Prof Richard Herrington

Richard Herrington
  • Head of Earth Sciences Department
  • Earth Sciences department
  • Department Management Team
Natural History Museum
Cromwell Road


Employment history

2009 -                  Research Council Individual Merit Promotion – Band 2 Researcher

1991-                   Researcher (Economic and Environmental Mineralogy) Natural History
                              Museum: Programme Leader, Mineralogy and origins of ore deposits   

1987 - 1991        PhD Research Student (Rio Tinto Bursary), Imperial College London

1980 - 1987        Exploration Geologist, Cominco Ltd

1980                    Exploration Geologist, Falconbridge Nickel Ltd


1980     BSc ARSM (Hons) Mining Geology, Royal School of Mines, Imperial College, London

1991     PhD DIC Economic Geology, Royal School of Mines, Imperial College, London

Professional Roles

Current roles

  • Regional Vice President Europe for the SEG (2011-date).
  • Visiting Professor, Camborne School of Mines, University of Exeter, UK since 2010.
  • Visiting Professor, Imperial College, Royal School of Mines, UK since 2012.

External academic grant awards since 2006

  • 2013 NERC Award NE/L00240X/1 Cobalt: the roles of Geology, Geomicrobiology and Geometallurgy in its mineral formation and recovery, £85,534 (Co-I)
  • 2013 NERC Award NE/L002329/1 Natural Enrichments in E-tech Elements (Co, Ga, In, Te, Li, REE), £106,492 (Co-I)
  • 2011 NERC stable isotope grant IP/1261/0511 Isotopic discrimination of gossans overlying lower environmental impact secondary Cu deposits: towards a new exploration model, grant value £30,000 (Co-I)
  • 2009 NERC-CASE PhD Studentship Award NE/G012059/1 Isotopic discrimination of gossans overlying lower environmental impact secondary Cu deposits: towards a new exploration model, ca. £55,000 (Co-I)
  • 2008 NERC stable isotope grant IP/1048/0508 An investigation of magmatic and evaporitic contributions to IOCG hydrothermal systems: The Valerianovskoe magnetite deposits, Kazakhstan, grant value £26,700 (Co-I)
  • 2008 STFC Experiment SRS Daresbury Synchrotron Facility ‘Chemical state and speciation of Ni in nickel laterites’ – awarded 4 Days beam-time on station 9.3 (Co-I)
  • 2007 BGS-NERC-CASE Studentship Award  Magmatic history and mineralization potential of the Tyrone Igneous Complex, Northern Ireland – three year PhD project £55,000 (PI)
  • 2007 EU Framework FP7 Marie Curie Action Industry-Academia Partnerships and Pathways Call: FP7-PEOPLE-2007-3-1-IAPP Project ‘NICAL’ €800,000 awarded (PI)
  • 2006 NERC-CASE PhD Award Nickel laterites and paleoclimate, University of Southampton – ca. £55,000 (Co-I)
  • 2006 EPSRC grant EP/D05348X/1"Establishing collaboration with the Institute of Geochemistry (CAS) Guiyang, China: analytical techniques, environmental geochemistry and ore characterization" – £10,205 awarded (PI)

Commissioned research funding since 2005

  • 2012 £650,000 Anglo American Plc and Rio Tinto Plc – LODE Laser ablation analysis facility – three year funding
  • 2010 £75,000 Anglo American Plc – Geology of the Sakatti Ni-Cu Discovery, Finland – three year PhD project
  • 2007 £30,000 CERCAMS-Anglo American Plc – Geology of the Valerianovskoe magnetite deposits, Kazakhstan
  • 2007 £125,000 European Nickel Plc. – Two-year extension to 2005 project below.
  • 2007 £275,000 European Nickel Plc. – Three year post-doc – Mineralogy of lateritic nickel ores – fundamental mineral chemistry and acid-leach characteristics.
  • 2005 £115,200 European Nickel Plc.- Two-year post-doc - Nickel laterite ores and leach products – characterisation and behaviour characteristics

External committees

  • Regional Vice President Europe of the Society Applied to Mineral Deposits (SGA) 2005-2009
  • Lindgren Prize Committee Society of Economic Geologists (SEG) 2007-2010
  • Regional Vice President Europe of the Society of Economic Geologists since 2011
  • Geological Society of London Council Member (2009-2011), Member of Science and Information Management Committees of the Geological Society, London

