About

My main research interest is in economic geology, structure and tectonics with a focus on exploration for mineral deposits, field geology and geological mapping, structural controls on mineralized systems and the interplay between tectonic process and mineralized systems. My experience includes lode gold, IOCG, SEDEX, manganese and chromitite deposits as well as epithermal and porphyry systems. Current areas of interest are:

  • The Proterozoic Mt Isa region of northern Queensland, with research related to copper, SEDEX and IOCG mineralization as well as the structural, metamorphic and tectonic evolution of the region.
  • NE Queensland, with research related to critical metals mineralization and developing a comprehensive metallogenic and tectonic model for the region
  • The Archean Tanzania Craton, with research related to gold mineralization, tectonic evolution and crustal growth
  • NE Egypt, with research related to REE, Nb and Ta mineralization hosted by Precambrian granites emplaced along the Najd Fault System

I use a multidisciplinary approach in my research frequently dwelling into one or more of the following disciplines: geochemistry, mineralogy and mineral chemistry, field geology, structural and geological mapping, metamorphic petrology, geochronology (zircon, monazite and titanite), igneous geochemistry, isotopes (Lu-Hf, Sm-Nd, O, S) and numerical modelling.

 I maintain an active collaboration with the mining industry with students working on a range of industry sponsored projects from Honours to PhD level.

 

 

Teaching
  • EA2510: Earth Resources, Exploration and Environment (Level 2; TSV)
  • EA3400: Ore Deposits and Critical Mineral Exploration (Level 3; TSV)
  • EA3510: Geological Mapping (Level 3; TSV)
  • EA5043: Ore Deposits and Critical Mineral Exploration (Level 5; TSV)
Interests
Research
  • lode gold, Cu-Au, IOCG, SEDEX, manganese, epithermal, porphyry deposits
  • mineral footprint and vectoring tools
  • structural controls on mineralization
  • geotech and ore body knowledge
  • structural geology and tectonics
  • tectonic styles through geological time
  • crustal growth mechanism
  • Archean deformation and geology
  • thermodynamic modelling and metamorphism
  • deformation partitioning and porphyroblasts
  • monazite, titanite and zircon geochronology
  • field geology and geological mapping
Experience
  • 2015 to present - Lecturer, James Cook University (Townsville)
  • 2009 to 2014 - Postdoctoral Research Fellow, James Cook University (Townsville)
  • 2006 to 2009 - PhD student, James Cook University (Townsville)
Research Disciplines
Socio-Economic Objectives
Honours
Awards
  • 2017 - JCU Award for Excellence-Research Group Geology
  • 2006 - JCU Award for Excellence-Research Group SAMRI
Memberships
  • 2022 - Australian Institute of Geoscientists
  • 2020 - Society for Geology Applied to Mineral Deposits
  • 2019 - Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (AusIMM)
  • 2018 - Society of Economic Geologists
  • 2018 - Geological Society of Australia
  • 2006 - Geological Society of America
Other
  • 2023 - Editorial Advisory Board-Australian Journal of Earth Sciences
  • 2023 - Editorial Board - Frontiers in Earth Sciences
  • 2018 - Expert reviewer - European Union GeoEra program
Publications

These are the most recent publications associated with this author. To see a detailed profile of all publications stored at JCU, visit ResearchOnline@JCU. Hover over Altmetrics badges to see social impact.

Journal Articles
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ResearchOnline@JCU stores 54+ research outputs authored by Dr Ioan Sanislav from 2006 onwards.

Current Funding

Current and recent Research Funding to JCU is shown by funding source and project.

Queensland Department of Resources - Contract Research

Assessing the footprint, fingerprint, and vectoring potential towards Cu mineralization of trace elements in chalcopyrite and co-existing pyrite, and albite.

