Camborne School of Mines PhD Studentship in Minerals Engineering

Ref: 1241

About the award

Location: Cornwall Campus with visits to Switzerland

Primary Supervisor: Dr Richard Pascoe

Secondary Supervisor: Professor Frances Wall

Size reduction (comminution) in mineral processing is the most energy intensive part of most mining operations and accounts for around 2% of world energy consumption. The application of high voltage pulses has been proven to significantly increase liberation and simultaneously decrease the hardness of treated rock.

The Camborne School of Mines (CSM) has been working with SelFrag AG since 2009 on the application of this technology.

This PhD, which is supported by SELFRAG AG and builds on previous research, aims to promote a greater understanding of the breakage process in terms of machine operating variables and rock properties. Comminution experiments will be conducted in Switzerland while evaluation of the breakage products and rock characterisation tests will be conducted at the Cornwall Campus.

You will join the renowned CSM and will be able to access postgraduate training courses in minerals engineering, mining and geology, as well as taking part in an interdisciplinary, international research community specializing in the extractive industries. This is an opportunity to work in collaboration with a Swiss industry partner, establishing a technique new to the mining industry.

The aims of the research include:

a) developing a fuller understanding of the mechanisms involved in high voltage pulse power pre-weakening of rock
b) Quantify mineral liberation under varying operating conditions using state of the art mineralogical tools (such as QEMSCAN analysis)
c) Identify the potential for using high voltage pulses to pre-weaken rocks to reduce the overall energy requirement for comminution
d) Identifying how side effects of the breakage process may affect the downstream processes including froth flotation and leaching

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For informal enquiries contact Dr Richard Pascoe at 

Application criteria

Applicants should have or expect to achieve at least a 2:1 Honours degree, or equivalent, in an Engineering discipline or Geology.


Funded by: College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences


Application deadline: 1st September 2013

Number of awards: 1

Value: Three-year studentship: Tuition fees [UK/EU ] and an annual maintenance allowance at current research council rate. International students can apply and pay the difference

Duration of award: per year

Contact: Liz Roberts 

How to apply

To apply, you must complete the online web form. You will be asked to submit some personal details and upload a full CV, covering letter and details of two academic referees. Your covering letter should outline your academic interests, prior research experience and reasons for wishing to undertake this project.

For general enquiries please contact

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