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Dr Rich Crane

Senior Lecturer in Sustainable Mining


Telephone: 01326 214370
Twitter: @RichCraneGeo


Rich Crane is Senior Lecturer in Sustainable Mining at the Camborne School of Mines, University of Exeter. Prior to joining the CSM in 2017 I was Postdoctoral Research Associate/Fellow at the Universities of Cardiff, UNSW (Australia) and Bristol. I have PhD (Applied Geochemistry) and BSc (Environmental Geoscience) degrees from the University of Bristol. 

My research and teaching interests lie in the fields of extractive metallurgy, materials science, nanotechnology and applied geochemistry for a range of applications including: the development of novel mining techniques, mine site reclamation, waste treatment, water treatment and contaminant transport. I also like to apply a holistic approach which considers the wider environmental, cultural and political implications of such activity.

Within this the obvious “Grand Challenge” question is: “How can we obtain metals from the subsurface with drastically less energy input and generating little (or even zero) waste?” 

A particular target area for my research is on the development of next generation "key-hole" mining techniques, which comprise the direct injection of novel lixiviants (chemicals which can selectively dissolve target metals from within their host minerals) into primary ores and waste materials. This new approach could enable our continued procurement of Critical Raw Materials (which we urgently need for our new Green Economy) but with dramatically less energy requirement and environmental disturbance.

I am a member of the Environment: Metals, Microbes and Minerals (EM3) Research Group and the Mining, Environment and Society Research Group. Read more about my research interests here.

My Google Scholar Profile

Opportunities: I am always interested to hear from prospective research students (MSc, MEng or PhD), postdoctoral researchers or other types of collaborators. Please get in touch if you have any interesting ideas. I am particularly interested in supervising PhD students (or collaborating on projects) in the following areas:
  • Hydro/solvometallurgical leaching of ores and mine waste
  • Innovative water treatment technology (particularly those focussing on redox manipulation)
  • Recovery of ecomomically valuable and/or ecotoxic metals from mine water (particularly those focussing on acid mine drainage)
I currently have full funding for a PhD research project. If you already have a project in mind then please email me a brief overview along with your CV.