Welcome to the Mineral Deposit Research Unit
The Mineral Deposit Research Unit (MDRU) is a
collaborative venture between the mining industry and The University of
British Columbia (UBC). The unit, which was established in 1989 with
support and financial assistance from the mining industry and the
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), is
an important part of the Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, and an
internationally recognized research group devoted to solving mineral
exploration-related problems. (read more)
New Initiatives and Research Opportunities
Improving regional, district, and camp-scale metallogeny and geology from Turkey to Romania
Alan Wainwright, Craig Hart, Thomas Bissig, Farhad Bouzari, Mana Rahimi
The Western Tethyan orogenic belt is a composite tectono-magmatic terrane that extends from Pakistan to central Europe.
A large number of significant porphyry, epithermal and intrusion-related gold, and base-metal deposits are hosted in the
region, including giants such as Reko Diq, Sar Cheshmeh and Bor, as well as recent high-grade discoveries such as Cukaru
Peki and Hot Maden. The region is challenging to work in due to the inconsistent nature and lack of coherence in
pre-competitive geoscientific data (geological, geophysical and metallogenic)between and across the various jurisdictions.
Significant advances have been made by MDRU in the Tethyan metallogenic belt since 2003. The first module (2012-2016; WT1)
successfully added, compiled and improved data acquisition and availability across 10 countries, including:
- GIS compilations of geology at scales of 1:500k or better;
- Mineral occurrence database compilation;
- New geochronology data and compilation;
- New geochemical data and compilation;
- Regional geophysics
Accelerating exploration decision-making in this new frontier with our Iranian geological and metallogenic expertise
Farhad Bouzari, Mana Rahimi
Iran is recognized as one of the world’s top 15 most mineralized jurisdictions with an in-ground net value estimated at about
$700 billion. Iran hosts the world’s 9th largest copper reserve and has extensive regions of gold mineralization. Government
officials have clearly stated a desire to significantly increase investment in their mining industry, which now contributes only
0.6% to GDP. With the lifting of economic sanctions, Iran now potentially provides opportunities for savvy explorers.
The geology of Iran is dominated by subduction-related continental margin arcs that form several belts, which provides numerous
favorable environments for the formation of porphyry copper, related skarn, and epithermal gold deposits (Figure 1). There are
over 1000 significant copper prospects and >100 significant gold prospects that are currently identified. Notable among these
are porphyry Cu-Mo deposits such as Sar Cheshmeh (1.5 Gt @ 0.65% Cu, 350 ppm Mo), Sungun (1Gt @ 0.7%Cu), and nascent epithermal
Au deposits such as Sari Gunay (52 Mt at 1.77 ppm Au). The main porphyry belt in Iran (Urumieh-Dokhtar zone) which extends from
southeast to northeast is comparable in size to the central Andean porphyry belt in Chile and therefore provides extensive
favourable ground opportunity to explore for large porphyry and allied deposits.
These favourable geological and economic conditions provide an opportunity to apply modern mineral exploration strategies and
methods to this region.
Multi-disciplinary approaches to tailings management, maturation and utilization
Greg Dipple, Craig Hart, Dirk van Zyl
This project will tackle some of the major challenges regarding tailings facing the mining industry. A think tank of industry engineers
and geologists, academics, environmental operators and stakeholders have identified three key areas of focus for this project:
Material Characterization, Tailings Maturation, and Incentives versus Risks.
By bringing together leaders in the industry with funding from multiple stakeholder groups we will address these topics in an integrated approach.