Joe Schifano

Joe Schifano

PhD Student
Earth and Sustainability Science Research Centre
Biological, Earth & Environmental Sciences

Over 20 years experience in mineral industry exploring for iron ore, base and precious metals, and lithium exploration.

Project: Regional biogeochemical mapping of the Cobar Basin for mineral exploration at regional to local scales.

Supervised by: Professor David Cohen and Dr Neil Rutherford

Project Description: Into the 4th year of a Minex CRC ( funded Biogeochemistry PhD project across the Cobar Basin in Central Western NSW with UNSW. 4,000 Cypress Pine needle samples have been collected in the Cobar Basin. This includes numerous mine sites around Cobar and some prospects with the greatly appreciated funding support of these Cobar based explorers including Aurelia Metals, Peel Mining, Golden Cross Resources, Sunrise Energy, Kingston Resources, 3E Steel, Glencore, Sky Metals, Manuka Resources, Aeris Resources in co-operation with the Geological Survey of NSW. The research is aimed at determining how effective biogeochemical exploration is within the Cobar Basin in detecting mineralisation and lithological changes, and how useful field portable XRF (pXRF) can be directly on vegetation. High and low-grade gold bearing pine trees has also been dissected for analysis of bark, inner wood, branches, twigs and needles to assess where element accumulation is greatest.
First published co-authored paper can be accessed at:
All presentation updates can be found at

Contact Details
Nickel Uptake by Cypress Pine (Callitris glaucophylla) in the Miandetta Area, Australia: Implications for Use in Biogeochemical Exploration
by Kenneth G. McQueen 1,*ORCID, Augustine Alorbi 2ORCID, Joseph A. Schifano 3,4 and David R. Cohen 3,4
1.Faculty of Science and Technology, University of Canberra, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia
2.MMG Ltd., Sydney, NSW 2001, Australia
3.School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia
4.Mineral Exploration Cooperative Research, Kensington, WA 6151, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Walid Salama, Caroline Tiddy and Ryan Noble
Minerals 2021, 11(8), 808;
Received: 21 May 2021 / Revised: 19 July 2021 / Accepted: 23 July 2021 / Published: 26 July 2021