Newsletter of the Mineral Deposit Research Unit at UBC

November 2013

Welcome New Corporate and Foundation Members

MDRU would like to welcome new Foundation Members Newmont Mining Corp. and Glencore Xstrata plc as well as new Corporate Member Acapella Holdings Ltd. View a complete list of MDRU Corporate Members here.

Above image: The colours of the Yukon, courtesy Murray Allan, 2013.

New Research Project Opportunities

MDRU is inviting industry sponsors to participate in our new research projects that are being set up for 2014 and beyond. We seek “Expressions of Interest” from potential partners wishing to increase their knowledge, competitive advantage and exploration success in a range of exploration environments. Research projects include:

  • PIMS-Porphyry Indicator Minerals
  • Smarter Exploration in Lithocaps
  • Determining Porphyry Fertility
  • Real-time Exploration with Water Chemistry
  • Carbon Sequestration in Mine Wastes

Each project will move forward with a single major sponsor or as an industry consortium, creating the potential for high leveraging capabilities of government funds to maximize the value of your research funding. Projects are undertaken by Senior Researchers and graduate students over a 1-3 year period.

For more information on current opportunities, please see our New Project Opportunities Flyer.

MDRU Yukon Gold Day

Three pics of the Yukon








MDRU invites you to attend Yukon Gold Day – Presentations of Technical Results from the MDRU Yukon Gold Project. The event will be held on November 29, 2013 (8:30 am to 4:30 pm) at UBC Robson Square, Room C300, 800 Robson St, Vancouver, BC. This one-day technical seminar presents results from MDRU’s Flagship Yukon Gold Project and will provide participants with the most advanced geoscientific and exploration insights for western Yukon, and the White Gold and Dawson Range Districts.

Registration for Yukon Gold Day is now open!

MDRU Yukon Gold Project researchers (Murray Allan, Jim Mortensen, Craig Hart, Matias Sanchez, Rob Chapman, Leif Bailey) will provide insights into the exciting geology, metallogeny, and geochemical signatures of mineralization in this physiographically unique part of the Northern Cordillera. In addition, key members of the industry will be sharing their perspectives on gold exploration and geology, including Mike Burke (Americas Bullion Royalty Corp.), Shawn Ryan (Ryanwood Exploration), Rob McLeod (McLeod Williams Capital Corp.), and Tim Smith (Kaminak Gold Corp.). A panel discussion on Yukon and Alaska geoscience and exploration opportunities will follow. It will be a milestone not to be missed.

Yukon Gold Project leader Murray Allan recently presented results at the SEG Whistler Conference, at the Geological Society of America in Denver, and will also be speaking on gold metallogeny of the Yukon at the Yukon Geoscience Forum in Whitehorse (November 18-20).

MDRU Gets Down to Business

Monica Spisar

MDRU announces the appointment of Dr. Monica Spisar as the inaugural MDRU Business Development Manager. Monica has an entrepreneurial background with strengths in strategic management, business operations, research, and communications. With a PhD in engineering, Monica has experience in technically-driven start-ups and has worked previously with UBC’s University-Industry Liaison Office.

The Business Development Manager is a new position responsible for MDRU financial operations and for providing a strong financial foundation for MDRU’s continued operations by developing new research, training, and business ventures.

We're Hiring

MDRU is looking for a highly-qualified Research Geologist to lead a regional mapping and data integration project in central British Columbia. The project will integrate large geophysical survey datasets and derivative data with field observations and sampling to generate high-value geological map products. These products will comprise a key component in Geoscience BC’s TREK project, which aims to improve resource-based decision-making. Please visit for more information about this position

MDRU Exploration Geochemistry Initiative (EGI)

Years in development, the EGI will kick off and unfold with a profile to be presented at the International Applied Geochemistry Symposium (IAGS) conference in Rotorua, New Zealand later this month.   MDRU will also shortly announce the hiring of the new AcmeLabs Industrial Research Chair in Exploration Geochemistry, and present an outline for a robust, 5-year research plan. At IAGS, MDRU will present a booth to interact with international exploration geochemists, and MDRU graduate students Britt Bluemel and Lauren Greenlaw will deliver presentations.

Colombia Gold & Porphyry Project

Results from the second year of investigations were presented to industry sponsors by MDRU Researchers, led by Project Leader Thomas Bissig, at a technical meeting last week in Medellin, Colombia. See a list of the presentations. The meeting was followed-up with field visits to Solvista Gold’s Caramanta project where a new district of gold-rich porphyry deposits has been discovered, and to Gran Colombia’s Marmato where gold-rich sulphide veins have been mined for hundreds of years. Project sponsors include AngloAmerican, AngloGold Ashanti, AUX, Barrick, EcoOro and Teck. The project is accelerated by the recent hiring of Dr. Hildebrando Leal as a Post-Doctoral Fellow, who completed his PhD on the magmatic evolution of much of central Colombia.

Green Valley in Colombia

Visiting International Researchers

Dr. P.V. Sunder Raju

Visiting professor Dr. P.V. Sunder Raju from the National Geophysical Research Institute (NGRI), in Andhra Pradesh, India, has expertise in Indian gold exploration, BIFs, and chromitites. Sponsored by the Government of India on a 6-month Fellowship, Dr. Raju will collaborate with MDRU to compare gold and IOCG systems of Canada and India.



M. Erde Bilir

M. Erde Bilir is a visiting student in Geological Engineering at Mugla Sitki Kocman University in Turkey, working with former MDRU Post-Doc Ilkay Kuscu on Eocene magmatism and epithermal deposits of the Pontides, in northeastern Turkey. This project is a part of the MDRU Western Tethyan Metallogeny Project.

Welcome New Students

MDRU welcomes a large and diverse group of new students, mostly working with Craig Hart and Alex Miskovic in support of the Western Tethyan Metallogeny Project.

Kaleb Boucher MSc Student

Kaleb Boucher MSc Student. Kaleb's research focuses on the structural controls and vein paragenesis of Eldorado Gold’s Efemcukuru epithermal deposit in western Turkey. Prior to coming to MDRU, Kaleb worked for several junior exploration companies on orogenic gold deposits in northwestern Ontario.



Paula Brunetti MSc Student.

Paula Brunetti MSc Student. Paula’s research project is to characterize the evolution of the Halilaga porphyry Cu-Au deposit in Turkey, held in a Teck-Pilot Gold joint venture. Paula graduated from the Universidad de Chile in 2011, and worked previously with Teck Chile, on both greenfield and brownfield exploration programs.



Dragan Dragic PhD Student.

Dragan Dragic PhD Student. Dragan’s PhD project focuses on the regional relationships between Oligocene-Miocene magmatism, hydrothermal systems, and mineral deposits of Serbia, Macedonia, and Greece. Prior to joining MDRU, Dragan obtained his Geology degree at the University of Belgrade, and worked with Dunav in both exploration geochemistry and exploration, where he gained experience in exploration/project development, resource definition, structural analysis.


Graham Leroux MSc Student.

Graham Leroux MSc Student. Graham’s research focuses on structural and lithological interpretation of the epithermal Au-Ag deposits in western Turkey. He has a BSc from the University of Victoria, where he studied geological and structural relationships to plutonism in south-central B.C. Graham worked for the BC Geological Survey, and more recently, for junior and mid-tier exploration companies, and is an amateur placer miner.


Fabien Rabayrol PhD Student.

Fabien Rabayrol PhD Student. Fabien graduated from the Institut Polytechnique LaSalle Beauvais in France, then worked for gold exploration companies in Canada and Turkey. Fabien’s thesis project focuses on the geochemical and geochronological constraints on the metallogeny and tectonic associations of the Anatolian porphyry- and epithermal-style deposits in Turkey.



Raja Yarra MSc Student.

Raja Yarra MSc Student. Raja has a BSc from Brock University, and has previously worked for the Canadian Hydrographic Service, and as a student geologist for several gold exploration companies in Canada and Turkey. Raja’s thesis project focuses on characterizing the structural controls, mineral paragenesis, polymetallic mineralization, and alteration assemblages of Dundee’s epithermal gold deposits in Kapan, southwest Armenia.


Jelena Zivanovic, MSc Student.

Jelena Zivanovic, MSc Student. Jelena graduated from the University of Belgrade in 2010, and since then has been working for Avala Resources on the Timok Gold Project, within a sedimentary rock-hosted gold belt. Jelena is currently researching the metallogeny and stratigraphy of the Carlin-like Bigar Hill gold deposit in eastern Serbia.



Craig Richardson MSc Student.

Craig Richardson MSc Student. Craig is working with Craig Hart, studying the controls on mineralization along the Phum Syarung-Dok Yong Fault Corridor in the Ratanakiri Province of Cambodia. Craig received his BSc from the University of Calgary in 2011, after which he worked as a junior geologist and research assistant on several small projects throughout Canada. More recently, Craig has been working as an exploration geologist with the Canadian-based exploration company Angkor Gold Corp. who are supporting this project.

Vancouver Kimberlite Cluster Presents

MDRU invites you to join the Vancouver Kimberlite Cluster for their upcoming talk: "Geology and evaluation of the Mothae kimberlite: another source of unusually large, high-value diamonds in northern Lesotho, southern Africa" by Tom Nowicki, Director of Mineral Services Canada on Friday, November 8th at 6:00pm, UBC Robson Square, 800 Robson St., Room C400, Vancouver, BC, Canada (follow-up discussion at a nearby pub).

Next talk by Maya Kopylova will be on December 6th. Everyone is welcome!

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MDRU Group photo

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