Professor Nigel Cook

Professor Nigel Cook
 Position Grant-Funded Researcher (E)
 Org Unit Mining and Petroleum Engineering
 Location Floor/Room 205 ,  Santos ,   North Terrace
  • Qualifications

    I graduated with a BSc in Geochemistry from Queen Mary College, University of London, U.K., in 1982 and a PhD in mineral deposit geology from Imperial College, University of London, U.K., in 1988. Later (1998), I obtained the Habilitation degree from the University of Würzburg, Germany.

  • Research Interests

    My work over the past 20 years has been directed to the geology and mineralogy of sulphide ore deposits. In particular, I have aimed to analyse and interpret mineral assemblages, mineral chemistry and textural evidence to understand the genetic history of mineral deposits, and to discover controls on element partitioning, paragenesis and mineral stabilities. The approach has encompassed major, refractory mineral phases (e.g. pyrite), as well as the trace components such as sulphosalts and tellurides. Studies have been applied to deposits ranging from volcanic-hosted and SEDEX-type massive sulphides, epithermal precious metal, porphyry and skarns, and even liquid-magmatic Cu-Ni-PGE deposits. My research has often been of a generic character, i.e., common problems are applied to deposits across the world and across geological time, rather than to specific deposits or ore provinces.

    Personal milestones include:

    ·    Identification of pyrite as a major host for lattice-bound or sub-microscopic (‘invisible) gold’; work on the role of Bi-chalcogenides as precious metal carriers and on the distribution of trace elements (In, Ge, Ga etc.) in sphalerite.

    ·    Demonstrating the role that pyrite textures can play in deciphering the metamorphic history of deformed metamorphosed VMS deposits (Scandinavian Caledonides, Namibia, Romania); identifying the role and mechanisms involved in recrystallization of the major sulphides and the subsequent remobilization of trace elements

    ·    Assessment of the role of Cu-Ag-Pb-Bi sulphosalts, tellurides and selenides and the potential of Bi-chalcogenides as petrogenetic indicators in gold deposits ranging from Archean orogenic-gold deposits to telluride-rich volcanic-epithermal systems of Tertiary age.

    ·    Research on key mineral groups, including the (Fe,Ni,Co,Cu)3S4 thiospinel group, cuprobismutite and related Cu-Bi sulphosalts, and phases in the Bi-Te-Se-S system.


    Correlation of trace mineralogy and mineral chemistry of the major sulphides has been a central theme. I aim to show how mineralogical study can and should be applied to solve a range of questions in ore geology, and how research on the micro- or nanoscopic scales can be placed in the context of the orefield-scale geologic setting and regional metallogeny.

  • Publications

    Recent publications





    Ciobanu, C.L., Pring, A., Cook, N.J., Self, P., Jefferson, D., and Melnikov, V. (2009): Crystal-structural modularity in the tetradymite group: a HRTEM study. American Mineralogist 94, 517–534.
    Ciobanu, C.L., Cook, N.J., Pring, A., Brugger, J., Danushevsky, L. and Shimizu, M. (2009): ‘Invisible gold’ in bismuth chalcogenides. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 73, 1970-1999.
    Cook, N.J., Ciobanu, C.L. and Mao, J.W. (2009): Textural control on gold distribution in As-free pyrite from the Dongping, Huangtuliang and Hougou gold deposits, North China Craton, (Hebei Province, China). Chemical Geology 264, 101-121.
    Cook, N.J., Ciobanu, C.L., Pring, A., Skinner, W., Danyushevsky, L., Shimizu, M., Saini-Eidukat, B. and Melcher, F. (2009): Trace and minor elements in sphalerite: a LA-ICP-MS study. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 73, 4761-4791.
    Hou, Z.Q. and Cook, N.J. (2009): Metallogenesis of the Tibetan Collisional Orogen: A review and introduction to the special issue. Ore Geology Reviews 36, 2-24.
    Cook, N.J., Ciobanu, C.L., Spry, P.G., Voudouris, P. and the participants of IGCP-486 (2009): Understanding gold-(silver)-telluride-selenide deposits. Episodes 32, 249-263.
    Barrie, C.D., Cook, N.J. and Boyle, A.P. (2010): Textural variation in the pyrite-rich ore deposits of the Røros district, Trondheim Region, Norway: implications for pyrite deformation mechanisms. Mineralium Deposita 45, 51-68.
    Barrie, C.D., Boyle, A.P., Cook, N.J. and Prior, D.J. (2010): Pyrite deformation textures in the massive sulfide ore deposits of the Norwegian Caledonides. Tectonophysics 483, 269-286.
    Ciobanu, C.L., Birch, W.D., Cook, N.J., Pring, A. and Grundler, P.V. (2010): Petrogenetic significance of Au-Bi-Te-S associations: the example of Maldon, Central Victorian gold province, Australia. Lithos 116, 1-17.
    Cook, N.J., Sundblad, K., Valkama, M., Nygård, R., Ciobanu, C.L. and Danyushevsky, L. (2011): Indium mineralisation in A-type granites in southeastern Finland: Insights into mineralogy and partitioning between coexisting minerals . Chemical Geology 284, 62–73.
    Ye, L., Cook, N.J., Ciobanu, C.L., Liu, Y.P., Zhang, Q., Gao, W., Yang, Y.L. and Danyushevsky, L.V. (2011): Trace and minor elements in sphalerite from base metal deposits in South China: a LA-ICPMS study. Ore Geology Reviews 39, 188–217.
    Cook, N.J., Ciobanu, C.L. and Williams, T. (2011): The mineralogy and mineral  chemistry of indium in sulphide deposits and implications for mineral processing. Hydrometallurgy 108, 226–228.
    Reich, M., Hough, R.M., Deditius, A., Utsunomiya, S., Ciobanu, C.L. and Cook, N.J. (2011): Nanogeoscience in ore systems research: principles, methods, and applications. Introduction and preface to the special issue. Ore Geology Reviews 42, 1-5.
    Ciobanu, C.L., Cook, N.J., Utsunomiya, S., Pring, A. and Green, L. (2011): Focussed ion beam - transmission electron microscopy applications in ore mineralogy: bridging micron- and nanoscale observations. Ore Geology Reviews 42, 6-31.
    Cook, N.J., Ciobanu, C.L., Danyushevsky, L.V. and Gilbert, S. (2011): Minor elements in bornite and associated Cu-(Fe)-sulfides: a LA-ICPMS study. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 73, 4761-4791.
    Mao, J.W., Pirajno, F. and Cook, N.J. (2011) Mesozoic metallogeny in East China and corresponding geodynamic settings - an introduction to the special issue. Ore Geology Reviews 43, 1-7.

