Newsletter of the Mineral Deposit Research Unit at UBC

May 2013

More New Corporate Members for 2013

First off, we would like to thank and welcome three new Corporate and Members: Lago Dourado Minerals Ltd., NGEX Resources Inc., and Eagle Plains Resources Ltd.

A full list of Corporate Members can be found at

[Image above shows a photo of a photo from the Hedley Mascot Mine, 1941 - by Farhad Bouzari. ]

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!

Copper Mountain Field Mapping Course - A Few Spots Still Open

Cu Mtn Pit North

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

This 9-day course will provide participants with a set of new field skills as well as exposure to a range of geological situations in the porphyry environment.

The course includes deposit visits, field excursions, bench and outcrop-scale mapping exercises, as well as core logging exercises and exposure to applications of SWIR alteration mineral analysis. The course focuses 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, Princeton, southern British Columbia. The course also includes visits to the Highland Valley, Ajax and Hedley copper±gold±moly deposits. Each evening there will be technical presentations and opportunities to discuss the day’s activities, and introductions to the next day’s exercises.

This is a great opportunity for industry professionals to refresh their mapping skills in the porphyry environment and gain new understanding of some of our most profitable regional deposits. It's also a great way to tour some of our most interesting historical operations in BC. Space is limited, so please reserve your spots as early as possible!

More information. Register now.

Cu Mtn Virginia Pit Hedley Mine

Thesis Completions

Congratulations to Abdul Razique, Dave Cox and Tim Wrighton who successfully defended their PhD and MSc theses recently:

Abdul Razique, PhD: Magmatic Evolution and Genesis of the Giant Reko Diq H14-H15 Porphyry Cu-Au Deposit, District Chagai, Balochistan-Pakistan: Supervisor Dick Tosdal.

Dave Cox, MSc: Surficial and Geochemical Evolution of Periglacial Soils: Applications to Mineral Exploration in Yukon: Supervisors Craig Hart and Murray Allan.

Tim Wrighton, MSc: Placer gold microchemical characterization and shape analysis applied as an exploration tool in western Yukon: Supervisors Jim Mortensen, Murray Allan and Rob Chapman.

Spotlight: Researchers

Rob Duncan

Rob Duncan

In early April, Post-Doc Rob Duncan began his on-site work with Minera Aguilar S.A. on a one-year collaborative project in northern Argentina. For this project, Rob and his colleagues at Minera Aguilar will be studying the Aguilar Zn-Pb-Ag deposit, aiming to better understand its genetic complexity. The Aguilar Zn-Pb-Ag deposit is characterized by competing SEDEX and contact metasomatic features, and this relationship will be evaluated during the course of the study.

Project Update - The Colombia Gold and Porphyry Project


The Colombia Gold and Porphyry Project was initiated in late 2010 in response to limited availability of geosciences data relevant to exploration of precious metals which became a problem with the greatly increased exploration activity in Colombia since ~2005. The project concentrates on two areas: the California-Vetas mining district (CVMD) in the Eastern Cordillera, Santander and the Middle Cauca Belt (MCB) roughly encompassing the area from La Colosa in the south to Buriticá in the north. One of the principal aims of the project is to provide a better understanding of timing of magmatism and emplacement of different styles of mineralization in a regional to district-scale tectonic context. Given the paucity of geosciences data for the region, the project will provide a significantly improved understanding of the geology on which exploration decisions are based.

The project was initiated with a study aimed at unraveling characteristics and style of mineralization at the La Bodega project (then Ventana Gold Corp.) in the CVMD by Alfonso L. Rodriguez M. who started his MSc program in September 2010. The project was then expanded to include Greystar Resources Corp. (now Eco-Oro Minerals) and, among others, the Angostura project. In June 2011 the MCB was added. The CVMD and MCB include some of the most exciting recent gold discoveries in Colombia and multi million ounce gold resources have, among others, been announced for Angostura, La Bodega, Titirbí, Marmato, Miraflores, and La Colosa in the last years.


Research was initiated with the original funding by Ventana Gold Corp. and Greystar Resources/Eco-Oro minerals in late 2010. In June 2011, Sunward Resources, AngloGold Ashanti, Anglo American, Teck Resources and Barrick Gold Corporation signed on to the project. The cumulative funding amounts to ~ 810 k over 3 years. Additional SEG research grants to individual students of about 20 k over the duration of the project are also anticipated. Apart from the research, the project has a strong component of international collaboration and training opportunities for Colombian students, both through incorporation of Colombian students into the MDRU team and through teaching of short courses in Colombia.

In September 2012, the first full sponsor’s meeting was held in Medellín, Colombia. As part of the MDRU team, Craig Hart, Thomas Bissig, Luis Mantilla (Universidad industrial de Santander, Bucaramanga, Colombia), Alfonso Rodriguez (MSc candidate) and Ana Guerra (PhD student) participated. The CVMD was the focus of the early work, whereas the middle Cauca porphyry belt will be the main focus for the remaining two years on the project. About thirty new age dates (U/Pb, Re/Os, 40Ar/39Ar), along with whole rock geochemistry, detailed paragenetic studies of key deposits and district scale geological maps were presented. One BSc thesis by Chelsea Raley was completed in April 2012, Alfonso Rodriguez is expected to complete his MSc degree in 2013. The new dataset dramatically changes the understanding of the ore deposits and geology of the CVMD, and is having an influence on regional exploration programs by sponsoring companies.

