Dr Daryl Blanks

BHP Research Fellow

School/Department: Geography Geology & The Environment, School of

Telephone: +44 (0)116 252 2523



Economic geologist with specialism in magmatic Ni-Cu-PGE systems. Experience working on and researching precious and base metal systems in Zambia, Brazil, Australia, Turkey and the Democratic Republic of Congo.


BHP Research Fellow:

Principal researcher on the BHP funded Craton Margin Exploration Targeting 4D (CMET-4D) project in collaboration with University of Western Australia and Macquarie University.

Research Associate (2021):

Researcher on two concurrent projects:

Examining the role of mafic rocks as a source of metals in sediment-hosted Cu-Co-Ni deposits of the Central African Copperbelt. Part of the NERC-funded CuBES (Cu in Basins Exploration Science) project. Project partners - First Quantum Minerals.

Pilot study researching the genesis of volatile-rich magmatic Cu sulfides in the Curaçá Valley Brazil. Project partners - Ero Copper Corp

PhD (2017-2021): 'The nature and genesis of the Munali nickel sulfide deposit Southern Zambia' sponsored by Consolidated Nickel Mines.

The project focused on unravelling the ore forming conditions of the Munali Deposit with applications to the origin of Ni sulfide deposits within the Zambezi Belt and worldwide. The project provided new insights into mantle-to-crustal processes and constrained emplacement dynamics and controls in the formation and transport of magmatic sulfide.


Blanks D.E., Holwell D.A., Barnes S.J., Schoneveld L.E., Fiorentini M.L., Baublys K.A., Mbiri L. & Knott T.R.
Mobilization and Fractionation of Magmatic Sulfide: Emplacement and Deformation of the Munali Ni-(Cu-Platinum Group Element) Deposit, Zambia, Economic Geology (2022).

Blanks D.E., Holwell D.A., Barnes S.J., Schoneveld L., Boyce, A.J. & Mbiri, L., Evolution of the Munali Igneous Complex: host to a carbonate-rich Ni-(Cu-PGE) sulfide deposit, Ore Geology Reviews (2022). 

Blanks D.E., Holwell D.A., Fiorentini M.L., Moroni M., Tassara S., González-Jiménez J.M., Boyce A.J., & Ferrari E. 
Fluxing of mantle carbon as a physical agent for metallogenic fertilisation of the crust, Nature Communications, 11, 4342 (2020).

Holwell D.A., Fiorentini M.L., Knott T.R., McDonald I., Blanks D.E., McCuaig T.C. & Gorczyk W.
Mobilisation of deep crustal sulfide melts as a first order control on upper lithospheric metallogeny, Nature Communications, 13, 573 (2022).

Canham K.R., Holwell, D.A., Blanks D.E., Khan, R. & Purkiss, S., Supergene enrichment of the Kitumba IOCG deposit, Zambia, Journal of African Earth Science (2022).

Chong J., Fiorentini M., Holwell D.A., Moroni M., Blanks D. E., Dering G., Davis A. & Ferrari E. 
Magmatic cannibalisation of a Permo-Triassic Ni-Cu-PGE-(Au-Te) system during the breakup of Pangea - implications for craton margin metal and volatile transfer in the lower crust, Lithos, 388-389 (2021).

Holwell D.A. & Blanks D.E.
Emplacement of magmatic Cu-Au-Te(-Ni-PGE) sulfide blebs in alkaline mafic rocks of the Mordor Complex, Northern Territory, Australia, Mineralium Deposita, 56, 789-803 (2020).

Barnes S.J., Schoneveld L., Taranovic V., Mansur E., Le Vaillant M., Vukmanovic Z. & Blanks D.E.
Origin of loop textured pentlandite in sulfide rich ores, Economic Geology, 115, 1777-1798 (2020).

Ward L.A., Holwell D.A., Barry T.L., Blanks D.E., & Graham S.D.
The use of magnetite as a geochemical indicator mineral in the exploration for magmatic Ni-Cu-PGE sulfide deposits: a case study from Munali, Zambia, Journal of Geochemical Exploration, 188, 172-184 (2018).




Co-supervisor to MGeol students during their final year projects:

Zoe Phelps-Barber 21/22. The role of mafic rocks in hydrothermal Ni-deposits of the Central African Copperbelt. Industry partner - First Quantum Minerals.

Alistair Drape 20/21. Mount Ridley: an extension to the Ni-rich Fraser Belt WA and a new frontier for Ni exploration. Industry partner - Mount Ridley Mines.

Charlotte Clarke 20/21. The potential for Ni-sulfide mineralisation in the Kalahari Suture Zone Botswana. Industry partner - Kavango Resources.

Kate Canham 19/20. Characterisation of supergene enriched Cu mineralisation at the Kitumba IOCG deposit Mumbwa district Zambia. Industry partner - Zeiss/Vulcan Copper/Consolidated Mines and Investment 


Member of Women in Mining, Society of Economic Geologists, Society for Geology and Young Mining Professionals

President of the 2017/2018 Society of Economic Geologists student chapter


• 2020 John Whitaker award; fieldwork studying sulfide mineralisation in alkaline systems in Scotland - £250

• 2020 Mineralogical Society post-graduate student bursary - £500

• 2020 International Ni-Cu-PGE symposium 2020. BHP best student talk - honourable mention

• 2019 MDSG University of Exeter UK. Rio Tinto best student talk - honourable mention

• 2018 MDSG Brighton UK Rio Tinto Best Student Talk £500

• 2018 International Pt Symposium South Africa. Best student talk 3rd place

• 2018 John Whitaker award; fieldtrip to study mineralisation of the Western Bushveld South Africa - £250

• 2018 Applied Mineralogy Group Postgraduate Bursary - £350

• 2018 SGA student grant to attend the 14th International Platinum Symposium South Africa - €500

• 2017 Awarded SGA fieldtrip to examine Ni-Cu-PGE deposits in the Cape Smith Belt Canada - CAD $3000

• 2017 SEG Graduate Student Fellowship Recipient - USD $5000. 


Academic Conferences

2022 SGA, 16th Biennial Meeting, virtual
2021 SEG Whistler, virtual
2020 International Ni-Cu-PGE symposium, virtual
2020 MDSG, Natural History Museum, London, UK
2019 SGA, Glasgow, UK
2019 MDSG, University of Exeter, UK
2018 AGCC, Adelaide, Australia
2018 International Pt Symposium, South Africa
2018 MDSG, Brighton, UK
2017 SGA, Quebec, Canada

Minerals Industry Conferences

2021 Finex, London, UK
2019, 2020 PDAC, Toronto, Canada
2019, 2020 African Mining Indaba, Cape Town, South Africa. Consolidated Ni Mines/UK Department of International Trade representative
2017 Mines and Money, London

Invited Speaker

2022 International Early Career Researchers Pt Symposium (May 2022)
2022 CET workshop: Recent advances in exploration geosciences symposium
2020 CET/CSIRO Magmatic Sulfide Mineral Systems: Recent advances and multi-scale thinking
2020 SGA Industrial University of Santander student chapter
2019 SGA Charles University student chapter, Prague, Czech Republic
2019 SGA Advances in exploration targeting for magmatic sulfide short course
2019 Magmatic Ni-Cu-PGE mineral systems workshop, University of Milan
2019 Applied research in the minerals sector workshop: A UK-Zambia partnership, Lusaka
2018 CSIRO Magmatic ore deposit and battery metal workshop, Perth, Australia
2018 Munali Geological Conversation day with the Zambian and Zimbabwean mining community, Kafue, Zambia

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