Research and teaching


My current research is focused on the processes which lead to the formation of major ore deposits and also on how understanding fundamental mineral chemistry can help in the recovery of metals from ores.  Key research strands include:

  • Ore forming processes in orogens - My studies have integrated studies on ancient and modern terranes, notable the Uralides, Caledonides and the recent Southwest Pacific.
  • Deep weathering processes and ores - My research links the development of ore deposits formed by deep weathering processes by comparing modern systems with key periods of weathering through the Earth’s history.
  • Mineralogy applied to metal recovery from ores - Research using synthetic and natural mineral species linked to small-scale laboratory testwork can aid the development of more sustainable methods of metal mining.

Research group

Clara Wilkinson (Industry-funded post doc) and Anna Morris (Industry-funded research assistant) work on development of Laser-Ablation ICPMS in the LODE lab based at the Museum.

Rachel Norman (Initiative funded research assistant) is working under the Critical Elements Initiative initially focused on the mineralogy of cobalt-bearing iron oxy-hydroxides and lithium-bearing borosilicate phases.

PhD students

  • 2014 – date: Carmen Pinto Ward (Imperial College-NHM) The Serra Verde Rare Earth Element deposit, Brazil
  • 2013 – date: Adam Pacey (Imperial College-University of Tasmania-NHM) Propylitic alteration in porphyry ore systems (Amira 1060)
  • 2013 – date: Pierre Josso (University of Southampton-NHM) Investigating the formation and potential recovery of Rare Earth Elements and Critical Metals from a sea floor analogue: Troodos Ophiolite, Cyprus
  • 2010 - date: Rachel Norman (Loughborough University) Ni substitution in synthetic goethite: implications for natural systems and mineral processing.
  • 2010 - date: Will Brownscombe (Imperial College-NHM) Geology of the Sakatti Cu-Ni-PGE deposit, Finland.
  • 2009 - date: Dan Parvaz (University of Exeter – NERC Case award) Gossan development in Cyprus and the formation of secondary copper ores.

Ten previous successful PhD students trained.


I currently teach the third year Ore Deposit module ESE 4.29 at Imperial College  (Royal School of Mines) and co-supervise a number of fourth year MSci projects.

I have a visiting role at Exeter University (Camborne School of Mines) and provide occasional lectures. 

External talks


Herrington, R.J., Kinchington, M., Tavlan, M., Hunter, H., and Thorne, R. (in review), The Karaçam (Adatepe) Ni-Co laterite deposit Turkey: Evidence for late, low pH fluids to generate silicate-poor goethite-dominated lateritic profiles, Mineralium Deposita.

Piercey, S.J., Peter, J.M. and Herrington, R.J. (in press), Zinc-rich volcanogenic massive sulphide (VMS) deposits, Special Volume of the Society of Economic Geologists.


Hollis, S.P., Roberts, S., Earls, G., Herrington, R., Cooper, M., Piercey, S.J., Archibald, S.M. and Moloney, M., 2014, Petrochemistry and hydrothermal alteration within the Tyrone Igneous Complex, Northern Ireland: implications for VMS mineralization in the British and Irish Caledonides, Mineralium Deposita, DOI 10.1007/s00126-013-0508-x.


Herrington, R., 2013, Road map to mineral supply, Nature Geoscience, 6, 892-894

Gall, L., Williams, H.M., Siebert, C., Halliday, A.N., Herrington, R.J. and Hein, J.R., 2013, Nickel isotopic compositions of ferromanganese crusts and the constancy of deep ocean inputs and continental weathering effects over the Cenozoic, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 375, 148-155.

Hollis, S.P., Cooper, M.R., Roberts, S., Earls, G., Herrington, R.J. and Condon, D. J., 2013, Stratigraphic, geochemical and U-Pb zircon constraints from Slieve Gallion, Northern Ireland: A correlation of the Irish Caledonian arcs, Jour. Geol. Soc. London, 170, 737-752.

Hunter, H.M.A., Herrington, R.J. and Oxley, A., 2013, Examining Ni-laterite leach mineralogy & chemistry – a holistic multi-scale approach, Minerals Engineering, 54, 100-109.

