Marcus Sweetapple


  • The University of Western Australia (M006), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


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

Personal profile


Marcus Sweetapple works as a consultant to the mineral exploration industry, principally in Western Australia. He specializes in mineralogy, petrology and geochemistry applied to rare metal mineralized systems, with a particular interest in hard rock lithium at this time.

After completing a BSc (Hons) at Flinders University in Adelaide, he worked for a number of different companies exploring for gold and other commodities in W.A., N.T., S.A. and Victoria. Subsequently he did a PhD part-time at Curtin University on tantalum mineralized pegmatite systems, while doing a variety of geoscience activities, including tutoring/demonstrating, research assistant and contract mineral exploration. A highlight was contributing regional pegmatite studies and mineral systems analysis to the North Pilbara NGMA project. The dissertation was passed unconditionally with a Chancellor’s commendation and departmental prize.

Subsequent to completing the PhD, Marcus Sweetapple worked as a Consultant for tantalum, uranium and industrial minerals exploration in Western Australia and Namibia, before joining CSIRO as a Research Scientist. At CSIRO he worked a variety of mineral systems, chiefly Archaean lode gold and rare metal (Li-Ta) granitic pegmatites, but also hydrothermal nickel, carbonatite REE, sediment hosted Pb-Zn, porphyry Cu-Mo and industrial minerals (building sand). Lithium work included the application of LIBS (Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy) to the analysis and in situ mapping of lithium.

In more recent years, consulting activities provision of specialist mineralogical and petrological services to the development of a major Lithium-Tantalum project for a publicly listed (ASX) company, including for a feasibility study. Other activities have included project evaluation, targeting and regional exploration studies for lithium-tantalum pegmatites, gold and base metals in Archaean terranes, including GIS based studies. Petrological and mineralogical studies for lithium and nickel projects.


Research Interests

  • All aspects of geoscience applied to granitic pegmatites, including:

+ Tin-tantalum-niobium minerals

+ Microanalytical techniques

+ Micas

+ Applied spectroscopic techniques

+ Exploration geochemistry

+ Mineral System Science and targeting

+ Geophysical signatures

+ Understanding geochemistry from mineralogy

  • Multivariate statistical analysis of geochemical datasets, including Principal Components Analysis
  • Mineral chemistry
  • Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS)
  • Hydrothermal Nickel



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