Newsletter of the Mineral Deposit Research Unit at UBC

March 2014

Welcome New Corporate Members

MDRU would like to extend our gratitude to all our Corporate sponsors for their continued support in 2014, and also welcome new Foundation Member KGHM International Ltd.

Above image courtesy of Murray Allan: Yukon Gold project MSc Graduate David Cox takes notes on some of the few outcrops in his field area in the Yukon.

MDRU Research Day April 1

MDRU will be holding a full-day Research Day for the scientific community, our research colleagues, and the general public on Tuesday, April 1, 2014 at UBC Robson Square in downtown Vancouver. The event will be showcasing the breadth of our global research program, and highlighting scientific advances from our recent projects.

Presentations will be delivered by MDRU Faculty and Researchers/Staff including Murray Allan, Greg Dipple, Eldad Haber, Dianne Hanano, and Craig Hart; current MDRU PhD/MSc candidates Esther Bordet, Irene del Real, Trent Newkirk, Evan Smith, and Mike Tucker; and MDRU Alumni Britt Bluemel (Reflex Geochemistry), Dianne Mitchinson (Mira Geosciences), and Adam Simmons (PI Financial Corp.)

Registration is free, and spaces are still available for attendance. Visit to reserve your seat!

MDRU Research Day Registration image

MDRU at AMEBC Roundup 2014

We celebrated another great year of scientific advancement and reconnecting with our sponsors and colleagues at AMEBC's Mineral Exploration Roundup 2014. MDRU highlights included our short course, oral presentations by researchers, and a great round of student posters (Full list here). Thank you to everyone who stopped by our booth to speak with our researchers, or create connections for future projects.

MDRU Short Course 78 - Regional Metallogeny & Controls on the Location of Ore Systems. Speakers included:

  • 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
Jeremy Richards presents during Roundup Shortcourse


Roundup Reception 2014

Thank you to everyone who attended our packed Roundup Reception in the Westin's International Suite on Sunday night. Representatives from MDRU's Foundation Members, Corporate Members, researchers, staff students, and friends celebrated another successful year of scientific collaboration. The event is always a Roundup highlight as it provides an informal opportunity for MDRU students and researchers to talk with industry leaders, many of whom are MDRU Alumni themselves.

Director Craig Hart delivered remarks about MDRU’s status, current vision, upcoming events, and long-term goals as MDRU kicks off its 25th year, continuing to set the standard in industry-academic partnerships.

Peter Winterburn with guests at the MDRU Roundup Reception

Cordilleran Tectonics Workshop

Several MDRU students and researchers braved the winter passes to present at the UBC Okanagan Cordilleran Tectonics Workshop in Kelowna, BC, February 22-23, 2014.

Presentations included:

  • Matías G. Sánchez, Murray M. Allan, Craig J.R. Hart, Jim K. Mortensen. Structural and tectonic control on mineralization by magnetite-destructive faults in western Uukon and eastern Alaska.
  • Irene del Real, F. Bouzari, C.J.R. Hart, J.L. Blackwell, A. Rainbow, R. Sherlock . The southeast zone (Cu-Mo) and Deerhorn (Cu-Au) porphyries; a genetic relationship between a calc-alkalic and an alkalic deposit, Woodjam Property, central British Columbia.
  • Esther Bordet, Mitchell G. Mihalynuk and Craig J.R. Hart. An Eocene trigger for extensive felsic magmatism in the Canadian Cordillera.
Irene del Real, Murray Allan, Matias Sanchez, Esther Bordet and Craig Hart at Cordilleran Tectonics Workshop in Kelowna, BC, February 22-23, 2014.


