Photo of Research Program Leader Dr Matthew Jeffrey.

Dr Matthew Jeffrey leads gold research in the Precious and Base Metals Hydrometallurgy research program.

Dr Matthew Jeffrey: extracting precious metals from complex ores

Dr Matthew Jeffrey leads research into extracting precious metals from complex ores. He focuses on improving the current cyanidation process for recovering gold from ores, and developing alternative technologies for the gold industry.

  • 4 September 2007 | Updated 21 August 2012

Current activities

Dr Matthew Jeffrey leads precious metal research for CSIRO Process Science and Engineering.

Through the Minerals Down Under National Research Flagship, Dr Jeffrey leads research into extracting precious metals from complex ores.

He is also the gold market leader for the Parker Cooperative Research Centre for Integrated Hydrometallurgy Solutions.

The projects the Dr Jeffrey is currently leading include:

  • thiosulfate leaching and pressure oxidation
  • resin adsorption and elution.
Dr Jeffrey has extensive research experience in hydrometallurgy.

Dr Jeffrey’s expertise and research interests include:

  • processing of gold using cyanide or thiosulfate
  • leaching and electrochemistry of gold and base metals
  • electrowinning
  • resin and carbon adsorption and elution
  • modelling and solution speciation
  • ion chromatography (for determining sulfur and cyanide speciation).


Dr Jeffrey has extensive research experience in hydrometallurgy, being based at Monash University in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, for eight years as a senior lecturer prior to joining CSIRO.

He lectured in Chemical Engineering, specifically in reaction engineering, industrial chemistry, and process dynamics and control.

Academic qualifications

Dr Jeffrey has been awarded:

  • Bachelor of Engineering (Chemical) with Honours from the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia, in 1994
  • Doctor of Philosophy, from Curtin University (AJ Parker CRC for Hydrometallurgy), Perth, Western Australia, in 1998.

Dr Jeffrey's doctoral thesis was titled A Kinetic and Electrochemical Study of the Dissolution of Gold in Aerated Cyanide Solutions: The Role of Solid and Solution Phase Purity.


Dr Jeffrey’s achievements include:

  • a finalist in the ScienceNow Fresh Scientist Competition 2001, where research was presented to the media as part of Australia's National Science Week
  • runner-up in the Eureka Skeptics prize for critical thinking, 1996
  • Merriwa Scholarship recipient, 1996
  • top graduate in Chemical Engineering from University of NSW, 1994.

Dr Jeffrey is also a past chairman of the Joint Victorian Chemical Engineering Committee, and the Electrochemical Division of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute.

He has published over 70 papers in the field, and holds two provisional patents.

Read about CSIRO's research in Precious Metals.