Newsletter of the Mineral Deposit Research Unit at UBC

March 2012

MDRU at AMEBC Roundup 2012

MDRU rocked the Exploration Roundup Conference in Vancouver this January with multiple presentations.

Craig Hart introducing the first speaker at the Exploration Geochemistry short course at Roundup 2012

Exploration Geochemistry
Short Course

Our two-day short course on Exploration Geochemistry was completely sold out with 220 participants. Dave Heberlein: Principles and Strategies in Exploration Geochemistry; Mary Doherty: Chemistry for Geologists; and Coarse Gold and Sample Representivity; Robert Chapman: Exploration Geochemistry of Gold Grains in Stream Sediments; Colin Dunn: Organic Media in Mineral Exploration; Dave Lawie: Exploratory Data Analysis; Chris Benn: Applied Lithogeochemistry – Practical Applications for Exploration Using Laboratory and Portable Field Instrumentation Data; Fred Blaine: Geochemical Exploration Models for BC Porphyry Deposits; and Karen Kelley wrapped things up with a presentation on the Surficial Geochemical Response of the Pebble Cu-Au-Mo Porphyry Deposit, Southwest Alaska.
MDRU students and researchers presented posters during the short course to provide insights to some Exploration Geochemistry including:

Fred Blaine withshort course attendee.
  • Barker, S., Dipple, G., Hart, C., Vaughan, J., Lepore, W., Escalante, A., Bissig, T. and Bouzari, F., 2012, The role of stable isotopes in mineral exploration;
  • Blaine, F. and Hart, C., 2012, Geochemical exploration models of BC porphyry deposits;
  • Bouzari, F., Hart, C.J.R., Barker, S. and Bissig, T., 2012, Porphyry Indicator Minerals (PIMS): A new exploration tool for concealed deposits in south-central British Columbia;
  • Escalante, A. Dipple, G., Tosdal, R., Ebert, S., Hart, C., Lipten, E., Sabastizagal, A. and Cardenas, J., 2012, Patterns of distal alteration and source of fluids in polymetallic carbonate replacement deposits, central Peru.

These posters and the Roundup posters listed below are viewable by MDRU Corporate Members at

Leanne Smar at the MDRU Reception.

MDRU's 2012 Roundup Reception
MDRU hosted a reception for representatives from MDRU's Foundation Members, Corporate Members, researchers, staff and students on Sunday, January 22, 2012 to kick off Roundup festivities in celebration of MDRU's 23rd year. Held at the swanky Westin Bayshore Hotel's International Suite, the reception brought together students and researchers from past MDRU initiatives, many of whom are now leading the industry as exploration managers. MDRU Director Craig Hart delivered remarks highlighting emerging MDRU research projects and upcoming sponsorship opportunities, providing an exciting glimpse into MDRU's future for 2012.

MDRU Technical Posters at RoundUP
Monday was student poster day and MDRU students gave an excellent show presenting their latest work. Congratulations to Lindsay McClenaghan for taking 2nd place in the Best Student Poster competition with her poster Genesis of the Newton Gold Deposit explained by stable isotopes, and to Jessica Norris for 3rd place with her poster The Red Chris Cu-Au porphyry deposit: Pervasive intermediate argillic alteration.

Jessica Norris shows off her 3rd place poster.
Lindsay McClenaghan stands in front of her 2nd place poster.

Other posters included:

