MIWATCH tracking cobalt at the Australian Synchrotron

Together with ProfessorĀ Gordon Southam (SEES, UQ), Thomas utilised the X-ray Fluorescence Mapping beamline to track metal mobility in tailings material from different sites across Tasmania and Queensland, targeting critical metals that are still residing in the previously mined material.

The synchrotron speeds up electrons to just under the speed of light to produce a beam over a million times brighter than the sun. This beam can be harnessed and directed to pass through samples, revealing elemental make-up of the material it interacts with. The XFM beamline has the ability to map a range of elements of interest at low concentrations and at high resolution.

This experiment was focused on cobalt bearing pyrites, and how the target element and hosting minerals behave when subjected to leaching environments. This is a collaborative effort being carried out by researchers based in SEES, UQ, (Juliana Mendes Monteiro and Gordon Southam), along with members of the MIWATCH group at SMI (Kam Bhowany, Kristy Guerin, Thomas Ray Jones, and Anita Parbhakar-Fox).

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Last updated:
23 September 2022