Newsletter of the Mineral Deposit Research Unit at UBC

October 2012

New Corporate Members for 2012

We would like to thank and welcome our newest 2012 MDRU Corporate Members. In particular, we wish to thank New Gold Inc. who have become MDRU's newest Foundation Member, and they join with ALS, AngloAmerican Exploration Canada, Barrick Gold Corp, Eldorado Gold Corp, Goldcorp Inc., Independence Gold Corp (prev. Silver Quest), Kinross Gold Corp., and Teck Resources Ltd. at that membership level.

The new MDRU Corporate Members for 2012 include: Agnico-Eagle Mines Ltd., AUX Colombia Ltda., Centerra Gold Inc., Colorado Resources Ltd., Klondike Gold Corp., Mundoro Capital Inc., Paget Mineral Corp., Rackla Metals Inc., Skyline Gold Corp., and Sunward Resources Ltd.

A full list of corporate member are at:

A New Building and New Space for MDRU

ESB building

The new Earth Science Building is complete and is currently undergoing occupancy. MDRU is gearing up and moving into a spectacular new space. After two long years of construction the opening can not come soon enough.

Stay tuned for announcements regarding upcoming events in the new space.

New Projects

Western Tethyan Metallogeny Project: MDRU has initiated a three-year, industry-sponsored research project to provide participating companies with new knowledge to more effectively explore in the geologically diverse Western Tethyan region. This project has so far attracted several industry participants who will comprise a consortium that will focus the project's objectives. Throughout the project, these companies will be provided with an improved foundation of knowledge with which to make informed exploration and acquisition decisions. This project would be beneficial for any exploration or mining company working in the region who recognize the competitive advantages of exploring smarter.

RA Alex Miskovic.

Aleksandar Mišković will lead the project and have the responsibility of project design, implementation and synthesis of various thematic components into a deliverable product. The project is accepting new industry participants and started during the summer of 2012 with a kick-off sponsors meeting in Canakkele, Turkey. Interested participants should contact Aleksandar and visit the project page on the MDRU website.

Carbonate Alteration Footprints Project: MDRU has initiated a three-year, industry-sponsored research project to test the application of stable carbon and oxygen isotope ratios in carbonate rocks. In order to maximize potential application to exploration, this project will utilize a new, field-portable instrument that MDRU has developed. This project is of benefit to companies exploring for carbonate-hosted deposits, who recognize the potential to apply new technology and new approaches to improve targeting and vectoring towards mineralization.

Carbonate-hosted mineral deposits generally have relatively narrow and poorly-developed alteration footprints. However, interactions between hydrothermal fluids and carbonate rocks are recorded by carbon and oxygen isotopes within the carbonate host rocks and veins. This isotopic alteration footprint tends to extend well beyond the limits of ore and visible alteration, as well as geochemical anomalies.

Post Doc Shaun Barker.

This project is currently accepting new industry sponsors to collaborate with in a research project to characterize carbonate alteration footprints of multiple ore systems, and to determine the practical exploration applications and sampling protocols associated with this technology. Research Associate Shaun Barker will lead the project. Interested participants should contact Shaun and visit the project page on the MDRU website.


Post Doc Rob Duncan.

Rob Duncan has signed on as a Post-Doctoral Fellow to develop a new research initiative at MDRU which will help to develop new insights into the genetic diversity of Iron Oxide-Copper-Gold (IOCG) deposits. The aim of the project is to develop more effective exploration methodologies for IOCG deposits in order to increase exploration success. Work will be undertaken to better understand structural controls, the timing of mineralization, and the source of fluids and metals in these important ore forming systems. Funding for this project is currently sourced from a MITACS Elevate Strategic Post-Doctoral award.

This project will build on the success of previous research Rob undertook during a three year Post-Doctoral position at Colorado School of Mines. Rob brings to MDRU technical experience from Canada, Central America, and Australia.

New People

Post Doc Matias Sanchez.

Post Doctoral Fellow Matias Sanchez joins MDRU after completing his PhD thesis at the Fault Dynamics Research Group at the Royal Holloway University of London. He will be working with Murray Allan and the Yukon Gold team to evaluate the structural and tectonic framework of eastern Yukon and western Alaska.

GIS Specialist Sara Jenkins

Sara Jenkins officially joined MDRU in October as a GIS specialist, having previously consulted for MDRU's Yukon Gold and Colombia projects. In her current role, she will be focusing on integrating best-available geologic datasets from multiple sources for the Western Tethyan project, and assisting MDRU students with their own GIS questions. You might find her with a camera in her hand as well; she's our unofficial photographer.


New Students

MSc candidate Antonio Celis.

Antonio Celis MSc candidate with Farhad Bouzari, working on the Porphyry Indicator Minerals (PIMs) Project in alkalic porphyry Cu-Au deposits of south-central BC. Antonio has been active as an exploration geologist in Chile for the previous eight years.

MSc candidate Irene Del Real.

