Research Portfolio

The projects in the Lowell Institute cross 27 different disciplines and 10 colleges at the University of Arizona.  Many are in collaboration with colleagues at other universities around the world.

Thematic areas are:

Lowell Program in Economic Geology (LPEG) - Mark Barton, Eric Seedorff, Mathew Steele-MacInnes

Deposit-to-district-scale studies:

  • field-based, worldwide, cordilleran settings                                                    
  • hydrothermal systems, magmatic to basinal

Regional 4D transects:

  • field and lab-based new observations and synthesis
  • Nevada Au(Cu), Laramide Cu(Mo), Chile Cu(Au-Fe)
  • basis for consortium

Topical themes:

  • mineralogy and trace element geochemistry
  • structural geology, especially extensional settings
  • hydrothermal geochemistry, alteration, fluids
  • arc evolution and crustal mass transfer

Mining Health and Safety - Mary Poulton, Eric Lutz, Jeff Burgess, Moe Momayez


Environment - Raina Maier, Mary Poulton, Jim Field

UA Superfund Research Program

Center for Environmentally Sustainable Mining

  • Phytostabilization of Mine Tailings in Arid EnvironmentsMetal Speciation in Arid Mine Tailings
  • Rosemont Revegetation – Planning Ahead
  • Binational Copper Mine Tailings Native Plant Inventory Project
  • Mine Site Revegetation
  • Fate and speciation of metal(oids)
  • Groundwater protection
  • Dust characterization and wind modeling
  • 4D autonomous environmental monitoring systems

Mine Intelligence Research Group - Sean Dessureault, Victor Tenorio

  • control room technology
  • financial modeling
  • process optimization
  • mine to mill optimization
  • automation
  • data mining

Geomechanics - John Kemeny, Kwangmin Kim, Moe Momayez

  • Weaken rock to lower energy cost for grinding and increase drilling rates 10-100x
  • Track energy cost by block unit in mines to optimize energy use and cost
  • Mine to mill optimization
  • Improved blast optimization and slope stability
  • 4D data collection for slope stability, use of drones

Processing and Extractive Metallurgy - Brent Hisky, Jaeheon Lee, Jinhong Zhang, Isabel Barton

  • Silver Hydrometallurgy
  • Leaching with Lead Nitrate (Pb(NO3)2)
  • Acantite (Ag2S) and other silver sulfides leaching
  • Leaching behavior in anaerobic  conditions
  • Bioleaching – mesophiles and extreme thermophiles
  • Alternative Lixiviants –Thiosulfate, Thiocyanate, Thiourea
  • Intensive and silver cyanidation
  • LIX and amine extractants
  • Ammonia leaching
  • Rare Earths
  • Re-use of mine tailings
  • Atomic force microscopy for flotation optimization
  • Geometallurgy – ore characterization, mineralogy

Mineralogy - Bob Downs

  • Project RRUFF - database of Raman spectra for all minerals

Law - John Lacy, Mary Poulton, Brent White, James Anaya

Social Science - Diane Austin