Tag Archives: Geochemistry

The importance of being an unglamorous collection | Curator of Micropalaeontology

Most geological collections we hear about in the news are the prettiest, oldest, youngest, largest, smallest, rarest, most expensive or have some exciting story related to them that ties them to the evolution of our planet. Dinosaurs, human remains and meteorites are particularly popular. Over the last year we’ve embarked on a major curatorial project rehousing something that is the opposite – an unglamorous collection of bags of crushed rock.

Protective equipment

Curators Becky Smith, Helena Toman and Robin Hansen in protective equipment.

I’ll be explaining why the samples needed to be re-housed and most importantly why they are strategically important to the work of the Museum and needed to be kept for future reference. And also why we are all dressed up in protective equipment and why I had to learn to drive a fork lift truck! Continue reading

Fieldwork in Brazil | CoG3 Consortium

In April 2016 the CoG3 team travelled to Brazil to carry out fieldwork at the Piauí deposit. Researcher Dr Paul Schofield describes their trip:

Cobalt is a technology-enabling metal with numerous applications that are particularly essential to the ‘green agenda’. Despite cobalt being such a critical material, there is a very high risk associated with its supply.

Our project, CoG3: Geology, Geochemistry and Geomicrobiology of cobalt, aims to increase the security of the cobalt supply chain by:

  • identifying new, currently unused cobalt resources
  • developing new biotechnologies for effective extraction and processing of cobalt
Piauí deposit landscape

View from the top of the Piauí deposit

One resource with the potential for bioprocessing is limonitic laterite deposits, one of which is the Piauí nickel-cobalt laterite deposit in Brazil. Continue reading