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Dr James Lambert-Smith

Dr James Lambert-Smith

Lecturer in Exploration and Resource Geology

+44 (0)29 2087 4323
2.11, Main Building, Park Place, Cardiff, CF10 3AT
Available for postgraduate supervision


Access to metals and minerals is vital to the future development and wellbeing of global society. I research how mineral deposits form and how they can be discovered more efficiently.

  • Metallogenesis
  • Mineral deposits and mineral exploration
  • Hydrothermal fluids
  • Applied mineralogy
  • Stable isotopes applied to ore deposits


  • Lecturer in Exploration and Resource Geology – School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Cardiff University (2017- present).
  • Lecturer in Applied Geology and Metamorphic Petrology – Kingston University, UK (2014 - 2017).
  • PhD – Kingston University and Randgold Resources (2010 - 2014).
  • MSci Geology – University of Southampton, UK (2005 - 2009).

Professional memberships

  • Fellow of The Geological Society
  • Member of the Mineralogical Society
  • Fellow of the Society of Economic Geologists

Academic positions

  • Lecturer in Applied Geology, Kingston University (2014 - 2017)

Speaking engagements

  • Tourmaline 2017 – Czech Republic (2017)
  • Metallogenesis, Tectonics & Surface Evolution of West African Craton (WAXI Meeting) – Dakar, Senegal (2015)
  • Society of Economic Geologists Annual Conference (2012, 2014)
  • Mineral Deposit Studies Group Meeting (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2018)







I teach fundemental concepts in resource geology (including metal, industrial mineral and aggregate deposits, energy resources and hydrogeology) to first year students. I also lead a second year exploration case studies module, which includes an introduction to handling real-world mineral exploration data using industry computer software.

I lead field courses in Cornwall and North Wales, and coordinate industrial placmenents for the Exploration and Resource Geology BSc program at Cardiff.

I am interested in all aspects of hydrothermal mineral deposit genesis, with a focus on orogenic gold deposits. In particular, my research involves establishing the processes which lead to the concentration of gold in economic quantities, and the sources and character of the hydrothermal fluids that facilitate these processes. I am also interested in structural controls on the location and size of ore deposits, as well as developing new tools for mineral deposit exploration.

I address these topics through field studies, textural and chemical analysis of minerals, and investigation of the composition and original temperature and pressure of ancient gold-bearing hydrothermal fluids entrapped in mineral grains. I also use stable isotope geochemistry of minerals associated with ore (e.g. tourmaline, dolomite, pyrite) to explore the sources of hydrothermal fluids, and by proxy, sources of gold.


I am interested in supervising PhD students in the areas of:

  • Metallogenesis
  • Mineral deposits and mineral exploration
  • Hydrothermal fluids
  • Applied mineralogy
  • Stable isotopes applied to ore deposits

Current supervision

Charles Routleff

Research student


A detailed understanding of the mineralogy and geological evolution of mineral deposits has great potential to positively impact the effectiveness and efficiency of exploration, from near-mine to greenfield activities.

My research, in collaboration with industry, contributes the detailed characterisation of individual deposits, and to the development of conceptual mineral system models, which aid regional exploration campaigns.