The SMI-BRC are involved in a number of research and consulting projects and are looking for highly motivated postgraduate students with background in mining engineers, geology or basic sciences. Successful applicants will work with senior researchers and involve engagement with key industry partners. This experience will help in pursuing a successful research or commercial career in the mining industry. Both Research Masters and PhD degrees are offered through The University of Queensland.

 A brief description of some projects is given below:

PhD Projects

  1. Large-scale caving flow modelling - discrete and/or continuum (Dr. R. Puscasu + Dr. D. Weatherley - JKMRC)
  2. Caving fragmentation (Prof. G. Chitombo + Dr. D. Weatherley - JKMRC)
  3. Damage due to confined blasting (Prof. G. Chitombo) 
  4. Rock response at depth (Prof. G. Chitombo)
  5. Natural Caving Systems Research (Dr. T. Webster, Prof J. Esterle and Prof G. Chitombo)
  6. Gravity Flow in Block Caving Mines - Kinematics & Hydrodynamics (Dr. R. Puscasu)

Masters/Honours projects

  1. High Performance & Immersive Visualisation of Caving Processes and Mine Design (Masters Project; Dr. R. Puscasu)
  2. An Artificial Neural Network Model for Rock Fragmentation (Masters Project; Dr. R. Puscasu)
  3. Combining field data with numerical simulation modelling processes developed at the SMI-BRC to progress strategies to manage ore displacement under elevated blast energy levels (Master Project; Dr. E. Sellers (JKTech) + Dr. T. Webster)
  4. Investigating the implications of increased fragmentation and pit wall damage on long term mine profitability (Master Project; Dr. E. Sellers (JKTech) + Dr. T. Webster)

Topics for future students

Postgraduate study in Geometallurgy

Potential topics currently available for postgraduate research projects in the area of geometallurgy are listed below:

For further information, please contact Dr Rick Valenta

  1. Geometallurgical case studies in operating and developing mines
  2. Geological controls on deleterious elements and related phenomena
  3. Process-related prediction of metallurgical performance
  4. Use of high resolution hyperspectral and geochemical data in logging, textural interpretation and performance prediction
  5. Geological controls on high voltage pulse processing amenability

Postgraduate study in Complex Orebodies

Potential topics currently available for postgraduate research projects in the area of Complex Orebodies are listed below:

For further information, please contact Dr Rick Valenta or Dr Mark Hinman

  1. Geological case studies of complex orebodies
  2. Next generation orebody modelling and estimation
  3. New approaches to rock mass characterisation for mass underground mining
  4. Structural-lithological modelling for mining and exploration
  5. Structural geophysics applied to mining and exploration