Apart from the well advanced research on the CVMD, initial data and ideas on the geology and controls on porphyry Au-Cu mineralization in the MCB were presented. In many ways this belt is unique due to the large number of gold-rich porphyry and low sulfidation epithermal occurrences. The study will focus on the nature of magmatism, basement architecture and regional structural controls on porphyry emplacement.

SEG - GAC Student Chapter International Field Trip

Eastern Europe itinerary map

May 7th – May 18th

Over the past twelve years the annual UBC Ore Deposits Field Trip has enjoyed great success, creating an opportunity for enthusiastic students and industry participants to interact and experience world‐class geology.

The focus of the 2013 trip is to gain an understanding of the geology and metallogeny related to the intense tectonic history of Eastern Europe. This years participants include twelve UBC‐SEG students and eleven international members of industry, ranging from Turkey, Singapore, Australia, and Canada who will visit a variety of deposits in Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, and northern Greece.

Look for a full report on the group's adventures in our next newsletter!


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. Students and young professionals are encouraged to attend.

With the conference based in Whistler, participants will have the opportunity to explore this spectacular setting which was home to the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. Registration is open.

MDRU will be front and centre with two short courses. Register for both courses on the conference website.

SC 76 Mineral Exploration Applications of Stable Isotopes
September 28, 2013
Light stable isotopes (e.g. H, C, O, S) have been used in studies of mineral deposits for more than 50 years, in particular to determine the source(s) of different ore-forming components and fluids, and to better understand fluid-rock reaction processes. However, due to the complexity and cost traditionally involved with acquiring stable isotope data, stable isotopes have not been widely applied in the mineral exploration setting. Advances in analytical technologies mean that stable isotope analyses for some isotopes can now be acquired in real time, with significantly reduced cost, making their application to exploration increasingly feasible. In this short course, applications of different stable isotopes to exploring for different mineral deposit types will be highlighted. A large practical component will involve analyzing rock samples in real time during the day using suites of rocks collected from different carbonate-hosted mineral deposits, as well as solving “real-world” exploration problems using stable isotopes.
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).
One day course

SC 77 The Geological Journey to Diamond Mines
September 28, 2013
This one-day short course will introduce geologists to the basics of diamond exploration, kimberlite geology and the evaluation of primary diamond resources. The course will feature seven speakers presenting 40 min talks. The topics will include target selection, exploration, evaluation, resource development and the diamond industry including the history of diamond discoveries in Canada. All speakers will be internationally renowned scientists or geologists with extensive experience in diamond industry. During breaks and after the presentations, hand specimens and thin sections of Canadian kimberlites will be available for examination. More detail on this course including the course outline can be found on the MDRU website.
Maya Kopylova, Barbara Scott Smith (MDRU-UBC), George Read (Shore Gold), Thomas Stachel (University of Alberta), Jennifer Pell (Peregrine Diamonds), Randy Turner (Independence Gold Corp).
One day course

Recently Published Papers

  • Luis C. Mantilla Figueroa, Thomas Bissig, Víctor Valencia, Craig J.R. Hart, 2013, The magmatic history of the Vetas-California mining district, Santander Massif, Eastern Cordillera, Colombia: Journal of South American Earth Sciences, Volume 45, August 2013, Pages 235–249.
  • İlkay Kuşcu, Richard M. Tosdal, Gonca Gencalioğlu-Kuşcu, Richard Friedman, and Thomas D. Ullrich, 2013, Late Cretaceous to Middle Eocene Magmatism and Metallogeny of a Portion of the Southeastern Anatolian Orogenic Belt, East-Central Turkey: Economic Geology, June-July 2013, v. 108, p. 641-666, MDRU Contribution Number 268.
  • Ian M. Power, Siobhan A. Wilson and Gregory M. Dipple, 2013, Serpentinite Carbonation for CO2 Sequestration: Elements, April 2013, v. 9, p. (2): 95-98, MDRU Contribution Number 310.
  • Adam T. Simmons, Richard M. Tosdal, Joseph L. Wooden, Rubén Mattos, Oscar Concha, Stuart McCracken, and Timothy Beale, 2013, Punctuated Magmatism Associated with Porphyry Cu-Mo Formation in the Paleocene to Eocene of Southern Peru: Economic Geology, June-July 2013, v. 108, p. 625-639, MDRU Contribution Number 305.

Upcoming Events

MDRU Director Craig Hart is giving an invited Keynote on Gold Metallogeny in China, and a short course on Intrusion-Related Gold Systems at the Australian Institute of Geosciences ( in Bali 2013: East Asia: Geology, Exploration Technologies and Mines at the end of May.

Craig is also giving an invited presentation on Intrusion-Related Gold Systems at the Futores conference in Townsville, Australia, June 2-5.

MDRU - Mineral Deposit Research Unit - The University of British Columbia
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