Newsletter of the Mineral Deposit Research Unit at UBC

January 2014

Welcome New Corporate Members

MDRU would like to extend our gratitude and a warm welcome to two new corporate members for 2014, Pacific Empire Minerals Corp. and Prosper Gold Corp.

Above image: Partially carbonated serpentinite near Linnajavri, Norway, above the Arctic Circle, by Andreas Beinlich, 2013.

MDRU Roundup 2014 Short Course on Ore System Controls

Speakers and topics have been announced for MDRU’s short course during AMEBC’s Mineral Exploration Roundup Conference on Jan. 25-26, 2014. They include:

  • Jeremy Richards (University of Alberta) – Magmatic Controls on the formation of Porphyry and Epithermal Deposits
  • Steve Garwin (Consultant-Perth) –Tectonic and Structural Controls on Circum-Pacific Cu-Au Mineralization: Examples from Indonesia, PNG, Peru and Japan
  • Steve Garwin (Consultant-Perth) – Controls on Carlin-type deposits in Nevada and China
  • Dave Rhys (Panterra Geoservices) – Structural Controls on Epigenetic Gold Deposits at District to Stope Scales: Implications for Exploration Targeting
  • Thomas Bissig (MDRU) – Volcanologic, Geomorphologic and Tectonic Controls on Epithermal Gold Deposits: an Andean Perspective
  • Matias Sanchez (MDRU) – Extracting gold deposit controlling structural features from geophysical datasets
  • Craig Hart (MDRU) – Controlling Features of Mineralizing Intrusions and Intrusion-related Gold Systems

Register now, through the AMEBC Roundup website.

AcmeLabs Kick-Starts MDRU Exploration Geochemistry Initiative

AcmeLabs Contribution Kick-Starts MDRU Exploration Geochemistry Initiative

We are very excited to announce that a significant contribution has been made by Acme Analytical Laboratories Ltd. to the MDRU Exploration Geochemistry Initiative. This five year initiative will significantly increase the amount and quality of research that is dedicated to the discipline of mineral exploration geochemistry, and will solidify MDRU and UBC as global leaders in this important discipline. This initiative will support the hiring of the AcmeLabs Research Chair to lead the numerous research projects that will evaluate elemental migration through transported materials above covered and concealed mineral deposits. The initiative will also provide increased opportunities for training and professional development.

MDRU Corporate Membership Drive

Welcome to 2014!! In 2013, MDRU had 58 Corporate members, but most notably had a record of 11 Foundation Members by year's end. Thank you to ALS, Anglo American, Barrick, New Gold, Teck, Goldcorp, Eldorado Gold, Independence Gold, Kinross, and our newest members, Glencore and Newmont! Membership renewals and new member recruiting are currently underway. Contact Director Craig Hart or Business Manager Monica Spisar to find out how MDRU can contribute to your exploration success.

Shaun Barker Wins SEG Lindgren Award

Shaun Barker, back when he was still at MDRU

The Society of Economic Geologists (SEG) recently announced that Dr. Shaun Barker has been conferred with the Waldemar Lindgren Award for 2013. This international award is bestowed annually to a young geoscientist in recognition of published research that represents an outstanding contribution to the field of economic geology, and who shows tremendous potential for future contributions. Shaun, now a faculty member at the University of Waikato in New Zealand, was a Post-Doctoral Fellow and then a Research Associate at MDRU, where he worked with Ken Hickey, Greg Dipple and Craig Hart.

MDRU Students Win Mapping Awards

Congratulations to MDRU students Sergio Gamonal (Maricunga Belt, Chile), Graham Leroux (Biga Peninsula, Turkey) and Irene del Real (Woodjam District, BC) as winners of this year’s Shell Canada Graduate Student Prizes for Excellence in Geological Fieldwork. These $1000 cash prizes are part of Shell’s Campus Ambassador Program.

New Graduate Students

MDRU is proud to welcome two new students for January 2014.

Nat Cook, new MSc candidate

Natalie Cook is from the University of Bristol (UK) and has experience working in the Yukon. Natalie will be working on a MSc thesis contributing to the Carbonate Alteration Footprints project.



Guillaume Lesage, PhD candidate

Guillaume Lesage comes to UBC after a stint with Goldfields in the Philippines, having previously received a MSc at the University of Alberta. For his PhD work, Guillaume will focus on establishing a geological and alteration footprint model for the region around the Highland Valley porphyry copper deposit. This project is funded by the Canadian Mining Innovation Council, with additional support from Teck Resources

New MDRU Staff

Curtis Marr

MDRU welcomes Curtis Marr as our new Project Manager. Curtis has been with us in a temporary role for the past year, but in this new position he will provide administrative, financial, and operational support to our research projects.






Judy Simonite

We are happy to announce the appointment of Judy Simonite as the inaugural MDRU Event Planner. Judy will be our front line person in developing our short courses, workshops and technical meetings.

Recently Defended!

MDRU congratulates the following students on their successful thesis defences during late 2013.

Britt Bluemel, MSc, “Biogeochemical expressions of buried REE mineralization at the Norra Kärr Alkaline Complex, southern Sweden”. Supervised by Craig Hart and Colin Dunn, and supported by ioGlobal and Tasman Metals.

Greg McKenzie, MSc, “Geology and Mineralization at Independence Creek: West-Central Dawson Range, Yukon Territory,” Supervised by Craig Hart and Murray Allan, and supported by Independence Gold and the Yukon Gold Project industry consortium.

Brian McNulty, MSc, “Geology and fluid genesis of the Niblack polymetallic VHMS camp, southeast Alaska: Implications for Neoproterozoic VHMS ore-forming processes.” Brian’s thesis was supervised by Melissa Gregory and Craig Hart, and, and supported by Heatherdale Resources Ltd.

Alfonso Luis Rodriguez Madrid, MSc, "Geology and Hydrothermal Evolution of the La Bodega and La Mascota Prospects, California District, Santander, Colombia”. Supervised by Thomas Bissig and Craig Hart, and supported by AUX Colombia and the MDRU Colombia Gold Project industry consortium.

Jeremy Vaughan, PhD, “Tracing hydrothermal fluid flow in the rock record: Geochemical and isotopic constraints on fluid flow in Carlin-type Gold systems”. Supervised by Ken Hickey, and supported by Barrick Gold Corp.

Adam Simmons, PhD, “Magmatic and Hydrothermal Stratigraphy of Paleocene and Eocene Porphyry Cu-Mo Deposits in Southern Peru”. Supervised by Dick Tosdal and Jim Mortensen, sponsored by Anglo American. PHOTO BELOW: Adam with advisor and former MDRU Director, Dick Tosdal.

Dick Tosdal and Adam Simmons


MDRU wishes to express our gratitude to these project sponsors for their generosity in supporting research and training.

Just Published …

Esther Bordet, Mitchell G. Mihalynuk, Craig J.R. Hart, Jim K. Mortensen, Richard M. Friedman, Janet Gabites, 2014. Chronostratigraphy of Eocene volcanism, central British Columbia. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, v. 51 p. 56-103.

Robert J. Duncan, Murray W. Hitzman, Eric P. Nelson and Oggy Togtokhbayar, 2014, Structural and Lithological Controls on Iron Oxide Copper-Gold Deposits of the Southern Selwyn-Mount Dore Corridor, Eastern Fold Belt, Queensland, Australia. Economic Geology, v. 109, p. 419-456

Jaime A. Poblete, Thomas Bissig, James K. Mortensen, Janet Gabites, Richard Friedman and Manuel Rodriguez. 2014. The Cerro Bayo District, Chilean Patagonia: Late Jurassic to Cretaceous Magmatism and Protracted History of Epithermal Ag-Au Mineralization. Economic Geology v. 109, p. 487-502.

Murray M. Allan, James K. Mortensen, Craig J.R. Hart, Leif A. Bailey, Matias Sanchez, Witold Ciolkiewicz, Greg G. McKenzie, 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, Special Publication 17, Society of Economic Geologists, p. 111-168.

Britt Bluemel, Magnus Leijd, Colin Dunn, Craig J.R. Hart, Mark Saxon, Martiya Sadeghi, 2013. Biogeochemical expression of rare earth element and zirconium mineralization at Norra Kärr, Southern Sweden. Journal of Geochemical Exploration, v. 133, p. 15-24.

MDRU Rocked SEG Whistler 2013

Ken Hickey, Shaun Barker and Jeremy Vaughan at SEG Whistler 2013


MDRU’s participation and impact at the SEG 2013 meeting were unparalleled, from Director Craig Hart’s role as conference co-chair, to the range of high-quality technical presentations and posters, and to our contributions to the SEG Special Volume 17. MDRU researchers Murray Allan and Ken Hickey anchored two sessions as keynote speakers, and our students and researchers delivered a broad variety of talks (n=7) and posters (n=14).

Of particular note, we were able to present the first ever real-time stable isotope analyses at a conference with our proprietary Mineral Isotope Analyzer. Demonstrations were held at our booth by Post-Doctoral Fellow Andreas Beinlich.

We’d also like to highlight our successful short courses and thank everyone who helped make them a success: Mineral Exploration Applications of Stable Isotopes, hosted by 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). The Exploration Geochemistry short course was hosted by Dave Heberlein (Heberlein Geoconsulting), Barry Smee (Smee and Associates), Dave Lawie, Pim Van Geffen and Fred Blaine (ioGlobal), Chris Benn (Goldfields), and Peter Bradshaw (First Point Minerals). In addition, MDRU Researcher Melissa Gregory presented at a third short course, Understanding Alteration: Use in Exploration and Development.

Lastly, we are proud to announce the following student winners from MDRU, who comprised 50% of the student award recipients. Best student presentation winners include Peter MacDonald (2nd prize) and Jeremy Vaughan (3rd prize); and student poster prizes were awarded to Abdul Razique (1st prize), Trent Newkirk (1st prize), Esther Bordet (3rd prize), and Irene Del Real (3rd Prize).


