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Earth and Environmental Sciences

Photo of Mr Michael Musialike

Mr Michael Musialike



I am a third year PhD student working on carbonatites in south eastern Zambia. My research is revisting these carbonatites to better understand their nature and petrogenesis, especially with respect to how rare earth element (REE) deposits form in carbonatite systems. The south east carbonatites include Kesya and Mkwisi "carbonatites" near Lusaka, the capital city of Zambia and Chasweta, Mwambuto, Nachomba and Kaluwe hills in the Rufunsa valley. Owing to their remotness and limited accessebility, they are relatively understudied. The Rufunsa are considered to be mantle derived, extrusive dolomite carbonatites without associated silicate rocks which is a relatively rare expression of carbonatite volcanism. The Kaluwe is now reinterpreted as pile of volcanoclastic material but without a known feeder dyke or vent; could it be related to one or more of the other Rufunsa vents? Has it got a totally different source? Previous studies on Kesya and Mkwisi were inconclusive on whether these are bona fide carbonatite bodies because of their unusual geochemistry. Combined with neighbouring Malawi carbonatites, this is probably one of the best examples in the world to reconstruct a full cross-section through a carbonatite system with REE mineralisation. By comparing and intergrating observations from this research with other carbonatite systems, this research aims to feed into the wider Hi-Tech AlkCarb geomodels for carbonatite and alkaline rock REE deposits.

I also have keen interest in the economic geology of clean energy technology mineral resources in central and southern Africa for commoities that include; Li, Cu, Co, Mn, Ni, Sn, Ta, Zn, Pb,Cr and geothermal energy. 

My PhD research has been funded by the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the UK. I am supervised by Prof Frances Wall (CSM) and co-supervised by Dr Kathryn Moore (CSM) and Dr Sam Broom-Fendley (CSM).

Professional history

  • 2016 - present: Lecturer II Copperbelt University
  • 2011 - 2012: Exploration Geologist, GeoQuest Consultancy
  • 2010 - 2011: Project Geologist, Caracle Creek International Consultancy

Academic Qualifications

  • MSc Economic Geology (2016), CODES, University of Tasmania. My dissertation described the geological and mineralisation characteristics of the Dunrobin Gold Deposit in central Zambia. Some of the results of this research demonstrated how shortwave infrared spectroscopy of white micas could be utilised to vector towards gold mineralisation within the Neoproterozoic Mwembeshi Shear Zone structures of Zambia. 
  • BSc Geology (2010), University of Zambia. My dissertation investigated the various uranium mineralisation styles in the Upper Karoo Sediments of the Mid-Zambezi Valley of southern Zambia in Siavonga District.


  • Member of Society of Economic Geologists
  • Member of Geological Society of Zambia
  • Member of Society for Geology  Applied to Mineral Deposits
  • Member of Engineering Institute of Zambia

Conference Presentations

  • Musialike, M. M., 2021. Mining for a healthier global climate: Clean energy technology mineral resources in Africa, opportunities and challenges ahead. Met Office Science Conference (online)
  • Musialike, M. M., Wall, F., Broom-Fendley, S., Moore, K., 2019. Towards New Geomodels for Zambian Carbonatites: Implications for REE Mineralisation. HiTech Alkarb workshop, London.
  • Musialike, M. M., 2017. Short-Wave Infrared (SWIR) Spectroscopy of white micas as a vectoring tool to gold mineralisation at the Dunrobin Deposit, Mumbwa, Zambia. Natinal Conference on Geology, Mining, Metallurgy and Ground Water Resources, Livingstone, Zambia.
  • Shane, A., Musialike, M., Okello, N., Mvula, E., Songolo, M., Mwanza, P., Daka, M., Chapewa, D., 2017. Historical and future greenhouse gas emissions from coal mining/consumption and mitigation measures in Zambia. National Conference on Geology, Mining, Metallurgy and Ground Water Resources, Livingstone, Zambia.

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