Award Winners

Congratulations to Kaleb Boucher and Natalie Cook as they have both been awarded 2014 Society of Economic Geologists Graduate Student Fellowships, each in the amount of $10,000 US. These fellowships are supported by Barrick Gold Corporation and Newmont Mining Corporation, respectively. Read more about these and other SEGF programs here:

MDRU Alumni Al Wainwright (PhD, 2008) and Adam Simmons (PhD, 2013) received AMEBC's H.H. "Spud" Huestis Awards at Roundup 2014! Awarded for 'excellence in prospecting,' they are recognized for their contributions to Kaminak Gold Corp.'s discovery of the Coffee gold project in the Yukon District, and share the award with Tim Smith, Rob Carpenter and Craig Finnigan . Read more in Mineral Exploration Magazine, Spring 2014 issue.

Dr. Barbara Scott Smith, an Adjunct Professor at EOAS, has been awarded the GAC Duncan R. Derry Medal. This highest distinction of the GAC's Mineral Deposits Division is awarded annually to the outstanding economic geologist in Canada in recognition of the skill and stature as a professional economic geologist and also for public contributions to the science field. Dr. Scott Smith is awarded for her contribution to the success of diamond exploration and mining in Canada and training of Canadian kimberlite geologists.

Congrats to MDRU MSc students Mike Tucker and Lauren Greenlaw for winning two of the three RoundUP 2014 Student Poster Prizes. Mike presented his research on Carlin-like gold systems in the Yukon (supported by ATAC Resources Ltd.) , and Lauren presented results from her lithogeochemical study of the Relincho porphyry system in Chile (supported by Teck Resources Limited).

Western Tethyan Metallogeny Project Update

MDRU’s Western Tethyan Metallogeny Project is well into its second year! This is our largest research project and is supported by a consortium of 15 industry sponsors, who are supporting 20 students and researchers working across 10 countries.

Project highlights to date include technical meetings in Çanakkale and Izmir, both in western Turkey, and related field trips. Well into the data compilation phase, new GIS products and geochemical, geochronological and geophysical datasets are being developed. Students have been fully engaged in petrographic and spectrometric characterizations of host rocks, ore and alteration mineralogy from various deposits and study areas along the west-central Tethyan orogen.

On the GIS front, the project recently acquired geospatial data for Azerbaijan, Georgia and NE Iraq while the final steps are being made in the process of acquisition of digitized dataset for Romania. Geochronological GIS layers for Serbia, Macedonia and Bulgaria as well as Romania, Greece and the Lesser Caucasus were released to project sponsor in early 2014. Release of the complementing whole-rock geochemical coverage is the next project deliverable.

Images from Western Tethyan field season


A summary of student research projects are outlined below:

  • Fabien Rabayrol’s PhD thesis aims to unravel the complex and diverse metallogeny of central Anatolia in the context Western Tethyan tectonic evolution. Fabien generated a unified tectonic map of Turkey which includes all of its exotic terranes and regional structures. He defined metallogenic districts on which to focus his 2014 field work.
  • PhD candidate Dragan Dragić has been actively engaged on reprocessing geological and metallogenic maps of Serbia into a seamless GIS format.
  • Graham Leroux (MSc) devised a new stratigraphic setting for the TV Tower epithermal Au district of the central Biga Peninsula in NW Turkey. Ore petrography, supported by scanning electron microscopy and focused on sulphide mineralization and related alteration at Kuçukdag is underway and was presented at Roundup on his poster entitled: Gold in the Biga Peninsula: A geological and structural map of TV Tower and Kirazli Epithermal Au-Ag +/- Cu, northwest Turkey.
  • Jelena Živanović (MSc) measured porosity and permeability of the sedimentary rocks from the Bigar Hill sediment-hosted Au deposit in eastern Serbia. Her 2014 Roundup poster was entitled: Metallogeny and Stratigraphy of Sedimentary Rock-Hosted Bigar Hill Gold Deposit, Western Timok, Serbia.
  • Raja Yarra (MSc) compiled and analyzed drill core and surface samples from the Armenian Shahumyan polymetallic deposit using shortwave infrared spectroscopy to characterize variability in chemistry of alteration envelopes. Raja’s Roundup poster is entitled: Vein Paragenesis and Alteration of the Shahumyan Polymetallic Vein-Hosted Epithermal Deposit, Kapan District SE Armenia.
  • Paula Brunetti’s (MSc) work on the Halilaga porphyry Cu-Au deposit focused on deciphering geochemical signatures of host intrusives and establishing alteration patterns associated with the mineralization. Paula's Roundup poster was entitled: Geology, Alteration and Mineral Paragenesis of the Halilağa Porphyry Cu-Au deposit, Biga Peninsula, NW Turkey.
  • Erde Bilir (MSc) examined the petrography of 60 rocks and followed up with SWIR determinations on the associated alteration assemblages, many will be followed up with zircon U-Pb geochronological analyses. Erde’s Roundup poster was entitled: The Early-Middle Eocene Magmatism and Related Epithermal Systems of the Eastern Turkish Pontides.
  • Kaleb Boucher (MSc) examined alteration envelopes of the Efemçukuru LS epithermal Au deposit near Izmir, Turkey using SWIR, and will update geology maps and structurally evaluate regional faults, foliations, vein and dike orientations. His Roundup poster was entitled: Structural and Vein Analysis of the Efemçukuru LS epithermal Gold Deposit, Western Turkey.

