Lily Dickson


I am a first year Economic Geology PhD researcher in the Institute of Applied Geosciences (IAG). My research investigates the geological and geochemical controls on the Au-Co mineralisation at Rajapalot, a prospect in the late exploration stages owned by Mawson Gold. I am supervised by Dr Taija Torvela and Dr Rob Chapman, and my PhD is funded by NERC Panorama DTP. Mawson Gold are the CASE Partner for this project.

I started my academic career at University of Leeds as a BSc Geological Sciences student, where I was first introduced to the field of Economic Geology. I then went on to specialise in this discipline through study of Mining Geology (MSc) at Camborne School of Mines, University of Exeter. Here I developed my knowledge of Ore Deposit Geology, and gained an understanding of the exploration and mining industries. My MSc dissertation project explored the effect of footwall contamination on mineralisation in the Platreef of the Bushveld Complex. This involved the use of microanalytical geochemical techniques such as EMPA that I look forward to applying to my PhD research. 

In addition to my research I pursue my interests in the field of geology and related current affairs through roles including volunteer for the Critical Minerals Association, Vice President of the Society of Economic Geologists (Leeds Student Chapter) and Education Outreach Fellow.

Research interests

Rajapalot lies within the Peräpohja Belt, an orogenic greenstone belt host to a number of gold deposits with atypical metal associations, including cobalt. This is an unusual metal association and involves the overprinting/remobilisation of an earlier Co deposit during a later hydrothermal gold mineralising event. The timings and constraints for the two mineralising events are poorly understood, and the PhD project will work to resolve some of the remaining unkowns.                                                                              

My project will allow me to further explore my research interests in precious and battery metal deposits and study by microanalytical geochemical techniques.

Cobalt demand is surging as it is a battery metal key for the manufacturing of electric vehicles. Currently the vast majority of Co comes from the DRC where the mining industry is fraught with ethical issues. This means that the development of a European source of cobalt is an exciting step towards a new, traceable and ethical cobalt product.


  • BSc Geological Sciences, University of Leeds
  • MSc Mining Geology, University of Exeter

Research groups and institutes

  • Ores and Mineralization
  • Institute of Applied Geoscience