Indicative Funding
$180,000 over 3 years, in partnership with Anglo American Exploration (Australia) Pty Ltd ($180,000); Mount Isa Mines ($180,000) and South32 ($180,000)
Summary
This project aims to assess the footprint, fingerprint, and vectoring potential towards Cu mineralization by using trace element analyses of chalcopyrite, pyrite, and albite from Cu deposits in Mt Isa region. As part of this project co-existing chalcopyrite, pyrite and albite will be analysed from a suite of well characterised samples comprising a variety of mineral deposits from Mt Isa region. The role of host rock and deformation on mineral trace element geochemistry will be investigated in order to assess their influence on the vectoring potential.
Investigators
Ioan Sanislav and Melanie Finch (College of Science & Engineering)
Keywords
copper; Mineral Chemistry; mineralization; Exploration; Trace Element Geochemistry; Ore vectoring

Australian Government Department of Education, Skills and Employment - Trailblazer Universities Program

Resource Technology and Critical Minerals Trailblazer

Indicative Funding
$3,800,000 over 4 years (administered by Curtin University), in partnership with Glencore Mount Isa Mines ($5,602,000); Incitec Pivot Ltd ($200,000) and Queensland Pacific Metals ($455,000)
Summary
The Resource Technology and Critical Minerals Trailblazer is a partnership with Curtin University (Lead), University of Queensland and JCU along with over 25 industry partners. This program has been successful and funded under the Department of Education, Skills and Employment Trailblazer Universities Program. The Trailblazer aims to more effectively commercialise university innovations, accelerate industry technology readiness and open up access to university infrastructure and human resources to support growth of Australian businesses in the field of Resource Technology and Critical Minerals processing.
Investigators
Ioan Sanislav and Eric Roberts (College of Science & Engineering)
Keywords
Resource Technology; Critical Minerals; Innovation; Commercialisation; Transformation; Clean Energy

Geoscience Australia - Contract Research

North Queensland Proterozoic Metallogenesis

Indicative Funding
$333,000 over 2 years
Summary
This project will assess the metallogenic potential of the Croydon and southern Etheridge provinces including their potential to host critical mineral resources
Investigators
Ioan Sanislav and Helen McCoy-West (College of Science & Engineering)
Keywords
critical minerals; metallogeny; mineral deposits; proterozoic Australia

Department of the Environment and Energy - Contract Research

The mineralization potential for nickel, scandium, chromium and cobalt of ultramafic complexes in NE Queensland

Indicative Funding
$60,000 over 4 years
Summary
NE Queensland has exploration potential for a wide range of critical metals. Nickel, cobalt and scandium mineralization in NE Queensland occurs at Greenvale Nickel, Lucknow, Brolga, Kokomo and Bell Creek deposits and is mostly associated with laterites developed on altered ultramafic complexes. Un-explored ultramafic complexes occur north of Greenvale, near the Valley of Lagoons, in the Hodkinson and Kangaroo Hill Formations, Barnard and Running River Metamorphics. This project seeks to provide more detailed characterization and an improved geological perspective, for ultramafic occurrences of northeast Queensland. It is intended to attract the attention of explores to their mineralization potential.
Investigators
Ioan Sanislav and Paul Dirks in collaboration with Vladimir Lsitsin (College of Science & Engineering and Geological Survey of Queensland)
Keywords
Critical Minerals; Ultramafic; Metallogenesis; NE Queensland; Mineralisation

Department of the Environment and Energy - Contract Research

The potential for indium mineralization in the Herberton Mineral Field, NE QLD

Indicative Funding
$60,000 over 4 years
Summary
The project aims to: 1. Investigate the mineralogy, paragenesis and geochemistry of indium at the Baal Gammon deposit and other similar occurrences in the region; 2. Determine the distribution of indium in the host rocks; 3. Identify the factors controlling the location and formation of the indium mineralisation and; 4. Discover mineralogical, textural and geochemical zoning patterns that could be used as vectors to ore. In so doing, we will identify the factors controlling the location and formation of the indium mineralization in association with tin-tungsten and polymetallic ore deposits. A geological model will be developed for use in exploration targeting.
Investigators
Ioan Sanislav and Paul Dirks in collaboration with Avish Kumar and Vladimir Lsitsin (College of Science & Engineering and Geological Survey of Queensland)
Keywords
Indium; Herberton; Metallogenesis; North East Queensland; Mineralisation; Critical Minerals

