Stories of Our Scholars: Dr Carl Brauhart
Dr Carl Brauhart is an exploration geologist with over 25 years’ experience in gold and base-metal exploration.
Carl received a supplementary scholarship in for his PhD in 1996, back when MRIWA was formerly known as MERIWA. His PhD study was on regional hydrothermal alteration at the Panorama VMS District in the Pilbara.
After completing his PhD, Carl commenced work at Sipa Resources. It was during this time he lived in the Kimberley with his young family for two-month periods in 2001, 2002 and 2003. For Carl, he considers this period in his life one of the most memorable.
‘[It was] one of the sweetest periods of my life. Shortly after I started with Sipa, Mike Doepel [Sipa Managing Director] helped me arrange to live with my young family out in the bush in the Kimberley. Making maps, taking soil and stream samples, and coming back to the van to wash young toddlers by the fireside in the evening was the greatest privilege’
After working at Sipa Resources for 15 years, Carl moved to CSA Global as a Principal Consultant, where he has remained ever since. He also is an Adjunct Research Fellow at the University of Western Australia in the Centre for Exploration Targeting managing the OSNACA Project.
Carl’s career has taken him across the world, providing him with valuable experience and knowledge of mineral systems in diverse regions. He has undertaken fieldwork throughout Australia and overseas, including Sudan, Uganda and Arizona.
Carl currently lives in Perth with his wife Jenni and three sons, David, Thomas and Harry.
Image: Then vs Now: Carl and his eldest son, David
How did the financial support provided by the MERIWA scholarship increase the scope of your research capabilities for your PhD thesis?
The financial support from the MERIWA scholarship allowed for a large increase in the number of rock chip samples I was able to analyse. We were much better able to constrain mass balance changes across the Panorama VMS hydrothermal system. This data underpinned a publication in Economic Geology [Journal].
Did your PhD thesis lead to any significant findings which have informed your later experiences in the industry?
On the back of my PhD and subsequent experience, CSA Global promote me as an expert in VMS systems and an expert in exploration geochemistry. This has led to a great variety of interesting work around the world. I continue to use the Panorama data to deliver a one-day Exploration Geochemistry Workshop, and a lot of the techniques I apply in my work today can be traced back to experiences gained through that PhD.
You still work closely with UWA to this day; what is your role there? Do you believe academic research remains important regarding informing geoscientific fieldwork?
Yes. Absolutely. I am an Adjunct Research Fellow with the Centre for Exploration Targeting where I look after the OSNACA Project. The OSNACA Project is a database of over a thousand ore deposit samples we have analysed at Bureau Veritas here in Perth. We have used that consistent 65-element data to create a model of ore and pathfinder element signatures which is very useful for understanding links between different mineral systems. CSA Global allow me time to work at UWA because the research directly benefits me as an industrial geoscientist. As for fieldwork, academic insights inform fieldwork and vice versa. They need to go together.
Do you have any career highlights you can share?
At CSA Global, I was sent to Sudan to map a poorly known prospect that ‘might be a VMS [system]’ but turned out to be a porphyry copper deposit. That was a huge slice of luck. Five field trips, over a period of four years, have provided me with the pleasure of working with a host of great local people whilst working on some spectacular geology. It might not have been a VMS deposit, but experiences gained on the Panorama PhD were directly applied here too.
‘I remain very grateful to MERIWA for their support all those years ago. Not only did it help make a good study into a great learning experience, it also helped to make sure I could return to industry promptly’.
Read about all MRIWA scholarships offered here.
Published: 10 October 2019