Laurence Robb

Laurence Robb

Visiting Professor
Tel: +44 (0) 1865 272022

My geological and research interests are in the field of ore genesis, in particular the processes by which mineral deposits form and the factors that control their distribution in space and time. I have worked on many of the great mineral districts of the African continent (Witwatersrand Basin; Bushveld Complex; Central African Copperbelt; Birimian gold deposits of West Africa) but my principal expertise is in granite petrogenesis and associated mineral deposits. At the present time my research is focused on:-

  • Tectonics and metallogeny of SE Asia – with co-workers Mike Searle and Nick Gardiner we have been studying the relationships between Tethyan orogenesis and the formation of the diverse, but generally granite-hosted, mineral deposits of the Malaysian peninsula and Myanmar/Burma.
  • Geology, tectonic setting and metallogeny of the Reguibat Shield in Western Sahara – this project is aimed at unravelling the geological evolution and mineral deposit setting of one of the most remote and least-studied terranes in the World, and is carried out in collaboration with Caedmon Marriott of Hanno Resources and Joshua Combs (DPhil student).
  • Petrogenesis and metallogeny of the felsic rocks of the Bushveld Complex, South Africa. With co-workers Judith Kinnaird and Paul Nex of CIMERA, University of the Witwatersrand, we are studying the petrogenesis of the fertile A-type granitoids of the Bushveld Complex and in particular the relationships between the intrusive and extrusive components of this large igneous province and the processes by which innumerable poly-metallic, IOCG-like mineral occurrences have formed.


A Second Edition of ‘INTRODUCTION TO ORE FORMING PROCESSES’ is due out in 2019

Book covers

Also due out in 2019:-

‘ORE DEPOSITS – Origin, Exploration & Exploitation’

Sophie Decrée and Laurence Robb (Editors) [AGU100 and Wiley]


G.R. Drennan and L.J. Robb (2006) The nature of hydrocarbons and related fluids in the Witwatersrand Basin,   South Africa; their role in metal distribution. In. Reimold, W.U. and Gibson, R.L. Processes on the Early Earth.   Geol. Soc. Amer. Spec. Paper, 405, 353-385.

John Dewey, Laurence Robb and Louw van Schalkwyk (2006) Did Bushmanland extensionally unroof Namaqualand? Precambrian Res., 150, 173-182.

L.J. Robb, G. Brandl. C.R. Anhaeusser and M. Poujol (2006). Archaean Granitoid Intrusions. In. Johnson,  M.R. et al., The Geology of South Africa, Geological Society of South Africa – Council for Geoscience, Pretoria. 57-94.

A.J.R. White, V.M. Robb, L.J. Robb and D.J. Waters (2010) Portable Infrared Spectroscopy as a tool for the exploration of gold deposits in tropical terrains: a case study at the Damang deposit, Ghana. Econ. Geol., Special Publ. 15, 67-84.

N.W. Hammond, L.J. Robb, S. Foya and D. Ishiyama (2011) Mineralogical, fluid inclusion and stable isotope  characteristics of Birimian orogenic gold mineralization at the Morila Mine, Mali, West Africa. Ore Geol. Rev., 39, 218-229.

T.E. Graedel, and 16 others including L.J. Robb (2011) Estimating long-run geological stocks of metals.  Working Paper, UNEP International Panel on Sustainable Resource Management, Working Group on Geological Stocks of Metals. 36pp.

M.P. Searle, M.J. Whitehouse, L.J. Robb et al., (2012) Tectonic evolution of the Sibumasu-Indochina collision zone in Thailand and Malaysia – constraints from new U-Pb zircon chronology of SE Asian tin granitoids. J. Geol. Soc. Lond., 169, 489-500.

A.J.R. White, D.J Waters and L.J. Robb (2015) Exhumation-driven devolatilization as a fluid source for orogenic gold mineralization at the Damang deposit, Ghana. Econ. Geol., 110, 1009-1025.

N.J. Gardiner, L.J. Robb, C.K. Morley, M.P. Searle, P.A. Cawood, M.J. Whitehouse, C.L. Kirkland, N.M.W. Roberts and Tin Aung Myint (2016). The tectonic and metallogenic framework of Myanmar: a Tethyan Mineral System. Ore Geology Reviews, 79, 26-45.  doi: 10.1016/j.oregeorev.2016.04.02.

N.J. Gardiner, C.J. Hawkesworth, L.J. Robb, M.J. Whitehouse, N.M.W. Roberts, C.L. Kirkland and N.J. Evans (2017). Contrasting Granite Metallogeny through the Zircon Record: A Case Study from Myanmar. Nature – Scientific Reports, 7:748 [DOI:10.1038/s41598-017-00832-2].

L.J. Robb and C.L. Hayward (2014). Geochemistry of Placer Gold – A Case Study of the Witwatersrand Deposits. In. Treatise on Geochemistry, Elsevier, 2nd Edition, Vol. 13, 433-461.