School: School of Earth Sciences - Centre for Exploration Targeting
Address: The University of Western Australia (M006), 35 Stirling Highway,6009 Perth, Australia
Professor Cam McCuaig is currently the Principal Geoscientist within the Geoscience Centre of Excellence, for BHP Billiton. Cam received his BSc from Lakehead University in 1988, and PhD in Geology from the University of Saskatchewan in 1996.
Subsequently Cam moved to Australia, where with SRK Consulting he rose to the position of Director, garnering 10 years experience in providing solutions to the mineral exploration and mining industry. His experience spans 6 continents and numerous commodities in geological terranes ranging from Archean to Eocene in age, including gold, nickel, iron, copper, uranium, zinc, amongst others.
Cam was the Director of the Centre for Exploration Targeting for 11 years. During this period his leadership resulted in a world-recognised sustainable research centre with >60 Corporate Members, 40 staff, 40 research PhD/ MSc students, a turnover of >$5M/yr and research outcomes that are impacting on exploration industry practice, yet also being recognised at the highest academic levels in publications such as Nature and Science. Cam is currently the Principal Geoscientist at the Geoscience Centre of Excellence within BHP Billiton.
My current personal research interests include:
Petrogenesis and emplacement of mafic-ultramafic magmas and controls on associated metal deposits (nickel, platinum-group elements). This entails a whole-earth approach to these metal systems. Current focus is on komatiite-hosted systems.
Structural controls on mineral systems – from deposit to lithosphere scale. (a) Structures as permeability pathways for magmas and fluids (b) Structural modification of deposits by subsequent deformation. (c)Construction of 4D architectures (3D plus time) for terranes, and understanding where mineral systems fit within these frameworks.
Mineral system approach to ore deposits, understanding systems – from lithosphere scale controls on sources of metals, fluids, energy, to understanding localized physical throttles for fluid/magma and chemical triggers causing metal deposition and accumulation.
Exploration Targeting Geoscience
(a) Conceptual Targeting – how to take understanding of mineral systems and break them down into probabilistic targeting and ranking criteria, and application of these criteria in the computer environment to achieve targeting simulations to facilitate risk analysis.
(b) Empirical Targeting – quantifying and understanding controls on observed size frequency distributions of various styles of mineral deposits in a wide variety of geological terranes, and GIS-based targeting.
(c) Heuristics and human behaviour effects on exploration targeting.
(d) Marriage of business and research outcomes in practical targeting of mineral deposits.
Commodities of current interest:
Au, Au/Cu systems of all ages
Orthomagmatic Ni-Cu sulphide systems
Stratigraphy and tectonic architecture of the Leonora and Southern Cross regions and controls on location of Ni-sulphide mineralisation, Yilgarn, WA (with Dr. John Miller, Dr. Steve Barnes (CSIRO), Dr Nicolas Thebaud, industry partner St. Barbara Mines)
Structural and metamorphic effects on the Flying Fox Orebody, Forrestania belt, Yilgarn Craton (Jane Collins – PhD study with Assoc. Prof. Steffen Hagemann, Industry Partners Western Areas/Newexco)
Fluid evolution in the New Celebration gold deposit, Western Australia (Joanna Hodge – pmd*CRC PhD study, with Assoc. Prof. Steffen Hagemann, Dr. Peter Neumayr)
4D tectonic framework for the Western Tanami and its Au mineral systems (Leon Bagas – PhD study, Irainti Irianti – MSc study, with Dr. Frank Bierlein, Professor Mike Dentith, Dr. Eunjung Holden, industry partners MERIWA, GSWA, Tanami Gold)
Gold mineralisation in the western Qinling fold belt, Gansu Province China (PhD Zeng Qingtao, Dragon Mining, Peking University, Nanjing University)
Evolution of alkaline magmas and associated mineral systems, Red River Fault Zone, Western Yunnan Province, China (PhD Yongjun Lu, Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences)