist at GeoConsult, being contracted to work with Xstrata coal in near mine exploration projects in the northern Bowen Basin.  After a brief Masters degree in 2011 - 2012 at the University of Aberdeen, he came back to Australia where he gained experience at VMS and orogenic gold sites in the Yilgarn craton.

Subsequently, he worked for CGG as an Exploration Geoscientist in their Multi-Client New Ventures Department for 1.5 years.  This gained him valuable experience in seismic, gravity and magnetic interpretation, as well as crucially integration these with the observed geology to generate new venture ideas.  But when Ashley was awarded a MRIWA (Minerals Research Institute of Western Australia) postgraduate and SIRF tuition fee scholarship to become part of the CET, resulted in him flying back to Australia. 

Outside of work Ashley enjoys many sports and outdoor activities.  While in WA he intends to continue surfing, especially as the water is a lot warmer here compared to where he has been surfing in the UK.  He also enjoys many sports, namely tennis, swimming, badminton and cycling but also keen to try new things, maybe ultimate frisbee might be on that list soon.  But most of all travelling is one of his great passions and so he hopes to get out and about throughout WA during his time here at CET.