Santoro, L., Boni, M., Herrington, R. and Clegg, A., 2013, The Hakkari nonsulfide Zn-Pb deposit in the context of other nonsulfide Zn-Pb deposits in the Tethyan Metallogenetic Belt of Turkey, Ore Geology Reviews, 53, 244-260

Maslennikov, V.V., Maslennikova, S.P., Large, R.R., Danyushevsky, L.V., Herrington, R.J. and Stanley, C. J., 2013, Tellurium-bearing minerals in zoned sulfide chimneys from Cu-Zn massive sulfide deposits of the Urals, Russia, Mineralogy and Petrology, DOI 10.1007/s00710-012-0230-x.


Hollis, S.P., Roberts, S., Cooper, M.R., Earls, G., Herrington, R.J., Condon, D. J., Cooper, M. J., Archibald, S. M. and Piercey, S., 2012, Episodic arc-ophiolite emplacement and the growth of continental margins: Late accretion in the Northern Irish sector of the Grampian-Taconic orogeny, Geol. Soc. Am. Bull., 124, 1702-1723.

Thorne, R L., Roberts S and Herrington, R J., 2012, The formation and evolution of the Bitincke nickel laterite deposit, Albania, Mineralium Deposita, DOI: 10.1007/s00126-012-0411-x.

Maslennikov, V.V., Ayupova, N.R., Herrington, R.J., Danyushevskiy, L. and Large, R.R., 2012. Ferruginous and manganiferous haloes around massive sulphide deposits of the Urals, Ore Geology Reviews 47, 5-41.

Thorne, R L., Roberts S and Herrington, R J., 2012. Climate change and the formation of nickel laterite deposits. Geology 40: 331-334.


Brown, D., Ryan, P.D., Afonso, J.C., Boutelier, D., Burg, J.P., Byrne, T., Calvert, A., Cook, F., DeBari, S., Dewey, J.F., Gerya, T.V., Harris, R., Herrington, R., Konstantinovskaya, E., Reston, T. and Zagorevski, A., 2011, Arc-continent collision: The making of an orogen, in: Brown, D. & Ryan, P. (eds.), Arc-Continent Collision, Frontiers in Earth Sciences, Springer-Verlag, Berlin Heidelberg, 477-493.

Herrington, R.J. and Brown, D., 2011, The generation and preservation of mineral deposits in arc-continent collision environments, in: Brown, D. & Ryan, P. (eds.), Arc-Continent Collision, Frontiers in Earth Sciences, Springer-Verlag, Berlin Heidelberg, 145-159.

Brown, D., Herrington, R. J., Alvarez-Marron, J., 2011, Processes of arc-continent collision in the Uralides, in: Brown, D. & Ryan, P. (eds.), Arc-Continent Collision, Frontiers in Earth Sciences, Springer-Verlag, Berlin Heidelberg, 311-340.

Cooper, M., Crowley, Q., Hollis, S., Noble, S., Roberts, S., Chew, D., Earls, G., Herrington, R. and Merriman, R., 2011. Age Constraints and Geochemistry of the Ordovician Tyrone Igneous Complex, Northern Ireland: implications for the Grampian orogeny, Journal of the Geological Society of London, 168, 837-850.

Tavlan, M., Thorne, R. and Herrington, R.J., 2011. Uplift and lateritisation history of the Çaldağ ophiolite in the context of Neo-Tethyan ophiolite obduction + uplift: Implications for the Cenozoic weathering history of Western Anatolia, Journal of the Geological Society of London, 168; 927-940.

Herrington, R., 2011. Geological Features and Genetic Models of Mineral Deposits, in: Darling, P. (ed.), Mining Engineering Handbook, Volume 1, 83-104, Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration, Inc. (SME)

Herrington, R.J., Scotney, P., Roberts, S., Boyce, A.J. and Harrison, D., 2011. Temporal association of arc-continent collision, progressive magma contamination in arc volcanism and formation of gold-rich massive sulphide deposits on Wetar Island (Banda arc), Gondwana Research, 19, 583-593.


Hawkins, T., Herrington, R., Smith, M., Maslennikov, V. and Boyce, A., 2010. The Iron Skarns of the Turgai Belt, Northwestern Kazakhstan, in Porter, T.M., (ed.), Hydrothermal Iron Oxide Copper-Gold and Related Deposits: A Global Perspective, v. 4 - Advances in the Understanding of IOCG Deposits; PGC Publishing, Adelaide 461-474.