  • Bluemel, B., Dunn, C., Hart, C. and Saxon, M., 2012, Biogeochemical signatures and relationships to rare earth element and zirconium mineralization at the Norra Kärr deposit, southern Sweden;
  • Bordet, E. and Hart, C.J.R., 2012, Eocene volcanic stratigraphy of the Nechako region, central British Columbia;
  • Ciolkiewicz, W., Mortensen, J., Ryan, J. and Hart, C., 2012, Magmatic space-time-composition patterns of the Late Cretaceous metallogenic event in west-central Yukon and east-central Alaska;
  • Cox, D., Hart, C. and Allan, M., 2012, Geochemical dispersion in the pergiacial environments of the Dawson Range and White Gold district;
  • Hames, B., Roberts, M. and Hart, C.J.R., 2012, The Whistler porphyry Au-Cu system: geometry & paragenesis;
  • Looby, E., Hart, C. and Della Libera, M., 2012, Characterization of the Blackwater gold deposit, central B.C.;
  • McClenaghan, L., Hart, C.J.R., Gregory, M. and Rebagliati, M., 2012, Genesis of the Newton gold deposit explained by stable isotopes;
  • McNulty, B.A., Gregory, M.J., Oliver, J. and Roberts, K., 2012, Short-wave infrared spectral analysis of hydrothermal alteration from the Niblack polymetallic VMS deposit;
  • Milton, J.E., Hickey, K.A. and Gleeson, S.A., 2012, Deformation related copper mineralization? Hydrothermal, epigenetic sedimentary rock hosted copper deposits of the Redstone Copper Belt, N.W.T., Canada;
  • Norris, J.R., Hart, C.J.R., Tosdal, R.M. and Rees, C., 2012, The Red Chris Cu-Au porphyry deposit: pervasive intermediate argillic alteration;
  • Scorrar, B.A., Hart, C.J.R., Ray, G.E., Cooper, P., Willard, R. and Ellis, J.R., 2012, The age and character of gold mineralization at the Buckhorn Mountain gold skarn, Okanogan County, Washington, USA;
  • Stock, E.D., 2012, Detailed geology from a surface outcrop above the Cochenour-Willans lode Au deposit, Red Lake Mine Trend, northwestern Ontario, Canada;
  • Tucker, M., Hart, C. and Carne, R., 2012, Nadaleen Gold - Carlin type gold mineralization of the Conrad Zone.
Craig Hart talking about the PIMS project at Tuesday's Technical Session.

At Tuesday morning's Technical Session, Public Geoscience: Preparing for the Next 100 Years, Craig Hart presented results from a recent MDRU project PIMS ‐ Porphyry Indicator Minerals as a New Exploration Tool for BC Porphyry Deposits. This pilot project highlighted the promising early results from research by Farhad Bouzari, which identified easy methods for characterizing the intensity of alteration in common resistate accessory minerals from porphyry systems.

Farhad Bouzari and Sassan Liaghat in discussion at the MDRU booth during the Trade Show.

MDRU hosted a Trade Show booth with the Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences during the multi-day event. Thanks to those that dropped by and chatted with the many graduate students and researchers at the booth.




Andy Abraham during the Leapfrog short course immediately following the Roundup.

Leapfrog 3D Structural Modelling Short Course
Following a busy week of Roundup activities, Leapfrog representative and expert user Dr. Andy Abraham, delivered a rousing review of Leapfrog's capabilities through a series of practical exercises and theoretical discussion to a select audience of MDRU students, corporate members and professionals from Teck Resources Ltd., Kinross Gold Corp., Castle Peak Mining Ltd., and Goldcorp Inc. Leapfrog's value in a competitive spatial visualization market is its rapid 3D visualization capabilities, and the ability to model geological data and predict ore geometry through the input of structural controls. MDRU has been proud to include Leapfrog among the many investigative resources available to our students and researchers.

