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Mikael Grenholm

PhD student
Centre for Exploration Targeting (CET)

Contact details

Robert Street Building, Rm 203
Centre for Exploration Targeting (CET)
The University of Western Australia (M006)
35 Stirling Highway

+61 8 6488 7149


My project forms part of the third phase of the West African Exploration Initiative, which is a joint industry-academia project aimed at aiding mineral exploration in West Africa. The main focus of WAXI is the ca. 2.25-2.00 Ga Paleoproterozoic Birimian Orogen, which is comprised of an assortment of volcanic belts, large domains of granitoids and gneisses, and late sedimentary basins that were assembled over a period of more than 200 Myr. The evolution of the Birimian orogen can be broadly divided into an early accretionary phase (>2.15 Ga), during which the volcanic belts and the granitoid-gneiss domains were formed, and a subsequent collisional phase (<2.15 Ga) when the late sedimentary basins were established.

My project commenced in February 2015 and its main focus is the late sedimentary basins in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire, with the aim to understand their timing, structural setting and geodynamic evolution. This will provide further constraints on the collisional phase of the Birmian orogen, as the sedimentary basins are a direct result of regional deformation events. An improved understanding of the sedimentary basins will thus have an impact beyond the units themselves, and aid in understanding the evolution of the Birimian Orogen during a period that coincided with significant gold mineralization.

The aims of the project will be achieved through a combination of new data obtained through fieldwork, petrography, and radiometric dating during the course of the project, and existing geological and geophysical dataset that are already available in the WAXI project. The project will also include comparative studies between the sedimentary basins of the Birimian Orogen with similar but more well-exposed and studies basins elsewhere, which have the potential of providing additional insights into the Birimian units.

My coordinating supervisor is Mark Jessell, and I am co-supervised by Nicolas Thébaud and Cam McCuaig. In addition to financial support from the WAXI project, I am also a recipient of an International Postgraduate Research Scholarship, an Australian Postgraduate Award, and a UWA Safety-Net Top-Up scholarship.