Smith, M., Coppard, J. and Herrington, R., 2010. The Geology of the Rakkurijärvi Cu-prospect, Norbotten County, Sweden, in Porter, T.M., (ed.), Hydrothermal Iron Oxide Copper-Gold and Related Deposits: A Global Perspective, v. 4 - Advances in the Understanding of IOCG Deposits; PGC Publishing, Adelaide, pp. 427-440.

Müller, A., Herrington, R., Armstrong, R., Seltmann, R., Kirwin, D.J., Stenina, N.G. and Kronz, A., 2010. Trace elements and cathodoluminescence of quartz in stockwork veins of Mongolian porphyry-style deposits, Mineralium Deposita, 45, 707-727.


Thorne, R., Herrington, R. and Roberts, S., 2009. Composition and origin of the Çaldağ oxide nickel laterite, W. Turkey, Mineralium Deposita, 44, 581-595.

Andersen, J. C. Ø, Rollinson, G. K., Snook, B., Herrington, R, Fairhurst, R. J., 2009. Use of QEMSCAN® for the characterization of Ni-rich and Ni-poor goethite in laterite ores, Minerals Engineering, 22, 1119-1129


Cope, I.L. and Wilkinson, J.J. and Boyce, A.J. and Chapman, J.B. and Herrington, R.J. and Harris, C.J., 2008. Genesis of the Pic de Fon iron oxide deposit, Simandou Range, Republic of Guinea, West Africa. In: Banded iron formation-related high-grade iron ore. Reviews in Economic Geology (15). Society of Economic Geology, Littleton, pp. 339-360. ISBN 9781934969076


Smith M., Coppard, J. and Herrington, R.J., 2007. The geology of the Rakkurijarvi Cu-(Au) prospect, Norbotten: A new IOCG deposit in Northern Sweden, Economic Geology, 102, 393-414

Hutchens, E., Williamson, B.J., Mullane, E., Anand, M., Ryan, M.P. and Herrington, R.J., 2007. Fe-isotopes differentiate bacterial and electrochemical corrosion, Corrosion Science, 49, 3759-3764.


Brown, D., Spadea, P., Puchkov, V., Alvarez-Marron, J., Herrington, R., Willner, A., Heztel, R. and Gorozhanina, Y., 2006. Arc continent collision in the Southern Urals, Earth-Science Reviews, 79, 261-287.


Scotney P M, Roberts S, Herrington R. J., Boyce A J and Burgess R, 2005. The development of volcanic hosted massive sulfide and barite-gold orebodies on Wetar Island, Indonesia. Mineralium Deposita 46: 76-99.

Herrington R. J., Zaykov V.V., Maslennikov V.V., Brown D and Puchkov V N 2005. Mineral deposits of the Urals and Links to Geodynamic Evolution. In: Hedenquist et al. (eds.), Economic Geology, One Hundredth Anniversary Volume, 1905-2005, Society of Economic Geologists Inc., Littleton, Colorado, ISBN: 978-1-887483-01-8, pp1069-1095.

Herrington R. J., Puchkov V N and Yakubchuk A S 2005. A reassessment of the tectonic zonation of the Uralides: implications for metallogeny. In: McDonald I, Boyce A J, Butler I B, Herrington R. J. and Polya D A (eds) 2005. Mineral Deposits and Earth Evolution. Geological Society, London, Special Publications 248: 153-166. 

Herrington R, Maslennikov V, Zaykov V, Seravkin I, Kosarev I, Buschmann B, Orgeval J-J, Holland N, Tesalina S, Nimis P and Armstrong R 2005. Classification of VMS deposits: Lessons from the South Uralides. Ore Geology Reviews 27: 203-237.

Herrington, R., Maslennikov, V., Zaykov, V. and Seravkin, I., 2005, VMS deposits of the south Urals, Russia, Ore Geology Reviews, 27(1-4):238-239.

Armstrong, R, Kozelj D. and Herrington, R., 2005. The Majdanpek Cu-Au Porphyry Deposit of Eastern Serbia: A Review. In Porter T M (Ed.) Super Porphyry Copper and Gold Deposits: A Global Perspective. PGC Publishing, Adelaide, v. 2, pp 453-466.