Recent Publications

  • Bouzari, F., Hart, C.J.R., Barker, S. and Bissig, T., 2011, Porphyry Indicator Minerals (PIMS): a new exploration tool for concealed deposits in south-central British Columbia: Geoscience BC Report 2011-17.
  • Chapman, R.J., Mortensen, J.K. and LeBarge, W.P., 2011, Styles of lode gold mineralization contributing to the placers of the Indian River and Black Hills Creek, Yukon Territory, Canada as deduced from microchemical characterization of placer gold grains: Mineralium Deposita v. 46, no. 8, pp. 881–903.
  • Hiyate, A., (editor), 2011, Pat Sheahan: a diamond-seeker's best friend: in Diamonds in Canada, November 2011, published by The Northern Miner.
  • Kopylova, M.G., Afanasiev, V.P., Bruce, L.F. and Ryder, J., 2011, Diamond exploration in orogenic settings: lessons from Wawa Metaconglomerate [abs. and presentation]: 39th Annual Yellowknife Geoscience Forum, Yellowknife, NWT, Nov. 15-17, 2011, Abstracts of Talks and Posters, p. 52.
  • Kopylova, M.G., Afanasiev, V.P., Bruce, L.F., Thurston, P.C. and Ryder, J., 2011, Metaconglomerate preserves evidence for kimberlite, diamondiferous root and medium grade terrane of a pre-2.7 Ga Southern Superior protocraton: Earth and Planetary Science Letters v. 312, no. 1-2, pp. 213-225.
  • Miller, C.E., Kopylova, M. and Ryder, J., 2011, Vanished diamondiferous cratonic root below the southern Superior Province [abs. and presentation]: 39th Annual Yellowknife Geoscience Forum, Yellowknife, NWT, Nov. 15-17, 2011, Abstracts of Talks and Posters, p. 63.
  • Milton, J.E., Hickey, K.A. and Gleeson, S.A., 2011, The geology of the Redstone Copperbelt [abs. and presentation]: 39th Annual Yellowknife Geoscience Forum, Yellowknife, NWT, Nov. 15-17, 2011, Abstracts of Talks and Posters, p. 64.
  • Moss, S. and Russell, J.K., 2011, Fragmentation in kimberlite: products and intensity of explosive eruption: Bulletin of Volcanology v. 73, no. 8, pp. 983–1003.
  • Porritt, L.A. and Cas, R.A.F., 2011, The influence of complex intra- and extra-vent processes on facies characteristics of the Koala Kimberlite, NWT, Canada: volcanology, sedimentology and intrusive processes: Bulletin of Volcanology v. 73, no. 6, pp. 717–735.
  • Porritt, L.A. and Cas, R.A.F., Ailleres, L. and Oshust, P., 2011, The influence of volcanological and sedimentological processes on diamond grade distribution in kimberlites: examples from the EKATI Diamond Mine, NWT, Canada: Bulletin of Volcanology v. 73, no. 8, pp. 1085–1105.
  • Russell, J.K., Porritt, L.A., Lavallée, Y. and Dingwell, D.B., 2011, Kimberlite ascent by assimilation-fuelled buoyancy: Nature, v. 481, pp. 352–356.
  • van Straaten, B.I., Kopylova, M.G., Russell, J.K. and Scott Smith, B.H., 2011, A rare occurrence of a crater-filling clastogenic extrusive coherent kimberlite, Victor Northwest (Ontario, Canada): Bulletin of Volcanology v. 73, no. 8, pp. 1047–1062.

Yukon Gold Rocks

Murray Allan and Tim Wrighton panning for gold in the Yukon.

The Yukon Gold Project team braved -35C temperatures as it held another successful technical meeting for sponsor companies in Whitehorse in November. The project has provided significant advances in the understanding of the nature and timing of mineralization in the Dawson Range and White Gold Districts. In addition, Project Leader Murray Allan gave a summary talk on the metallogeny of the project area at the Geoscience Forum, 19-23 November 2011, Whitehorse, Yukon. He also presented this talk later in December at the Vancouver Mining Exploration Group (MEG) "White Hot Yukon – Rocks and Beyond " short course. Craig Hart also presented a talk at the workshop, entitled Tintina Gold Province - The Next Generation. Both talks are available to members on the MDRU website.

Graduate students on the Yukon Gold project presented some of their research as posters at the Yukon Geoscience Forum. All of the posters listed below are viewable by MDRU Members on the Members Area of the website at

  • Bailey. L., Hart, C., Allan, M. and Mortensen, J., 2011, Lithologic and structural controls on gold mineralization at the Golden Saddle Deposit, White Gold district, Yukon Territory;
  • Ciolkiewicz, W., 2011, Late Cretaceous magmatism and metallogeny in west-central Yukon Exploration guidelines;
  • Cox, D., Hart, C. and Allan, M., 2011, Geochemical dispersion in the pergiacial environments of the Dawson Range and White Gold district;
  • Tucker, M., Hart, C. and Carne, R., 2011, Nadaleen Gold - Carlin type gold mineralization of the Conrad Zone;
  • Wrighton, T., Chapman, R. and Mortensen, J., 2011, The application of microchemical characterization and shape analysis of placer gold from the unglaciated portion of the Western Yukon.

