Newsletter of the Mineral Deposit Research Unit at UBC

August 2013

Welcome New Corporate Members

MDRU would like to welcome new Corporate Members Black Sea Copper and Gold Corp, MAG Silver Corp., Avala Resources Ltd., Dunav Resources Ltd, and INV Metals Inc. A full list of Corporate Members can be found here.

Above image: Silicified ignimbrite lithocaps in the TV Tower area, Biga peninsula, western Turkey. Photo by T. Bissig.

Porphyry Field Mapping Course, Copper Mountain, BC.

Porphyry Field Mapping Course, Copper Mountain Alkalic Porphyry Cu-Au Deposit, British Columbia, Canada, May 27 - June 4, 2013.

Cu Mountain Mine 1

This nine-day course in late May was led by Thomas Bissig and Farhad Bouzari, and supported with contributions from Abdul Razique (a recent MDRU graduate), Jim Logan (BCGS) and Peter Holbek (Copper Mountain Mine), was attended by 15 industry participants from Canada, Mexico, Peru, Chile, Greece, Turkey and five UBC graduate students.

The course provided participants with a set of new field skills as well as exposure to a range of geological situations in the porphyry environment. Besides detailed mapping and core logging at Copper Mountain, the course included visits to the region around the giant Highland Valley porphyry Cu-Mo deposit, to the Ajax alkalic porphyry Cu-Au deposit and the Hedley Gold skarn districts, as well as roadside geology in southern BC.

Cu Mountain Mine 2

The course focused on field techniques—such as the Anaconda mapping method—as applied to porphyry Cu-Au systems using the well exposed alkalic rocks and alteration in and around the Copper Mountain district. The course included technical presentations and discussions on characteristics and tectonic setting of BC alkalic porphyry deposits, as well as documentation and interpretation of hypogene and supergene alteration assemblages for porphyry copper deposits.

Copper Mountain Mining Corp. and Peter Holbek are warmly thanked for the opportunity and for granting us access to the mine. For a photo album of this trip, please visit the MDRU Photobucket site.

SEG Whistler 2013 Conference: Geoscience for Discovery

September 24 - 27, 2013

SEG 2013 Logo

Join the Society of Economic Geologists and colleagues from industry, government and academia in Whistler to discuss exciting developments in mineral deposit research and discovery. The conference will connect new regional and deposit concepts to the process of discovery around the northern Pacific and related regions. Whistler 2013 will feature invited and submitted talks on topics that represent the leading edge of research and exploration, as well as poster presentations, exhibits, numerous short courses and field trips.

MDRU will be there in a big way, and are contributing to the development of several short courses. Register for courses on the conference website.

Mineral Exploration Applications of Stable Isotopes
September 28, 2013, One day course
Shaun Barker, (University of Waikato and MDRU-UBC), Larry Cathles, (Cornell University), David Cooke, (University of Tasmania), Kurt Kyser, (Queens University) and Greg Dipple, (MDRU-UBC).

Exploration Geochemistry
September 23 – 24, 2013, Two day course
Dave Heberlein (Heberlein Geoconsulting), Barry Smee (Smee and Associates), Dave Lawie, Pim Van Geffen and Fred Blaine (ioGlobal), Chris Benn (Goldfields), Peter Bradshaw (First Point Minerals)

Scholarship Winners

MDRU is pleased to announce that four of our graduate students, and two from EOAS, recently received scholarship awards. Antonio Celis (below, left) and Irene Del Real (below, second from left) are both recipients of the 2013 Geoscience BC Scholarship Award in Applied Geoscience. The Geoscience BC scholarships, valued at $5000 each, are awarded to deserving post-graduate students working on a mineral, oil & gas, coal or geothermal thesis topic directly relevant to exploration or development in British Columbia. The students were evaluated on their project's technical merit and ability to attract resource development investment to British Columbia as well as their academic qualifications, work experience, and future goals.

Antonio Celis "PIMS - Porphyry Indicator Minerals from Alkalic Porphyry Cu-Au Deposits in British Columbia."

Irene Del Real "The Southeast Zone (Cu-Mo) and Deerhorn (Cu-Au) porphyry deposits; a possible genetic relationship between a calc-alkalic and an alkalic deposit, Woodjam Property, central British Columbia."

Headshots of Antonio, Irene, Sergio and Nate


SEG Student Research Grant awards were also presented to Sergio Gamonal (above, second from right), Antonio and Irene, as well as EOAS students Sarah Jackson-Brown and Matthew Manor. Sergio, Irene, Sarah, and Matt received Canada Fund research grants, which are intended to support research on mineral deposits or mineralized zones at a Canadian university, while Antonio received a grant from the Hugo T. Dummett Fund.

