Stratabound and Stratiform Sulphide Mineralisation in the Scottish Dalradian

  • Hallin Giddens

    Student thesis: Master's Thesis


    Predicted demand for cobalt in the production of high capacity batteries for electronic devices and in electric vehicles has increased as the world is expected to move away from the use of fossil fuels. It is likely that the demand for cobalt will rise beyond currently known reserves, therefore, finding new sources of cobalt will be vital to the energy and technological security of the world in the near-future. Within the Neoproterozoic Dalradian Supergroup of Scotland, massive strata-bound sulphide deposits occur which have a higher than average cobalt abundances. Two sites of interest were identified, Coille Bhraghad near Inveraray in south-west Scotland, and Vidlin Voe on the east coast of the Shetland Islands. Analysis of samples gathered from both Coille Bhraghad and Vidlin Voe have shown that both localities lack cobalt-sulphides such as cobaltite but do contain an abundance of other sulphide phases such as pyrite, pentlandite and pyrrhotite which are capable of carrying cobalt in substitution. The cobalt may have been sourced from mafic volcanic lithologies or from the basal units of the Dalradian Supergroup which were accessed through crustal thinning and the development of hydrothermal systems during the development of deep-marine basins. Promisingly, stratabound-sulphide deposits at each locality hosted an amount of cobalt that was found to be higher than the average expected parts-per-million (ppm). Further research into these and similar stratabound-sulphide deposits within the Scottish Dalradian and its equivalents may find economic amounts of cobalt and further investment in research will be necessary if the demand for cobalt globally continues to rise.
    Date of Award2023
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorDuncan Pirrie (Supervisor) & Ian Skilling (Supervisor)

    Cite this