    Winderbaum, L., Ciobanu, C.L., Cook, N.J., Paul, M., Metcalfe, A., Gilbert, S. (2012): Multivariate Analysis of an LA-ICP-MS Trace Element Dataset for Pyrite. Mathemat. Geosci. 44, 823-842.

    Ciobanu, C.L., Cook, N.J., Utsunomiya, S., Kogagwa, M., Green, L., Gilbert, S., Wade, B. (2012): Gold-telluride nanoparticles revealed in arsenic-free pyrite. Amer. Mineral. 97, 1515-1518.

    Zammit, C., Cook, N.J., Brugger, J., Ciobanu, C.L., Reith, F. (2012): The future of biotechnology in gold exploration and processing. Minerals Eng. 32, 45-53.

    Ye, L., Cook, N.J., Liu, T.G., Ciobanu, C.L., Gao, W., Yang, Y.L. (2012): The Niujiaotang Cd-rich zinc deposit, Duyun, Guizhou Province, Southwest China: Ore genesis and mechanisms of cadmium concentration. Mineral. Deposita 47, 683-700.

    Cook, N.J., Ciobanu, C.L., Brugger, J., Etschmann, B., Howard, D.J., de Jonge, M., Ryan, C.G., Paterson, D. (2012): Determination of the oxidation state of Cu in substituted Cu-In-Fe-bearing sphalerite via μ-XANES spectroscopy. Amer. Mineral. 97, 476–479.



    Cook, N.J., Ciobanu, C.L., O’Rielly, D., Wilson, K., Das, K., Wade, B. (2013): Mineral chemistry of Rare Earth Element (REE) mineralization, Browns Ranges, Western Australia. Lithos 172-173, 192-213.

    Ciobanu, C.L., Cook, N.J., Kelson, C.R., Guerin, R., Kalleske, N., Danyushevsky, L. (2013) Trace element heterogeneity in molybdenite fingerprints stages of mineralization. Chem. Geol. 347, 175-189.

    Liu, L., Zhao, S.J., Cook, N.J., Bai, X.D., Zhang, Z.C., Zhao, Z.D., Zhao, H.B. and Lu, J. (2013) Bonanza-grade accumulations of gold tellurides in the Early Cretaceous Sandaowanzi deposit, northeast China. Ore Geology Reviews 54, 110-126.

    Cook, N.J., Ciobanu, C.L., Meria, D., Silcock, D. and Wade, B. (2013): Arsenopyrite-pyrite association in an orogenic gold ore: tracing mineralization history from textures and trace elements. Economic Geology 108, 1273–1283.

    Ciobanu, C.L., Wade, B., Cook, N.J., Schmidt Mumm, A. and Giles, D. (2013): Uranium-bearing hematite from the Olympic Dam Cu-U-Au deposit, South Australia; a geochemical tracer and reconnaissance Pb-Pb geochronometer. Precambrian Research 238, 129-147.

