Research: The distribution of Ga, Ge, and In in conventional and non-conventional resources

Gallium, germanium, and indium are essential for many high-tech applications (e.g. mobile phones, solar cells, flat-panel displays). They are chiefly won as byproducts from the production of other metals (Cu, Zn, Al, Sn), yet data concerning their distribution in the relevant deposits, particularly on the scale of individual mines and mining districts, is still sparse or even non-existent. Such data are needed, however, to make estimates of the extractable amounts of these elements associated with global reserves and resources of the major metals they are associated with.
Therefore, the aim of this project is to investigate further the distribution of Ga, Ge and In in worldwide deposits on both the large and the small scale. This is done along two routes of investigation: 1) a case study on one relevant ore deposit (Neves Corvo, Portugal) to investigate small scale distribution and mineralogical deportment of these elements, and 2) the comprehensive collection, sorting, and evaluation of analytical data from the scientific literature.


I studied Geology and Mineral Sciences at Cambridge University, and graduated as BA (Mineral Sciences) and MSc (Geological Sciences) in 2012. Projects I undertook during my four year undergraduate career included:

  • The detailed characterisation in terms of microstructure, nanostructure, crystallography, and chemistry of aberrant vaterite produced by the bivalve mollusc Corbicula fluminea
  • An investigation of complex multi-phase carbonate vein fills in Carboniferous limestones on the Gower Peninsula, South Wales, with the aim of understanding the details of their formation


  1. Frenzel, M., Harper, E.M., 2011. Micro-structure and chemical composition of vateritic deformities occurring in the bivalve Corbicula fluminea (Müller, 1774). Journal of Structural Biology 174, 321 - 332
  2. Frenzel, M., Harrison, R. J., Harper, E.M., 2012. Nanostructure and crystallography of aberrant columnar vaterite in Corbicula fluminea (Mollusca). Journal of Structural Biology 178, 8 - 18
  3. Frenzel, M., Ketris, M.P., Gutzmer, J., 2014. On the geological availability of germanium. Mineralium Deposita 49, 471 - 486
  4. Frenzel, M., Woodcock, N.H., 2014. Cockade breccia: product of mineralisation along dilational faults. Journal of Structural Geology 68, 194 - 206