MIWATCH on the rise in the NT

It’s official, ground has been broken in the Northern Territory, Australia. September has been a big month for the MIWATCH group here at The University of Queensland’s Sustainable Minerals Institute, with lots of travel to new sites, meeting new people, and of course – lots of exciting science being done in the name of critical metals recovery.

Led by MIWATCH’er Dr Kam Bhowany, along with Dr Zhengdong Han and Thomas Ray Jones, the search for tailings hosted critical metals in the NT kicked of this month, starting with two sites located near Pine Creek, a few hours drive South of Darwin. The sites, both of which had been mined historically, are polymetallic massive sulphide deposits with mineralised zones holding gold, silver, lead, zinc, and copper.

Kam Bhowany and Zhengdon Han standing on sampled tailings deposits.
Discussing the past: Kam and Zhengdon standing on one of the sampled tailings deposits. Sedimentary processes, paleo-terminations, and water table depth all under scrutiny when trying to understand historical tailings systems.

The team was helped in the field by Northern Territory Geological Survey (NTGS) geologist Pablo Farias, whose knowledge of the local and regional geology was greatly appreciated (along with the spare set of hands in the 40+°C weather!). The group sampled waste rock and tailings material from across the sites, which will be characterised and studied further to identify potential areas of interest in relation to critical metals.

Access to the two sites were generously granted by PNX Metals.  Michael Green, the exploration manager for PNX, provided us with information pertaining to our research, inducted us on-site and even gave us a tour of the area – many thanks, Michael. It’s only through willing cooperation with the people on the ground (both companies and government) that projects like this can be possible – the support is appreciated.

Michael Green (PNX), Kam Bhowany, Arvid (PNX), Zhengdon Han, Thomas Jones, and Pablo Farias
Geologists in their natural habitat: (L-R) Michael Green, Kam Bhowany, Arvid (PNX), Zhengdon Han, Thomas Ray Jones, and Pablo Farias thinking about VMS mineralisation at one of the sites.
Last updated:
23 September 2022