Gleeson, S.A., Herrington, R.J., Durango, J., Velasquez, C.A. and Koll, G., 2004, The mineralogy of Cerro Matoso Ni-laterite deposit, Montelibano, Colombia, Economic Geology, v.99, p.1197-1213.

Lips, A., Herrington, R., Stein, G., Kozelj. D. and Wijbrans, J., 2004, Revised timing of porphyry copper formation in the Bor, Serbia and Panagyurishte, Bulgaria districts, Economic Geology, v.99, p.601-609.

Little, C.T.S., Danelian, T., Herrington, R.J. and Haymon, R.M., 2004, Early Jurassic hydrothermal vent community from the Franciscan Complex, California. Journal of Paleontology. v. 78, p. 542-559.


Rice C M and Herrington R. J., 2003, Metals in the weathering environment. Introduction, Mineralogical Magazine 67: 233-234.

Herrington, R.J., First, D.M. and Kozelj, D., Copper porphyry deposits of Hungary, Serbia, Macedonia, Romania and Bulgaria, 2003, in: Kelly et al. (eds.), Europe’s Major Base Metal Deposits, Irish Association for Economic Geology, Dublin, ISBN 0-9509894-3-6, pp. 303-322.

Udachin V, Williamson B J, Purvis O W, Spiro B, Dubbin W, Brooks S, Coste B, Herrington R. J. and Mikhailova I, 2003, Assessment of environmental impacts of active smelter operations and abandoned mines in Karabash, Ural Mountains of Russia. Sustainable Development 11: 1-10

Armstrong R, Herrington R. J. and Savage M A, 2003, Tennantite and tyrolite from the Coed y Brenin Forest, North Wales. Journal of the Russell Society 8: 18


Herrington R. J., Smith M, Maslennikov V, Belogub E and Armstrong R, 2002, A short review of Palaeozoic hydrothermal magnetite iron-oxide deposits of the South and Central Urals and their geological setting. In: Porter T.M. (ed.), Hydrothermal Iron Oxide Copper-Gold and Related Deposits: A Global Perspective, Volume 2: 243-253, PGC Publishing, South Australia, ISBN 0-9580574-1-9

Herrington R. J., Armstrong, R N, Zaykov V V, Maslennikov V V, Tessalina S G, Orgeval J-J and Taylor R N, 2002, Massive sulfide deposits in the South Urals: Geological setting within the framework of the Uralide orogen, in: Mountain building in the Uralides: Pangea to Present, American Geophysical Union, Geophysical Monograph 132: 155-182

Maginn, E.J., Little, C.T.S., Herrington, R.J. and Mills, R.A, 2002, Sulphide mineralisation in the polychaete worm Alvinella pompejana: implications for fossil preservation, Marine Geology 181,337-356.

Little C.T.S., Campbell, K.A. and Herrington R.J., 2002, Why did ancient chemosynthetic seep and vent assemblages occur in shallower water than they do today? Comment: International Journal of Earth Sciences, v. 91, p. 147-151.

Allen, R.L., Weihed, P., Blundell, D.J., Crawford, T., Davidson, G., Galley, A., Gibson, H., Hannington, M., Herrington, R., Herzig, P., Large, R., Lentz, D., Maslennikov, V., McCutcheon, S., Peter, J. and Tornos, F., 2002, Global comparisons of volcanic-associated massive sulphide districts, in: Blundell, D. et al. (eds.) The timing and location of major ore deposits in an evolving orogen, Geological Society of London Special Publication, 204, 13-37.


Chamberlain, C.M., Herrington, R.J. and Wilkinson, J.J., 2000, A two-stage model for mineralization at Bulyanhulu, Sukumaland Greenstone Belt, Tanzania. In: L.A. Bucci and J.L. Mair (eds), Gold in 2000, Lake Tahoe, Nevada. University of Western Australia Publication, 31-36.

Gleeson, S. A., Wilkinson, J.J., Shaw, H.F. and Herrington, R.J., 2000, Post-magmatic hydrothermal circulation and the origin of base metal mineralization, Cornwall, UK, Journal of the Geological Society of London, 157, 589-600.


