Yamila Cajal Contreras

PhD Candidate
BSc in Geology, Universidad de Concepción

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After finishing my bachelor in Geology at the Universidad de Concepcion (Chile), I have been working in copper-gold mining and mineral exploration, both at the industry and at the academia. I did my undergrad research thesis in the possible extension of the middle Eocene to early Oligocene Cu-metallogenic belt in northern Chile in partnership with Anglo American Exploration.

As part of my PhD, I am currently working in the Platinum Group Elements (PGE) geochemistry applied to the study of Cu-Au magma fertility of Porphyry Copper Deposits from the Andes of Central Chile. In this project, I am working in collaboration with CODELCO and the Chilean Geological Survey. I have been recently awarded the Graduate Student Fellowship (GSF) and two Student Research Grants (SRG) by the Society of Economic Geologists (SEG) Foundation.


science Research area

Research interests

I am interested in the application and combination of field-observations, petrology, geochemistry and geochronology to the study of ore deposits and their metallogenic processes, particularly in the study of copper and gold deposits.

I am currently working in the geochemistry of the Platinum Group Elements (PGE) applied to the prediction of copper-gold fertility in mountain belts, with focus in the Andes of Central Chile. This project is supervised by Professor Ian Campbell:



Teaching information


2022               Magmatism and Metamorphism (EMSC3024)

2019-2021     Earth: The Chemistry and Physics of our Planet (EMSC1008)

2019-2020     Fundamentals of Geology (EMSC2023)

2018, 2021    The Blue Planet: An Introduction to Earth System Science (EMSC1006)

2018               Economic Geology (EMSC3007)



J2, G-47


Conference papers

Cajal, Y. & Campbell, I. (2019) Platinum-group elements as a tracer of sulphide saturation in evolving magmas: application to the Rio Blanco Cu-porphyry deposit, central Chile. 15th Biennial Meeting of the Society for Geology Applied to Mineral Deposits (SGA). Glasgow, United Kingdom.

Cajal, Y., Rabbia, O. & Valencia, V. (2015) New magmatic-hydrothermal antecedents from the Oligocene to Miocene in the Andes of northern Chile (latitude 21° to 18°S). XIV Chilean Geological Conference. La Serena, Chile.

Cajal, Y. & Rabbia, O. (2015) Criteria to define exploration targets in the northern extension (latitude 21° to 18°S) of the Eocene to Oligocene metallogenic belt, northern Chile. XIV Chilean Geological Conference. La Serena, Chile.