The 2014 Roundup meeting in Vancouver (January 2014) featured Western Tethyan Project Manager Alex Mišković’s summary of the exploration activities along the western Tethyan metallotect. A full MDRU Tethyan project update was delivered to the sponsors at PDAC in March 2014.

Yukon-Alaska Gold Metallogeny Project: Open for Sponsorship

Building on the successes of the recently completed Yukon Gold Project, MDRU has launched a new collaborative research project to provide metallogenic constraints on gold mineralization in poorly understood or exposed portions of Yukon and Alaska.

The mineral deposit studies and metallogenic frameworks that will be developed in this project will provide new and improved exploration and targeting models over this large and highly prospective region.

The project is being led by Murray Allan, with significant contributions from Jim Mortensen, Craig Hart, Matias Sanchez and Richard Goldfarb (USGS). The project will also include a PhD-level study on Kaminak Gold Corp.’s Coffee project, and at least two MSc-level deposit-related studies.

The project is still open to sponsorship. For more information, or to enquire about post-graduate opportunities, please contact Craig Hart ( and Murray Allan (

Copper Mountain Field Mapping Shortcourse, May 26 - June 3, 2014

Thomas Bissig photos from Chile

There a just a few spots still open for Corporate Members to join us for the Porphyry Copper Deposits Field Mapping Course, in and around Copper Mountain, BC. The course takes place over 9 days, May 26-Jun3, 2014, and incorporates a variety of field visits and mapping exercises. The course comes highly recommended from previous participants, who recommend it for both technical aspects, as well as the visits to sites of historical mining interest.

For more information click here:

Bits and Bytes

Thomas Bissig will be overseeing two new MSc projects, beginning in 2014. The first, funded by NGex resources, will focus on their Los Helados prospect which contains porphyry Cu-Au mineralization hosted in Paleozoic granitoids and is centered on hydrothermal breccia body. The prospect is located between the El Indio and Maricunga Au belts along the Chile-Argentina border. This study will be important to understand the relationship of extrusive vs. intrusive magmatism to porphyry style mineral potential because volcanic rocks are scarce in the district and host rocks to mineralization are probably much older. The study site's location between two mineral belts will also allow delineating the extent of areas prospective for porphyry Au vs. high-sulfidation epithermal deposits.

Thomas Bissig photos from Chile

The structural and tectonic setting of IOCG, porphyry Cu-Au and Kiruna type Fe deposits in Northern Chile will the focus of the second collaborative MSc study, funded by Mineria Activa. The study will be focused on 2 to 3 field areas in the Coastal IOCG Belt of Chile, and will aim to understand the main controls on the different styles of mineralization in this region.

Farhad Bouzari spent ten days in January with the Ph.D. prospective student, Esmail Heidari, in the Kerman region of Iran, examining various porphyry centers and host stratigraphy along the region.