Zaykov, V.V., Bushmakin, A.Ph., Yuminov, A.M., Zaykova, E.V., Zdanovich, G.B., Tairov, A.D. and Herrington, R.J. 1999. Geoarchaeology research into the historical relics of the South Urals: problems, results, prospects. In Pollard, A.M. (ed.) Geoarchaeology: exploration, environments, resources. Geological Society Special Publication. 165: 165-176.

Little, C.T.S., Cann, J.R., Herrington, R.J. and Morisseau, M. ,1999, Late Cretaceous hydrothermal vent communities from the Troodos Ophiolite, Cyprus. Geology. v. 27: (11), 1027-1030.

Little, C.T.S., Herrington, R.J., Haymon, R.M. and Danelian, T., 1999, Early Jurassic hydrothermal vent communities from the Franciscan Complex, San Rafael Mountains, California. Geology. 27: 167-170.

Hopkinson, L., Roberts, S., Herrington, R. and Wilkinson, J., 1999, The nature of crystalline silica from the TAG submarine hydrothermal mound, 26°N Mid Atlantic Ridge, Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology 137, 4, 342-350.


Wilkinson, J.J., Lonergan, L., Fairs, T. and Herrington, R.J., 1998, Fluid inclusion constraints on the conditions and timing of hydrocarbon migration and quartz cementation in Brent Group reservoir sandstones, Columba Terrace, northern North Sea. In: Parnell, J. (Ed.) Dating and Duration of Fluid Flow and Fluid-Rock Interaction. Geological Society Special Publications. 144: 69-89.

Little, C.T.S., Herrington, R.J., Maslennikov, V.V. and Zaykov, V.V., 1998, The fossil record of hydrothermal vent communities. In: Mills, R.A. and Harrison, K. (Eds.) Modern Ocean Floor Processes and the Geological Record. Geological Society Special Publications. 148: 259-270.

Hopkinson, L., Roberts, S., Herrington, R.J. and Wilkinson J, 1998, Self-organization of submarine hydrothermal siliceous deposits: Evidence from the TAG hydrothermal mound, 26ºN Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Geology. 26: 347-350.

Herrington, R.J., Maslennikov, V.V., Spiro, B., Zaykov, V.V. and Little, C.T.S., 1998, Ancient vent chimney structures in the silurian massive sulphides of the Urals. In: Mills, R.A. and Harrison, K. (Eds.) Modern Ocean Floor Processes and the Geological Record. Geological Society Special Publications. 148: 241-257.


Herrington, R.J., Evans, D.M. and Buchanan D.L., 1997, Metallogenic aspects, in: de Wit, M and Ashwal,L. eds., Greenstone Belts, Oxford monographs on geology and geophysics; no. 38, Oxford University Press, 176-219

Little, C.T.S., Herrington, R.J., Maslennikov, V.V., Morris, N.J. and Zaykov, V.V., 1997, Silurian hydrothermal vent community from the southern Urals, Russia, Nature, 385, 146-148


Herrington, R.J., 1995, Late Archaean structure and gold mineralisation in the Kadoma region of the Midlands greenstone belt, Zimbabwe, in: Coward, M.P. and Ries, A.C., (eds.), Early Precambrian Processes, Geological Society of London Special Publication No 95, pp. 173-191


Rankin, A.H., Herrington, R.J., Ramsey, M.R., Coles, B., Christoula, M. A and Jones, E., 1993, Current developments and applications of ICP-AES techniques for the geochemical analysis of fluid inclusions in minerals, in: Maurice, K, ed, Proceedings of the 8th Quadrennial IAGOD Symposium, E.Schweizerbart’sche Verlagsbuchhmxflung (Nagele u. Obermiller), D-7000 Stuttgart I, p. 183-198

Herrington, R.J. and Wilkinson, J.J., 1993, Colloidal gold and silica in mesothermal vein systems, Geology, v.21, p.539-542

Herrington, R.J., Rankin, A.H. and Shepherd, T.J., 1993, Fluid chemical and structural evolution of gold-quartz veins, Patchway mine, Zimbabwe, in: Maurice, Y., ed, Proceedings of the 8th Quad’rennial IAGOD Symposium, E.Schweizerbart’sche Verlagsbuch lung (Nagele u. Obermiller), D-7000 Stuttgart 1, p. 681-694