Department of the Environment and Energy - Contract Research

Seismic Interpretation of NE QLD

Indicative Funding
$50,000 over 1 year
Summary
This project will update the interpretation of deep seismic lines across NE QLD, from Georgetown to Thomson and Hodkinson provinces. Work carried out at JCU with regard to tectonic models of the development of the eastern margin of the north Australian craton and new processing techniques should allow a better understanding of the fundamental geological and tectonic structure of NE Queensland. Understanding of the large scale distribution of geological provinces in 3 dimensions will underpin other works in the region such as geological mapping and lead to better understanding of mineral systems which include significant potential for critical minerals.
Investigators
Ioan Sanislav, Lauren Waszek and Melanie Finch (College of Science & Engineering)
Keywords
Deep seismic lines; North Australian craton; Seismic interpretation; Geological provinces; Tectonic provinces; Georgetown inlier

Minotaur Exploration Ltd - Contract Research

Cu isotope characterization of waters in the Mt Windsor Sub-Province, NE QLD

Indicative Funding
$86,500 over 1 year
Summary
Minotaur Operations has received funding through the Geological Survey of Queensland (GSQ) for copper isotope characterisation of groundwater sampled from active bores in the immediate vicinity of its Windsor Project in NE Queensland. The Mount Windsor Subprovince terrane covers significant Volcanogenic Massive Sulphide (VMS) deposits and prospects, and VMS deposits in the district all contain New Economy Minerals including Cd, Cu, Au, In, Ag, and Zn. Building on existing JCU research findings, this collaborative project will characterize up to 50 water bores for major/trace elements and Cu isotopes, towards determining elemental/isotopic anomalies which may indicate mineralization and therefore aide Minotaur?s exploration program.
Investigators
Brandon Mahan and Ioan Sanislav in collaboration with Ryan Mathur (College of Science & Engineering)
Keywords
Ore vectoring; Stable Isotope Geochemistry; Trace element geochemistry

MMG Ltd - Contract Research

Architecture of the hanging wall shear zone and faults affecting the ore zone at Dugald River Mine

Indicative Funding
$62,400 over 3 years
Summary
This is a PhD project to develop a better understanding of the larger scale geometry of the shear zone and fault system that occur within the immediate hanging wall of the zinc-sulphide ore body in Dugald River Mine, near Cloncurry, NW Queensland. We aim to understand how shear controls the distribution of the ore zone both from a genetic and mechanical (displacement and remobilization) perspective, to optimize ore recovery in a predictive manner.
Investigators
Paul Dirks and Ioan Sanislav in collaboration with Pieter Creus (College of Science & Engineering)
Keywords
Dugald River; Shear Zone; SEDEX; modelling; geotechnical

Qld Department of Environment and Heritage Protection - Contract Research

Magmatic History, Fertility and Metallogenesis of the Mary Kathleen Domain of the Mt Isa Inlier

Indicative Funding
$352,500 over 3 years
Summary
This project aims to highlight the exploration potential in the Mary Kathleen Domain of the Mt Isa Inlier by providing key mineralisation insights that can assist mining companies to plan their exploration strategy for better targeting and enhance the potential for new discoveries. To achieve this, the project has three main objectives: (1) Establish the extent, character and timing of the dominant magmatic epochs in the Mary Kathleen Domain of the Mt Isa Inlier (2) Develop an understanding of the tectono-magmatic history of the Mary Kathleen Domain and its links to metallogenesis; (3) Explore the applicability of magma fertility concepts as a tool for exploration for a variety of deposit types.
Investigators
Paul Dirks, Ioan Sanislav and Carl Spandler (College of Science & Engineering)
Keywords
Mary Kathleen Belt; Metallogenesis; Mineralisation; Magma Fertility; Geochronology

Department of the Environment and Energy - Contract Research

Magmatic History, Fertility and Metallogenesis of the Mary Kathleen Domain of the Mt Isa Inlier