Antonio Celis’ M.Sc. work during the last few months on PIMS has been focused on titanite in alkalic porphyry deposits. His studies on titanite, summarized in RoundUp poster, show various generations of titanite and recent microprobe analyses suggests distinct geochemical characteristics on magmatic and hydrothermal species.

Irene del Real’s M.Sc. research on Woodjam property, BC, characterized field and petrographic relationships of the Southeast Zone and Deerhorn porphyry centers and recently has been focused on geochemical signatures of the host intrusive units suggesting that magma mixing played a role in transition between alkalic and calc-alkalic environments.

Thomas Bissig photos from Chile

Lauren Greenlaw presented her research to the Vancouver geochemistry working group on Feb 20, 2014. Her talk, entitled "The Lithogeochemical Footprint of the Relincho Cu-Mo Porphyry Deposit, Atacama Desert, Chile" was graciously hosted by Pim Van Geffen at Reflex Geochemistry on Georgia St. in downtown Vancouver.


Gruffudd Roberts, visiting student from UK, completes his Honours thesis at MDRU. Building on MDRU’s footprint study at Red Lake Gold Mines, Ontario, Gruffudd works on carbon and oxygen isotopic signature of carbonate alteration around the gold mineralization. His work shows that both pervasive and vein type carbonate alterations are isotopically zoned for several km and vectors towards the deposit.

Recently Defended Theses!

Esther Bordet with Mom, Dad and sinificant other Jaime prior to her PhD defense

Major milestones in the lives of our students include recently defended Ph.D. theses by Esther Bordet and Evan Smith.

Esther's thesis entitled Eocene Volcanic Response to the Tectonic Evolution of the Canadian Cordillera was supervised by Craig J.R. Hart and Mitchell G. Mihalynuk, and supported by Geoscience BC, Golder Associates Ltd., NSERC, and the Society of Economic Geologists Canada Foundation.

Evan's thesis Fluid Inclusions in Fibrous and Octahedrally-Grown Diamonds was supervised by Maya Kopylova.

Special Issue of Economic Geology

Thomas Bissig and the MDRU-CODES Alkalic Project research team have recently released results from the project in a series of manuscripts in an upcoming special issue of Economic Geology:

  • T. Bissig, D.R. Cooke, Special Issue Devoted to Alkalic Porphyry Cu-Au and Epithermal Au Deposits (Editors): Vol. 109, No. 4, p. 819-825.
  • J. Micko, R.M. Tosdal, T. Bissig, C.M. Chamberlain, K.A. Simpson, Hydrothermal Alteration and Mineralization of the Galore Creek Alkalic Cu-Au Porphyry Deposit, Northwestern British Columbia, Canada: Vol. 109, No. 4, p. 891-914.
  • K. Byrne, R.M. Tosdal, Genesis of the Late Triassic Southwest Zone Breccia-Hosted Alkalic Porphyry Cu-Au Deposit, Galore Creek, British Columbia, Canada: Vol. 109, No. 4, p. 915-938.
  • C.P. Jago, R.M. Tosdal, D.R. Cooke, A.C. Harris, Vertical and Lateral Variation of Mineralogy and Chemistry in the Early Jurassic Mt. Milligan Alkalic Porphyry Au-Cu Deposit, British Columbia, Canada: Vol. 109, No. 4, p. 1005-1033.
  • A.D. Henry, P. McInnes, R.M. Tosdal, Structural Evolution of Auriferous Veins at the Endeavour 42 Gold Deposit, Cowal Mining District, NSW, Australia: Vol. 109, No. 4, p. 1051-1077.

