Research: 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 available worldwide.
The main aim of my work is to investigate the distribution of Ga, Ge and In in different deposits on both the large and the small scale. This is done along two routes of investigation: 1) case studies on one relevant ore deposits to investigate small scale distribution and mineralogical deportment, 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 with BA (Mineral Sciences) and MSc (Geological Sciences) degrees in 2012. Projects I undertook during my four year undergraduate career included:

  • The detailed characterisation (microstructure, nanostructure, crystallography, chemistry) of aberrant vaterite produced by the bivalve mollusc Corbicula fluminea, and
  • The 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
  5. Frenzel, M., Tolosana-Delgado, R., Gutzmer, J., 2015. Assessing the supply potential of high-tech metals - A general method. Resources Policy 46 (2), 45 - 58
  6. Frenzel, M., Ketris, M.P., Seifert, T., Gutzmer, J., 2016. On the current and future availability of gallium. Resources Policy 47, 38 - 50
  7. Frenzel, M., Hirsch, T., Gutzmer, J., 2016. Gallium, germanium, indium and other minor and trace elements in sphalerite as a function of deposit type - A meta-analysis. Ore Geology Reviews 76, 52 - 78
  8. Ault, A.K., Frenzel, M., Reiners, P.W., Woodcock, N.H., Thomson, S.N., 2016. Record of paleofluid circulation in faults revealed by hematite (U-Th)/He and apatite fission-track dating: An example from Gower Peninsula fault fissures, Wales. Lithosphere (in press)