Investigating the Link between Mineralised Shear Zones and Subsurface Granites for Rare Earth Element Exploration in Australia: A Geophysical Study of the Mary Kathleen Syncline

  • Betts, Peter (Supervisor)
  • Olesch-Byrne, Alanis (Primary Chief Investigator (PCI))

Project: Research

Project Details

Project Description

The proposed research project aims to address this gap in knowledge by investigating the relationship between crustal scale structures, fluid alteration and ore mineralisation in the Mary Kathleen Syncline. The project will combine ground geophysical surveys, potential field inversion modelling, and machine learning to characterise and understand the geophysical expression of alteration and mineralisation in the syncline.

The global demand for Rare Earth Elements (REE) and critical minerals is increasing, and Australia is likely to become a key supplier in the future since it is typically among the highest exporters of REE each year. However, the discovery of new deposits has slowed over recent decades, and it is thought this is because the geology of the existing deposits is not well understood. Our study aims to start to fill this gap through a detailed analysis of the Mary Kathleen syncline, ore deposit and the adjacent Mary Kathleen shear zone. The shear zone is considered to be the conduit for ore-forming fluids, and is thought to be the cause of significant alteration in the region. Using Mary Kathleen ore deposit as a proxy this study aims to re-classify the geophysical signal of alteration in the region and its subsequent relationship to known mineralisation in the Mesoproterozoic (1600-1000 Ma) deposits of Eastern Australia.
Short titleGeophysics of Mary Kathleen
Effective start/end date18/10/2331/12/24


  • Australian Society Of Exploration Geophysicists (ASEG): A$20,000.00


  • REE
  • Magnetics
  • Mount Isa