Just Published

MDRU Contributions to Geoscience BC's Summary of Activities

  • Bordet, E., Mihalynuk, M.G., Hart, C.J.R. and Sanchez, M., Three-dimensional thickness model for the Eocene volcanic sequence, Chilcotin and Nechako plateaus, south-central British Columbia.
  • Celis, M.A., Bouzari, F., Bissig, T., Hart, C.J.R. and Ferbey, T., Petrographic characteristics of porphyry indicator minerals from alkali porphyry copper-gold deposits in south-central British Columbia.
  • del Real, I., Hart, C.J.R., Bouzari, F., Blackwell, J.L., Rainbow, A. and Sherlock, R., Relationships between calcalkalic and alkali mineralization styles at the copper-molybdenum Southeast Zone and copper-gold Deerhorn porphyry deposits, Woodjam property, central British Columbia.

Other Publications

  • Andreas Beinlich, Vasileios Mavromatis, Håkon Austrheim, Eric H. Oelkers. Inter-mineral Mg isotope fractionation during hydrothermal ultramafic rock alteration – Implications for the global Mg-cycle. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 2014, 392: 166-176.
  • Ort, M.H., Newkirk, T.T., Vilas, J.F., Vazquez, J.A. Towards the definition of AMS facies in the deposits of pyroclastic density currents. In: The Geological Society of London, Special Publication 396: The Use of Palaeomagnetism and Rock Magnetism to Understand Volcanic Processes (Edited by M.H. Ort, M. Porreca, and J.W. Geissman). First published online January 23, 2014, doi: 10.1144/SP396.8
  • P.V. Sunder Raju, P.G. Eriksson, O. Catuneanu, S. Sarkar, S. Banerjee. A review of the inferred geodynamic evolution of the Dharwar craton over the ca. 3.5–2.5 Ga period, and possible implications for global tectonics. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, 2014, 51(3): 312-325, /10.1139/cjes-2013-0145

SEG-GAC Student Chapter News

The new 2014-2015 SEG-GAC Student Chapter executive committee has been elected: (left to right) Raja Yarra (Treasurer), Natalie Cook (Secretary), Fabien Rabayrol (President), Kaleb Boucher (Vice President), and Guillaume Lesage (Social Coordinator).

2014-2015 SEG-GAC Student Chapter executive committee: (left to right) Raja Yarra (Treasurer), Natalie Cook (Secretary), Fabien Rabayrol (President), Kaleb Boucher (Vice President), and Guillaume Lesage (Social Coordinator).

SEG Student-Industry Mixer, April 3, 2014

Come out and meet the new executive members at the SEG Student-Industry Mixer. A much talked-about annual event, this spring’s mixer will take place on Thursday, April 3 from 4p.m. onward at The Ascot (420 W. Pender St.). Refreshments are provided. We hope to see you there!

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 Vancouver Kimberlite Cluster

The Vancouver Kimberlite Cluster, a series of talks at the UBC Robson Square, has had a successful academic year with an array of talks on diamond exploration:

  • J. Pell (Peregrine Diamonds) "Kimberlite emplacement temperatures from conodont geothermometry; hotter than you might think" (Oct 18, 2013 )
  • T. Nowicki (Mineral Services) "Geology and evaluation of the Mothae kimberlite: another source of unusually large, high-value diamonds in northern Lesotho, southern Africa" (Nov 8, 2013)
  • M. Kopylova (UBC) "Yakutian kimberlites: From discovery to 55 years of mining" (Dec 6, 2013)
  • T. George and J. Armstrong (Lucara Diamond Corp) "Karowe Mine – A Diamond Development Success Story" (Jan 24, 2014)
  • M. De Wit (Delrand Resources Ltd) "The Proterozoic Marange alluvial diamond deposit in eastern Zimbabwe: Is this a Mega-placer? (March 7, 2014)
  • The next meeting will feature Branko Deljanin (Canadian Gemological Laboratory) speaking on “Coloured Diamonds from the Argyle Mine, Australia” (April 30, 2014)

Other News

PhD Candidate Peter MacDonald and his wife Christine welcomed a daughter, Fiona Lily MacDonald on Feb. 16, 2014. Mom and baby girl are happy and healthy.

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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