Indicative Funding
$352,500 over 3 years
Summary
This project aims to highlight the exploration potential in the Mary Kathleen Domain of the Mt Isa Inlier by providing key mineralisation insights that can assist mining companies to plan their exploration strategy for better targeting and enhance the potential for new discoveries. To achieve this, the project has three main objectives: (1) Establish the extent, character and timing of the dominant magmatic epochs in the Mary Kathleen Domain of the Mt Isa Inlier (2) Develop an understanding of the tectono-magmatic history of the Mary Kathleen Domain and its links to metallogenesis; (3) Explore the applicability of magma fertility concepts as a tool for exploration for a variety of deposit types.
Investigators
Paul Dirks, Ioan Sanislav and Carl Spandler (College of Science & Engineering)
Keywords
Mary Kathleen Belt; Metallogenesis; Mineralisation; Magma Fertility; Geochronology

QLD Department of Resources - Contract Research

Geological characteristics, genesis and ore controlling factors of the Tick Hill Au deposit, Dajarra District, NW Queensland, Australia

Indicative Funding
$59,000 over 3 years
Summary
The project aims to: 1. investigate and document the geological and geochemical features of the Tick Hill gold deposit, including understanding the structural evolution lmagmaticl history, alteration style andl mineralisation; 2. classify the deposit and improve the understanding of the genesis; 3. identify the factors controlling the locationh and formation of the deposits such as structural architecture, controls of host rocks and intrusions; and 4. discover lmineralogical, textural and geochemical zoning patterns that could gbe used as vectors to ore. A geological model will be developedfor use in exploration targeting.
Investigators
Paul Dirks and Ioan Sanislav in collaboration with Le Thruong (College of Science & Engineering)
Keywords
Tick Hill; Gold; mineralisation
Supervision

Advisory Accreditation: I can be on your Advisory Panel as a Primary or Secondary Advisor.

These Higher Degree Research projects are either current or by students who have completed their studies within the past 5 years at JCU. Linked titles show theses available within ResearchOnline@JCU.

Current
  • Establishing a Tectonic Framework for the Cretaceous break-up of Eastern Gondwana: Insights from Papua New Guinea and Offshore Geology of the Coral and Tasman Seas (PhD , Secondary Advisor/AM)
  • Deep Seismic Lines in North Queensland: Revealing the Geological and Tectonic structure for a better understanding of Mineral Systems and Critical Mineral Potential (PhD , Secondary Advisor/AM)
  • Base Metal Genesis, Geology, and Structural Evolution of the Central Tommy Creek Domain, Mt Isa Inlier (PhD , Primary Advisor)
  • The influence of deformation on the variability of trace element geochemistry of sulfide minerals from structurally-controlled ore deposits (PhD , Primary Advisor/AM/Adv)
  • The role of ductile shear zones in the formation of critical mineral deposits (PhD , Primary Advisor/AM/Adv)
  • Integrating Iron Oxidation State and Trace Element Geochemistry in Minerals to Delineate Alteration Halos and Vector Towards Mineralization (PhD , Primary Advisor/AM/Adv)
  • The Structural and Geological setting of the Capricorn Cu deposits, Western Succession, Mt Isa Inlier (PhD , Primary Advisor/AM/Adv)
  • Petrogenesis of the Croydon gold field and adjacent gold deposits, North West Queensland, Australia (PhD , Primary Advisor/AM/Adv)
  • The role of structurally-controlled saline fluid flow in the formation of Australia’s Rare Earth Element deposits (PhD , Secondary Advisor/AM)
  • The Role of Ductile Shear Zones in the Formation of Critical Mineral Deposits (PhD , Secondary Advisor/AM)
  • Fluids in the lower crust: storage and mobilization (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • The structural, stratigraphic, and tectonic setting of the southern part of the Western Succession, Mt Isa inlier with implication for sediment-hosted Zn-Pb-Ag±Cu deposits (PhD , Primary Advisor/AM/Adv)
  • The critical mineral potential of the Kennedy Igeous Association: petrogenesis, tectonic setting and metallogeny (PhD , Primary Advisor/AM/Adv)
Completed
Collaboration

The map shows research collaborations by institution from the past 7 years.
Note: Map points are indicative of the countries or states that institutions are associated with.

  • 5+ collaborations
  • 4 collaborations
  • 3 collaborations
  • 2 collaborations
  • 1 collaboration
  • Indicates the Tropics (Torrid Zone)

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