MDRU also presented a one-day short course on Carlin-style gold deposits: Thermal and geochemical footprints of the Carlin hydrothermal systems in Nevada. UBC professor Kenneth Hickey and Post-Doctoral Fellow Shaun Barker ran the event for the sold out group of 60 participants. The course was sponsored by the Geological Association of Canada®, Aurora Geosciences, and Yukon Geological Survey.

Northwest Mining Association Conference, 30 November–2 December, Reno, Nevada

Craig Hart, Karie Smith, and PhD Candidate Trent Newkirk managed the MDRU booth at the Northwest Mining Association Conference held at John Ascuaga's Nugget Casino Resort. This conference gives MDRU the opportunity to reinforce its connections with US-based companies and representatives from Nevada's many gold mines.

Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada, 4 - 7 March, 2012

Craig Hart, Karie Smith, Thomas Bissig and Greg Dipple attended the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada Convention at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Toronto Ontario, March 4-7, 2012. MDRU and EOS made a big splash with a shared booth and flew the flag high.

UBC – SEG Student Chapter Update

Volcano in the Philippines.

The UBC SEG Student Chapter is stepping into high-gear with the organization of the 2012 international field trip to the Philippines in May 2012. The trip will include seven mine visits and exploration properties, and exciting geological discoveries such a hike of Mount Pinatubo, and a visit of the Rice Terraces World Heritage site. The trip will be attended by eight students from the UBC-SEG Student Chapter, eight industry participants and some graduate students from the University of the Philippines.
The Chapter also recently conducted short courses including an ioGas geochemistry workshop, training in portable and bench-top XRF apparatus, and hosted a presentation on El Indio by SEG Honorary Lecturer Dr. Kevin Heather.
Upcoming events include a field trip to the Gibraltar Mine, a student-industry mixer in the first half of April. More information on our website

Additions to the MDRU Family!

Murray Allan and his wife, Sanya Pleshakov, are the beaming new parents of the department's first 2012 baby: Nicolaas Alexander Pleshakov Allan.

Yukon Gold Project Researcher Murray Allan and his wife, Sanya Pleshakov, are the beaming new parents of the department's first 2012 baby: Nicolaas Alexander Pleshakov Allan. Nico arrived in the midst of a blustery snowstorm, shortly after midnight on January 19, 2012. The department are thrilled for Murray and Sanya as they take on this new chapter!

Congratulations also to Abdul Razique and family as they are now blessed with a healthy son. Zubaida and son Saif-ur-rehman are both now at home and in good health.

And finally, to add to the good news, Peter and Christine MacDonald were overjoyed to welcome their first child, son Henry Russell MacDonald, born February 11th.

Congratulations and best wishes to both the new and veteran parents in our group!

Upcoming Events

Britt Bluemel at the Exploration Geochemistry short course at the 2012 Roundup.

Short Courses

SC 67 Field Mapping of Ore Deposits I (SOLD OUT):
John Dilles, Oregon State University, Richard Tosdal, MDRU - March 8 - April 5, 2012, Yerington, NV

SC 68 Carlin Footprints: Identifying Far-Field Vectors Toward Ore:
Kenneth A. Hickey, UBC, Shaun L.L. Barker, UBC and Gregory M. Dipple, UBC - April 12, 2012 Vancouver

SC 69 Field Mapping of Ore Deposits II (SOLD OUT):
John Dilles, Oregon State University, Richard Tosdal, MDRU - May 10 -18, 2012, Yerington, NV

SC 70 Structural Mapping:
SRK Consulting - May 22 - 23, 2012, Vancouver

MDRU - Mineral Deposit Research Unit - The University of British Columbia
6339 Stores Road, Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z4 / Ph. 604.822.6136 / Fax 604.822.6088 / /

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