Loren Nicholls is a PhD candidate at The University of Queensland’s W.H. Bryan Mining & Geology Research Centre (BRC).

Her research focusses on exploring the secondary prospectivity of mine wastes for critical metals, in order to meet supply demands for more sustainably and socio-environmentally sourced materials within a circular economy. In particular, Loren is investigating the potential for Co endowment and recovery within mine waste at Capricorn Copper Mine using geometallurgical characterisation and improved processing technologies.

Graduating with a Bachelor of Science and First Class Honours majoring in Geology from The University of Queensland in 2010, Loren was awarded a University Medal for her Honours research and the AusIMM Ian Morley Thesis prize. She also received the Geological Society of Australia medal for UQ and the OA Jones Memorial Prize for her undergraduate studies. Loren’s Honours thesis characterised the alteration geochemistry and mineralogy of the Cracow Goldfield Low Sulphidation Epithermal Deposit.

Prior to joining the BRC, Loren spent 10+ years in industry, working as a Mining and Exploration Geologist for Newcrest Mining and as a Senior Exploration Geologist for consulting group Global Ore Discovery.  Her career spanned exploration and mining projects in porphyry, epithermal, IRGS, skarn and reef-style sedimentary deposits across Australia, Fiji and Indonesia. Loren’s technical expertise sought to build ore body knowledge through integration of geochemical, lithological and mineralogical data to generate exploration models and strategic priorities, enhance resource models and improve mining processes. She has collaborated with multiple consulting groups in geochemical, spectral, geophysical, structural and metallurgical projects.

Loren aims to apply her industry experience and knowledge in geology, mineralogy and geochemistry to her research at the BRC and strengthen the link between research and industry applications.