Sergio Gamonal "Mineralization, alteration and magmatism at the La Coipa Au-Ag Deposit, Maricunga belt, Chile."

Sarah Jackson-Brown "Cu-PGE-rich mineralization in the Turnagain Alaskan-type Ultramafic Intrusion, British Columbia, Canada."

Matt Manor "Orogenic Ni-Cu-PGE deposits: geology of the Giant Mascot magmatic sulfide deposit, Hope, B.C."

Additionally, the KEGS Foundation have awarded Nate Corcoran (above, right), on the basis of his academic achievement and career focus on mining exploration geophysics, a scholarship in the amount of $750 to support his initial MSc year at UBC, representing a continuation of scholarship support he obtained as an undergrad at Memorial University. Nate's award is one of nineteen KEGS Foundation scholarships for 2013/14 made possible by the generous contributions of many individuals and companies across Canada.

Nate Corcoran "Constraining Geophysical Inversions with Physical Rock Properties and Geology Data."

Recent Thesis Defences

Congratulations are in order to: Leanne Smar for having successfully defended her MSc thesis, entitled “Complex P-T-t-d- history of supracrustal rocks of the Metamorphic Internal zone of the Wopmay Orogen, NT” and to Jeremy Vaughan who successfully defended his PhD thesis “Tracing hydrothermal fluid flow in the rock record: Geochemical and isotopic constraints on fluid flow in Carlin-type Gold systems.” Supervisor to both: Ken Hickey

Project Updates: Yukon Gold Project

Matias and Murray in the field

MDRU’s Yukon Gold Project was launched in 2010 in response to prolific exploration interest in western Yukon, and wrapped up with its final technical meeting in May 2012. With ten industry sponsors, the Yukon Gold Project is an apt example of “striking while the iron is hot” in terms of project design and quickly building MDRU-industry partnerships to execute field-based studies that provide industry with new exploration ideas in a short timeframe. Additional funding from NRCan and NSERC allowed Project Leader Murray Allan and Post-Doctoral Fellow Matías Sánchez to continue work on the Yukon Gold Project beyond its two-year lifespan, and they will shortly finalize a short field program to complete regional magmatic, metallogenic, structural, and tectonic models for gold exploration in western Yukon and eastern Alaska.

The Yukon Gold Project congratulates Leif Bailey, Tim Wrighton and David Cox for having successfully defended their MSc theses earlier this year. These studies represent three important themes of the Yukon Gold project: (1) MINERAL DEPOSIT STUDIES (“Late Jurassic fault-hosted gold mineralization of the Golden Saddle deposit, White Gold district, Yukon Territory” – Leif Bailey); (2) PLACER-GOLD RELATIONSHIPS (“Placer gold microchemical characterization and shape analysis applied as an exploration tool in western Yukon” – Tim Wrighton); and (3) EXPLORATION GEOCHEMISTRY (“Surficial and geochemical evolution of periglacial soils: applications to mineral exploration in Yukon” – David Cox). We wish these gentlemen every success in their careers!

Finally, stay tuned for a new paper that presents some of the results of the Yukon Gold Project, to be published in the upcoming SEG Special Volume Tectonics, Terranes, Metallogeny and Discovery in the northern circum-Pacific region.

Project Update: Western Tethyan Metallogeny Project

Graham on an outcrop

The MDRU Western Tethyan Metallogeny Project (WTMP) is now in full swing. With nine graduate students deployed in six countries working towards four affiliated research initiatives supported by thirteen companies, our team is fully engaged in mapping, sampling and surveying. Our study areas include deposits as genetically and geographically different as the porphyries and epithermal systems of the Iranian Kerman and the newly discovered sediment-hosted Au belt of NE Serbia. An emphasis on multi-disciplinary collaborative effort has resulted in tapping of MDRU's vast pool of knowledge and participation by research associates and post-doctoral fellows including: Matias Sanchez, Farhad Bouzari, Melissa Gregory, Thomas Bissig, Ilkay Kuscu (Mugla, Turkey), Panos Voudouris (Athens), Aleksandar Pacevski (Belgrade), and Vasilios Melfos (Thessaloníki).

The 1st WTMP Technical Meeting will be held 23-24th of August in Izmir, Turkey. The meeting will highlight preliminary research findings and provide project sponsors with quantitative information needed for effective decision-making from the deposit to the orogen-scale. The highlight of the meeting will be a field visit to the Kisladag Mine, Europe's largest alkaline Au-rich porphyry deposit.

