Contact Information

School: School of Earth Sciences - Centre for Exploration Targeting
Address: The University of Western Australia (M006), 35 Stirling Highway,6009 Perth, Australia
Office Phone:
Mobile Phone: +61 (0) 488 194 350


Franco Pirajno, 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 Geological Survey of Western Australia 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 anorogenic magmatism
• Carbonate rocks in passive margin settings

In the last 23 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. Member of the Steering Committee of the Large Igneous Provinces Working Group. Associate Editor for the Australian Journal of Earth Sciences, Gondwana Research and on the Editorial Board of Russian Geology and Geophysics. Appointed Editor-in-Chief of Ore Geology Reviews in March 2012 and Series Editor of Solid Earth Sciences (Springer) in November 2012.

In his role as Editor-in-Chrif of Ore Geology Reveiws since 2012, the Impact Factor of the journal has risen substancially, as shown below:
2015/mid-2016 Impact Factor: 3.819
2014 Impact Factor: 3.558
2013 Impact Factor: 3.383
2012 Impact Factor: 2.417

Supervised and/or reviewed 60 MSc and PhD theses.

Current honorary appointments include: Adjunct Professor at Centre for Exploration Targeting (University of Western Australia) and Chinese Academfy of Geological Sciences (Beijing); Honorary Professor at the Chinese University of Geosceince (Beijing). 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.


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:

Short course on mineral systems: principles and genetic concepts


Fluent in English and Italian. Good working knowledge of Latin, Portuguese, French and Spanish

Other interests:

Planetary Science, Early Roman History, Chinese history and culture

Professional Memberships

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)

Additional Information

ORCID ID: click here
UWA Profile: click here