Yukon Gold Day

Shawn Ryan talks during the Yukon Gold Day at UBC Robson Square

MDRU’s Yukon Gold Project wrapped up by hosting a stimulating day of presentations by MDRU researchers and colleagues, which focused on recent research advances in Yukon. New discoveries resulted in an exploration boom, and the MDRU Yukon Gold Project was established with 10 supporting companies. This allowed MDRU researchers and students to participate in the gold rush, to accumulate knowledge on the regional geology, and to determine the controls on mineralization and bring these exploration advantages back to the supporting companies. Now that the project is over, Yukon Gold Day was the chance to present some of the research findings to the broader exploration community, and more than 100 participants registered to receive this valuable information. Presentations were made by the following speakers, including Mike Burke (Americas Bullion), Shawn Ryan (RyanWood Exploration), Rob McLeod (Williams-McLeod Group), Tim Smith (Kaminak), Rob Chapman (Leeds University), Leif Bailey (now Teck) and MDRU researchers Murray Allan (Project Manager), Jim Mortensen, and Matias Sanchez, and student poster presenters Dave Cox, Tim Wrighton , Greg McKenzie, Nate Corcoran and Mike Tucker.

It was a great way to end a Flagship Project and to give MDRU some additional profile. Looking forward, we are pleased to note that there seems to be momentum for a future Yukon (and Alaska) Metallogeny Project. .

MDRU at Roundup 2014

We’ll have bells on at the AMEBC 2014 Mineral Exploration Roundp Conference in Vancouver, January 25-31. Not only are we hosting a Short Course, but Director Craig Hart (with Dave Gale of Independence Gold) is hosting the Theme Technical session on Exploration Strategies on Monday afternoon. Alex Mišković, Project Leader of our Western Tethyan project, will provide a summary of recent exploration activities in the western Tethyan metallotect. Many of our researchers and students will be presenting posters on Monday afternoon. Lastly, make sure you come on by and chat with us at our booth on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. See you there!

Thomas Bissig presented a short course at the Universidad Nacional de Ingienería (UNI), November 18-19, 2013, in Lima, Peru.

SEG-GAC Student Chapter News

International Field Trip to Namibia  

The UBC SEG-GAC student chapter is pleased to announce that the location for the 2014 International Field Trip will be Namibia! The trip will occur between the last days of April and the first two weeks of May. While in Namibia, attendees will visit both the northern and southern part of the country, likely including stops at AngloGold Ashanti Navachab Au mine, Rio Tinto's Rossing Uranium mine, Namibia Rare Earth's Lofdal REE prospect, Kombat Copper Kombat Cu-Ag-Pb-Zn project, Weatherly Internationals’ Tschudi Cu-Ag project, Teck's Haib Cu-Mo project, and South African Iron & Steel Corp.'s Rosh Pinah Pb-Zn-Ag mine. Additional day trips will may include the Etosha Wildlife park (one the best wildlife parks in Africa), Swakopmund costal sand dunes, and Fish Canyon National Park.

The SEG-GAC student chapter international fields trips give industry geologists a unique opportunity of visiting world class mineral deposits with some of UBC’s top graduate students. Some of our previous destinations include Eastern Europe, Philippines, Western Australia, South Africa and Turkey.

Industry participation in this trip costs are $5500 CAD, which covers round-trip airfare from Vancouver, local transportation, and accommodations. Participants arriving from other destinations will have their costs adjusted accordingly. The trip is limited to five spots for industry professionals, and these spots fill quickly. If you are interested in attending, please contact or SEG-GAC Student Chapter President Irene del Real ( at your earliest convenience.

Conference Compendium, Summer-Fall 2013

It was a very busy summer and fall for MDRU, conference-wise. Below are some of the conferences at which MDRU students and researchers presented. For a complete list of talks and posters please go to our Members Area: . Note that titles are visible to all but only MDRU Corporate Members can log-in and see the abstracts, posters and slide shows.

12th SGA Biennial Meeting, Uppsala, Sweden (12-15 August, 2013)

Goldschmidt 2013, Florence, Italy (25-30 August, 2013) 

SEG Whistler 2013: Geoscience for Discovery, Whistler, BC (24-27 September, 2013) 

AGU 2013 Fall Meeting, San Francisco, USA (9-13 December, 2013) 

Upcoming Events

Vancouver Kimberlite Cluster Presents: Jan 24, 2014 Tony George and John Armstrong (Lucara Diamond Corporation) "Karowe Mine – A Diamond Development Success Story" 6:00pm @ UBC Robson Square, 800 Robson St., Room C400. The Cluster is a UBC-MDRU seminar series, to share ideas and stories from diamond exploration, kimberlite geology, and related topics. Everyone is welcome. Further information on the Cluster is available at

The Cordilleran Tectonic Workshop will be held February 22-23, 2014 will be held at the University of British Columbia Okanagan in Kelowna, BC. Several MDRU students and researchers will be presenting talks at this event, including Irene del Real, Murray Allan and Esther Bordet.

Yes, MDRU will be at PDAC! Look for a full list of our presentations and appearances in our next newsletter.

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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