Access creation and its measurement in impermeable rock mass for the in-situ recovery of metals from ore bodies. The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) study will be conducted at Murdoch University as part of MRIWA project M529. It will be co-supervised by A/Prof. Aleks Nikoloski (Murdoch), Dr Laura Kuhar (CSIRO) and Prof. Andrej Bona (Curtin University), and will involve partners from the mineral and chemical industries. This study aims to understand the impact of cryogenic liquids, microwaves and high-voltage pulses on access creation in impermeable hard-rock mass, from the perspective of rock properties, permeability and their effect on leachability. Access will be created in samples using the techniques mentioned above and the extent or success of the access creation will be tested using a variety of tool(s). Leaching tests on treated and untreated material will be used to assess the effect of the access creation, i.e., are there conditions under which preferential liberation of value minerals can be achieved, or is the access creation non-selective. Improvements in leaching may also be supplemented by using ultrasonics, solution pulsing and electrostatic mass-transfer promotion, and reagents that can stimulate fluid flow. Outcomes from this work will be used to evaluate the potential for the use of these alternative (micro-) access-creation methods in an in-situ environment and their effect on the metal recovery by leaching.
Application criteria Qualifications required: The opportunity is open to domestic candidates ; Candidates should have research experience in the form of a written thesis at Master's degree (or equivalent) in chemistry, physics, hydrometallurgy, metallurgy or other related field; Experience in hydrometallurgy or access-creation experiments and in analytical methods for solid and/or fluid characterisation will be an advantage; Willingness to work in a team at the intersection of academia and industry; Fluency in English. The requirements for entry into the PhD program at Murdoch University are available here: http://www.murdoch.edu.au/study/courses/course-details/Doctor-of-Philosophy-(PhD)#
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