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Mount Isa Mines in Australia

Mount Isa Mines career professional development group.

Earlier this year, Professor Tom Blenkinsop from the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences and PhD student Ben Williams travelled to Mount Isa Mines in Australia as part of a ten-day consultancy package.

As well as undertaking some field work activity, Tom and Ben also delivered a CPD workshop to 14 mining geologists about possible controls on the ore bodies at Mount Isa Mines.

Mount Isa is the home of Australia’s second largest producing copper mine as well as one of the largest silver-lead-zinc deposits in the world. The area around the mine for several hundred square kilometres is regarded as highly prospective for copper deposits, which can be combined with other valuable elements such as gold and iron.

The client

Mount Isa Mines is one of the largest mining operations in Australia and a mainstay of the economy of the state of Queensland. The operations have been at the heart of the settlement of Mount Isa since 1924, where they employ over 3200 people, and maintain large community programs in health, education and culture. The company mines copper and zinc, used in electrical appliances and to galvanise industrial steel respectively.

The programme

Tom and Ben delivered a half-day training workshop titled ‘Describing and Classifying Deformed Rocks’, which explored possible controls on the ore bodies at Mount Isa Mines.

Topics included:

  • the meanings of brittle and ductile deformation
  • the brittle-ductile transition
  • continuity and displacement fields
  • deformation mechanisms
  • crustal structure.

Ben also outlined the premise of his PhD thesis, titled ‘Foliation Boudinage’, and which is aimed at understanding the formation of the copper ore bodies.

The final part of the workshop consisted of a clinic for the Mount Isa Mines geologists to discuss problems that they face in their daily task of mapping underground and delineating new resources.

A new online course

Some of the material in the workshop will feature in an online open access course called 'Structural Geology for the Exploration and Mining Industry', developed by Tom, to be launched later this year. Keep an eye on the Future Learn website for details, or follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Contact us

If you'd like to find out more about how we can help you develop a bespoke CPD training programme, please contact our friendly CPD Unit:

Continuing Professional Development Unit