Imperial College London

Mr Matthew Loader

Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Earth Science & Engineering

Casual - Visiting lect, guest spkr, ext. examiner







440/41Royal School of MinesSouth Kensington Campus






  • PhD Student, Imperial College London, 2011 - Present
  • EAP Year abroad, University of California, Santa Barbara, 2008 - 2009
  • MSci Geology with Study in North America, University of Bristol, 2006 - 2010

Research Interests

My research focuses on the processes involved in the generation and evolution of arc magmas, as revealed by their mineral and melt geochemistry, and the implications of these processes on the formation of magmatic-hydrothermal ore deposits. 


Demonstrating in 2012-13

  • Hydrothermal Ore-Forming Processes (5.22, J. Wilkinson)
  • Optical Mineralogy and Petrology (2.12, E. Passmore)
  • Metamorphic Petrology 1 (3.27, M. Streule)
  • Internal Processes (2.08, J. Wilkinson)
  • Igneous Petrology 1 (3.26, M. Genge)
  • Earth Materials (2.07, P. Doyle)
  • Ore Deposits (4.29, R. Herrington)

- - ESE Demonstrator of the Year award (2011-12) - -

PhD Project Aims

Mineral Indicators of Porphyry Copper Fertility

Porphyry Cu deposits are large volumes of hydrothermally altered rock with associated Cu-(Mo-Au) mineralisation, centred on porphyritic stocks and dykes. Such systems are associated spatially and temporally with arc magmatism. One puzzling aspect of porphyry Cu deposit formation is that it is restricted to certain sections of an arc, and during discrete periods of time that are brief compared to long-lived arc magmatism. Furthermore, neither previous nor subsequent magmatism in the same arc section produces ore deposits. Determining the petrogenetic differences between 'barren' and 'fertile' magmas is crucial in understanding the formation of these ore deposits, and has important implications for future exploration.

In this project, I aim to determine the mineral chemistry of a range of phases characteristic of porphyry systems to test for a unique geochemical fingerprint of the processes leading to efficient Cu accumulation. Two supergiant deposits have been selected for detailed study of the petrogenesis, chemistry and distribution of the phases of interest; Oyu Tolgoi (Mongolia) and Resolution (Arizona). 

Associated Personnel

Dr Jamie Wilkinson

Dr Robin Armstrong

Mr Paul Agnew