    Cook, N.J., Ciobanu, C.L., Giles, D. and Wade, B. (2013): Correlating textures and trace elements in ore minerals. Mineral deposit research for a high-tech world. 12th Biennial SGA Meeting, 12-15 August 2013, Uppsala, Sweden, p. 288-291


    Ismail, R., Ciobanu, C.L., Cook, N.J., Schmidt Mumm, A., Wade, B., Giles, D. and Teale, G.S. (2014): Rare Earths and other trace elements in minerals from skarn assemblages, Hillside iron oxide-copper-gold deposit, Yorke Peninsula, South Australia. Lithos 184-187, 456-477.

    Sharrad, K.A., McKinnon-Matthews, J., Cook, N.J., Ciobanu, C.L. and Hand, M. (2014): The Basil Cu–Co deposit, Eastern Arunta Region, Northern Territory, Australia: A metamorphosed volcanic-hosted massive sulphide deposit. Ore Geology Reviews 56, 141-158.

    Ingham, E.S., Cook, N.J., Cliff, J., Ciobanu, C.L. and Huddleston, A. (2014): A combined chemical, isotopic and microstructural study of pyrite from roll-front uranium deposits, Lake Eyre Basin, South Australia. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 125, 440-465.

    Ciobanu, C.L., Brugger, J., Cook, N.J., Mills, S., Elliot, P., Damian, G. and Damian, F. (2014): Graţianite, MnBi2S4, a new mineral from the Bǎiţa Bihor skarn, Romania. American Mineralogist 99, 1163-1170.

    Kontonikas-Charos, A., Ciobanu, C.L., Cook, N.J. (2014): Albitization and redistribution of REE and Y in IOCG systems: insights from Moonta-Wallaroo, Yorke Peninsula, South Australia. Lithos 208-209, 178-201.

    Lockington, J., Cook, N.J., Ciobanu, C.L. (2014): Trace and minor elements in sphalerite from metamorphosed sulphide deposits. Mineralogy and Petrology. DOI 10.1007/s007 10-014-0346-2



    George, L., Cook, N.J., Ciobanu, C.L., Wade, B.P. (2015): Trace and minor elements in galena: A reconnaissance LA-ICP-MS study. American Mineralogist. Feb, 2015 issue.


    Other selected publications

    Cook, N.J., Ciobanu, C.L., Wagner, T., Stanley, C.J. (2007): Minerals of the system Bi-Te-Se-S related to the tetradymite archetype: review of classification and compositional variation. The Canadian Mineralogist 45, 665-708.

    Cook, N.J., Ciobanu, C.L. (2004): Bismuth tellurides and sulphosalts from the Larga hydrothermal system, Metaliferi Mts., Romania: Paragenesis and genetic significance. Mineralogical Magazine, 68, 301-321.

    Cook, N.J., Ciobanu, C.L. (2001): Paragenesis of Cu-Fe ores from Ocna de Fier-Dognecea (Romania), typifying fluid plume mineralisation in a proximal skarn setting. Mineralogical Magazine, 65, 351-372.

    Cook, N.J., Spry, P.G., Vokes, F.M. (1998): Mineralogy, paragenesis and metamorphism of ores in the Bleikvassli Pb-Zn-(Cu) deposit, Nordland, Norway. Mineralium Deposita, 34, 35-56.

    Cook, N.J., Halls, C., Boyle, A.P. (1993): Deformation and metamorphism of massive sulphides at Sulitjelma, Norway. Mineralogical Magazine, 57, 67-81.

    Cook, N.J., Chryssoulis, S.L. (1990): Concentrations of “invisible gold” in the common sulphides. Canadian Mineralogist, 28, 1-16.

  • Professional Associations

    Nigel arrived in the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Adelaide in August 2009 from the Natural History Museum at the University of Oslo (Norway). 

    Nigel served as President of the International Association on the Genesis of Ore Deposits (IAGOD) from 2008 to 2012, having previously been Secretary General of the association (2000-2008). He was also Editor-in-Chief of the journal Ore Geology Reviews from 2003-2012.

    Nigel served as Chairman of the International Mineralogical Association Commission on Ore Mineralogy between 2006 and 2010.

    He holds an adjunct Professorship at the Department of Geology, University of Turku, Finland.

    From 2003 to 2008, he co-ordinated International Geoscience Programme Project 486 ‘Gold telluride deposits’.

    His research over the past 20 years has focussed on the genesis of base- and precious metal ore deposits, with emphasis on understanding ores through their ore mineralogy and textures, processes of remobilisation, and the distribution of trace elements and minerals.

    In the past five years he has been involved in research in Norway, Svalbard, Finland, China, Canada, Romania, Uzbekistan and Australia.

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Entry last updated: Wednesday, 29 May 2024

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