Cam McCuaig

Professor, BSc Lakehead, PhD Sask.

  • The University of Western Australia (M004), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


Calculated based on number of publications stored in Pure and citations from Scopus

Personal profile


Professor Cam McCuaig is currently the Principal Geoscientist within the Geoscience Centre of Excellence, for BHP Billiton. Cam received his Honours degree in Geology and Energy and Fuel Science from Lakehead University in 1988, and his PhD in Geology from the University of Saskatchewan in 1996. In the subsequent employment with the international firm SRK Consulting, Cam rose to the position of Director in the Australasian practice, where he garnered 10 years experience in providing solutions to the mining and exploration industry, from greenfields exploration to mine-based geology and valuations of projects. Cam’s experience spans 6 continents and numerous commodities in geological terranes ranging from mid-Archaean to Eocene in age, including Au deposits of all styles, polymetallic intrusion-related and skarn deposits, volcanic-hosted massive-sulphide deposits, Archaean komatiite-hosted Ni, sediment-hosted Cu, amongst others. In August 2005, Cam left SRK to take up the Directorship of the CET and was in this position for 11 years before moving to BHPB.

Roles and responsibilities

Professor Cam McCuaig is currently the Principal Geoscientist within the Geoscience Centre of Excellence, for BHP Billiton.

Previous positions

2016-Present - Professor Cam McCuaig is currently the Principal Geoscientist within the Geoscience Centre of Excellence, for BHP Billiton.
2005-2016 - Director, Centre for Exploration Targeting, University of Western Australia
2002-2005 SRK Consulting, Principal, Perth (Director – 2004-2005)
1998-2002 SRK Consulting, Senior Consultant, Perth
1997-1998 Etheridge Henley Williams (EHW, now SRK), Consultant, Perth
1996-1997 Etheridge Henley Williams (EHW, now SRK), Consultant, Calgary

Current projects

see full CV at

Teaching overview

Introduction to Economic Geology (as part of EART104)

Applied structural geology in mineral exploration and mining as part of the National MTEC Minerals Geosciences Honours Program

Masters: (National MTEC Mineral Geoscience Masters Program)
Applied structural geology in mineral exploration and mining
Exploration Targeting in a Business Context
Ore Deposit Models

Other courses:(Tailored to industry, presented on demand for industry partners)
Introduction to Mineral Project Evaluation – with Assoc. Professor Pietro Guj
Applied structural geology in exploration and mining
Exploration Targeting in a Business Context


My current personal research interests include:
(1) Petrogenesis and emplacement of mafic-ultramafic magmas and controls on associated metal deposits (nickel, platinum-group elements). This entails a whole-earth approach to these metal systems. Current focus is on komatiite-hosted systems.
(2) Structural controls on mineral systems – from deposit to lithosphere scale.
(a) Structures as permeability pathways for magmas and fluids
(b) Structural modification of deposits by subsequent deformation.
(c)Construction of 4D architectures (3D plus time) for terranes, and understanding where mineral systems fit within these frameworks.
(3) Mineral system approach to ore deposits, understanding systems - from lithosphere scale controls on sources of metals, fluids, energy, to understanding localized physical throttles for fluid/magma and chemical triggers causing metal deposition and accumulation.
(4) Exploration Targeting Geoscience
(a) Conceptual Targeting - how to take understanding of mineral systems and break them down into probabilistic targeting and ranking criteria, and application of these criteria in the computer environment to achieve targeting simulations to facilitate risk analysis.
(b) Empirical Targeting – quantifying and understanding controls on observed size frequency distributions of various styles of mineral deposits in a wide variety of geological terranes, and GIS-based targeting.
(c) Heuristics and human behaviour effects on exploration targeting
(d) Marriage of business and research outcomes in practical targeting of mineral deposits

Au, Au/Cu systems of all ages
Uranium systems
Orthomagmatic Ni-Cu sulphide systems
Sediment-hosted Pb-Zn
Volcanogenic Cu-Zn
BIF-hosted Fe

Current research projects span 6 continents, with numerous projects within Western Australia.
Examples include:
Tectonostratigraphic controls on the location of komatiite-hosted Ni-Cu camps, Yilgarn Craton, WA collaboration with Mark Barley, Steve Beresford, Marco Fiorentini, Nicolas Thebaud, Aurore Joly (all CET) - Steve Barnes (CSIRO), St. Barbara Mining, Norilsk, BHPBilliton, ARC linkage
Uranium prospectivity analysis Australia-wide, comparing manual and GIS-based automated approaches - with Dr. Alok Porwal, Dr. Oliver Kreuzer, Vanessa Markwitz and confidential industry partner
Quantifying endowment – Yilgarn Au and Ni (Antony Mameuse – PhD study, with Assoc. Prof Pietro Guj, Dr. Oliver Kreuzer, Industry partner - Intierra)
Structural evolution of the Lake Johnston terrane, Yilgarn Craton and implications for targeting Ni-sulphide deposits (with Dr. John Miller, Dr Aurore Joly Industry partner Lionore Australia)
Stratigraphy and tectonic architecture of the Leonora and Southern Cross regions and controls on location of Ni-sulphide mineralisation, Yilgarn, WA (with Dr. John Miller, Dr. Steve Barnes (CSIRO), Dr Nicolas Thebaud, industry partner St. Barbara Mines)
Structural and metamorphic effects on the Flying Fox Orebody, Forrestania belt, Yilgarn Craton (Jane Collins – PhD study with Assoc. Prof. Steffen Hagemann, Industry Partners Western Areas/Newexco)
Fluid evolution in the New Celebration gold deposit, Western Australia (Joanna Hodge – pmd*CRC PhD study, with Assoc. Prof. Steffen Hagemann, Dr. Peter Neumayr)
4D tectonic framework for the Western Tanami and its Au mineral systems (Leon Bagas – PhD study, Irainti Irianti – MSc study, with Dr. Frank Bierlein, Professor Mike Dentith, Dr. Eunjung Holden, industry partners MERIWA, GSWA, Tanami Gold)
Gold mineralisation in the western Qinling fold belt, Gansu Province China (PhD Zeng Qingtao, Dragon Mining, Peking University, Nanjing University)
Evolution of alkaline magmas and associated mineral systems, Red River Fault Zone, Western Yunnan Province, China (PhD Yongjun Lu, Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences)


English (mother tongue)
French (basic)

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth

Research expertise keywords

  • Economic geology
  • Geochemistry
  • Mineral exploration targeting
  • Ore genesis
  • Structural geology
  • Tectonics and mineral systems


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