Minerals Microbes & Solutions

Minerals, Microbes & Solutions

The Minerals, Microbes & Solutions research group uses innovative experimental techniques (and theoretical modeling) to study the transport and deposition of metals and mineral-microbe-fluid interactions in geological environments. By developing a molecular level understanding of the formation of hydrothermal ore deposits, we aim to develop new approaches to mineral exploration and geometallurgy.

Technical details

MM & S Capabilities

Coordination chemistry of hydrothermal systems: improving the accuracy of reactive transport modeling from a better understanding of the thermodynamics of metal complexes under extreme conditions. This is done in-house using our UV-Vis instruments. The maestro cell, housed in the lab., is used for in-situ measurements (up to 500 oC, 600 bar) at the Australian Synchrotron.

Microbiology of precious metals: controls on environmental mobility of Au and PGE, and development of biosensors and bioindicators customized for the mineral exploration industry. The lab hasdesignated PC2 and has glove boxes, a -80 oC freezer and a laminar flow cabinet.

Radionuclides in Australian Cu-U ores – innovative treatment and management technologies. This does not require any special equipment (the lab is only for low levels of radioactivity). We have a portable XRF that can be used in the field and in-house to measure sample compositions.

Mineral replacement reactions: understanding pervasive mineral reactions in nature and applications to mineral processing. We have ovens/furnaces; teflon-lined cells (for static experiments) and hplc pumps + back pressure regulators (for flow-through experiments). A microscope with imaging system may be used to make "movies" of the progress of (room T) replacement reactions.

For more information on this laboratory and its capabilities please contact:

Barbara.Etschmann@monash.edu
9905 0827

Location: G76 9 Rainforest Walk Monash University, Clayton