This is MDRU’s largest project with 14 sponsor companies: Alamos Gold Inc., AngloGold Ashanti Ltd., Avala Resources Ltd., Centerra Gold Inc., Dunav Resources Ltd., Dundee Precious Metals Ltd., Eczacibasi, Eldorado Gold Corp., First Quantum Minerals Ltd., Kinross Gold Corp., National Iranian Copper Industries Co., Pilot Gold Inc., Silver Standard Resources Inc., & Teck Resources Ltd. Other companies who may be interested can contact Project Manager Aleksandar Miskovic ( or MDRU Director Craig Hart (

For a photo album of the Western Tethyan project, please visit the MDRU Photobucket site.

Spotlight: MDRU Students

Anna in the lab

MDRU PhD Candidate Anna Harrison attended the United Kingdom Energy Research Centre (UKERC) General Assembly at the University of Warwick in Coventry, England on July 7-12, 2013. Anna presented a poster, entitled "Offsetting greenhouse gas emissions using mine wastes," coauthored with Ian Power, Greg Dipple, Uli Mayer, and Sasha Wilson. Advised by EOS Department Head Greg Dipple, Anna's research focuses on the sequestration of carbon dioxide in mine tailings. Her initial findings suggest that ultramafic mine tailings could make a significant positive impact on greenhouse gas drawdown, thereby offsetting carbon releases from mine operations. Results of experimental carbonation of the mineral brucite, commonly found in ultramafic tailings, was published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology in 2012. This story was then highlighted by several other environmental news digests.

Anna was also accepted into the UKERC 9th Annual International Energy Summer School, which brings together 100 PhD students from around the globe, and runs concurrently with the UKERC General Assembly. Tailored to second year PhD students, the school aims to provide participants with the opportunity to look beyond the scope of individual projects, and focus instead on energy systems as a whole, and on defining pathways to low-carbon and sustainable energy systems. This trip was graciously funded by Carbon Management Canada.

Harrison, Anna L., Power, Ian M., and Greg M. Dipple. 2013. Accelerated Carbonation of Brucite in Mine Tailings for Carbon Sequestration. Environmental Science and Technology 47, 126-134.

"Waste tapped to capture carbon dioxide at mines." Synopsis by Marty Mulvihill. Source:

"Could mine tailings become carbon sinks?" Research summary published by The Earth Story.

Recently Published Papers

  • Lang, J.R., & Gregory, M.J., 2012, Magmatic-Hydrothermal-Structural Evolution of the Giant Pebble Porphyry Cu-Au-Mo Deposit with Implications for Exploration in Southwest Alaska. In: Hedenquist, J.W., Harris, M., and Camus, F. (eds) Geology and Genesis of Major Copper Deposits and Districts of the World: A Tribute to Richard Sillitoe. Society of Economic Geologists Special Publication 16, p. 167-186.
  • Poblete, J.A., Bissig, T., Mortensen, J.K., Gabites, J., Friedman, R., Rodriguez, M., 2013, The Cerro Bayo District, Chilean Patagonia: late Jurassic to Cretaceous magmatism and protracted history of epithermal Ag-Au mineralization: Economic Geology, in press.
  • Murray M. Allan, James K. Mortensen, Craig, J.R. Hart, Leif, A. Bailey, Matías G. Sánchez, Witold Ciolkiewicz, Greg M. McKenzie, and Robert A. Creaser, 2013, Magmatic and metallogenic framework of west-central Yukon and eastern Alaska, in Colpron, M., Bissig, T. and Rusk, B., eds., Tectonics, Terranes, Metallogeny and Discovery in the northern circum-Pacific region: Society of Economic Geologists, Special Publication, in press.

SEG Student Chapter Updates: Eastern Europe Field Trip

The University of British Columbia (UBC) SEG-GAC Student Chapter ran a field trip across Eastern Europe from May 4 to 19th to Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria and Greece. The trip consisted of 23 participants, 12 graduate and undergraduate students from UBC and 11 industry participants from around the world. The purpose of this trip was to visit a variety of mineral deposits across the Carpathian and Western Tethyan orogenic belts.

SEG students looking at core

Our chapter received incredible support from universities in each of the four countries visited. The University of Belgrade (Serbia), Babes-Bolyai University (Cluj-Napoca, Romania), Sofia University (Bulgaria), and Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Greece) are greatly thanked for their help and support. Throughout our trip, professors and students from these universities were invaluable in providing their geologic expertise of the area as well as helping to organize tours of various exploration projects and mines.

For a photo album of this trip, please visit the MDRU Photobucket site.

Find us on Facebook!

MDRU Facebook Page Screenshot

MDRU has taken the plunge and joined Facebook with the goal of providing more frequent updates, links to recent publications, and program news to our sponsors, students, and friends. Please visit us at Don’t forget to “like” MDRU!

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