Irene Del Real MSc candidate. Irene's thesis, Characterization of Alkalic & Calc-Alkalic Porphyry Clusters: Woodjam District, central British Columbia is sponsored by Gold Fields Canada Exploration and Geoscience BC. Prior coming to UBC Irene was a Researcher in the Univerisity of Chile, working on regional mapping in the Camiña area, northern Chile.

MSc candidate Sergio Gamonal.

Sergio Gamonal MSc candidate. Sergio's Kinross sponsored project will focus on the mineralization, alteration & magmatism at the La Coipa Au-Ag Deposit, Maricunga belt, Chile. Before joning MDRU, Sergio was at La Coipa mine working with different topics like modeling of alteration with Terraspec spectrometer, surface geochemistry and targeting.

MSc candidate Enkhgerel Gerelchuluun.

Enkhgerel Gerelchuluun MSc candidate. Enkhgerel is supported by Oyu Tolgoi LLC (Rio Tinto) and is still working out the details for his thesis project. He comes to UBC after working for Connect Resource Services Mongolia LLC, In Mongolia.

PhD candidate Ana Maria Guerra.

Ana Maria Guerra PhD candidate. Ana is working with Craig Hart and Thomas Bissig on the Colombia Gold & Porphyry Project studying regional metallogenesis and tectonics of the "middle" Cauca gold belt, Colombia. Ana completed her MSc in economic geology at McGill University, where she studied potassic alteration at Canadian Malartic gold deposit in Quebec. After receiving an undergraduate degree in Geological Engineering from the National University of Colombia, Ana spent several seasons in the field on exploration projects in both Canada and Colombia.

Thesis Completions

Congratulations to all our students who have recently defended their theses:

Moira Cruikshanks, MSc The thermochronology of Carlin-type gold, Nevada

Shawn Hood, MSc Mid-crustal Cu-Au mineralisation during episodic pluton emplacement, hydrothermal fluid flow, and ductile deformation at the Minto deposit, YT, Canada

Will Lepore, MSc Mapping Hydrothermal Fluid Flow With High Density Sampling of Oxygen and Carbon Isotope Ratios in Carbonate Rocks of the Long Canyon Au Deposit, NE, Nevada.

Jessica Norris, MSc Evolution of alteration and mineralization at the Red Chris copper-gold porphyry deposit East zone, northwestern British Columbia, Canada

Elizabeth Stock, PhD The mineralogical, geochemical and isotope characteristics of alteration, mineralization and metamorphism of the Red Lake Gold Mines, Ontario

Recent Publications

  • Blaine, F.A. and Hart, C.J.R., 2012, Geochemical-exploration models for porphyry deposits in British Columbia; in Geoscience BC Summary of Activities 2011, Geoscience BC, Report 2012-1, p. 29–40.
  • Mantilla Figueroa, L.C., Bissig, T., Cottle, J.M. and Hart, C.J.R., 2012, Remains of early Ordovician mantle-derived magmatism in the Santander Massif (Colombian Eastern Cordillera): Journal of South American Earth Sciences, Volume 38, October 2012, Pages 1–12.
  • Richards, J.P., Spell, T., Rameh, E., Razique, A. and Fletcher, T., 2012, High Sr/Y magmas reflect arc maturity, high magmatic water content, and porphyry Cu ± Mo ± Au potential: examples from the Tethyan Arcs of central and eastern Iran and western Pakistan: Economic Geology, v. 107, pp. 295–332.
  • Vaca, S., Bissig, T., Raudsepp, M. and Hart, C.J.R., 2012, Chemical variations of pyroxene and Fe-Ti–oxide crystals in basalts hosting Cu-Au porphyry mineralization in the Quesnel terrane, interior British Columbia (NTS 092H, I, P, 093A, J, N); in Geoscience BC Summary of Activities 2011, Geoscience BC, Report 2012-1, p. 69–78.


MDRU was well represented at recent GAC-MAC and Goldschmidt Conferences, with students and researchers presenting talks and posters.

GAC-MAC 2012 - St. John's, NL

  • Ahmed, A.D., Hickey, K.A., Barker, S.L.L., and Leonardson, R.W. - Lateral fluid flow underneath and into Carlin-type gold deposits: Isotopic constraints on the path of hydrothermal fluid flow - Poster
  • Barker, S.L.L., Vaughan, J., Hickey, K.A., Cruickshanks, M., and Zwingmann, H. - Constraining the age of low-temperature metasomatism of a Carlin-type gold deposit, Nevada - Oral presentation
  • Bluemel, B., Dunn, C., Hart, C., and Saxon, M. - Biogeochemical signatures and relationships to rare earth element and zirconium mineralization at the Norra Kärr deposit, southern Sweden - Oral presentation
  • Cruickshanks, M., Hickey, K.A., Barker, S.L.L. and Donelick, R.A., - Distal expressions of mineralizing systems: Records of hydrothermal fluid flow in low-temperature thermochronology and chemistry of apatite - Poster
  • Cruickshanks, M., Hickey, K.A., Donelick, R.A., and Reiners, P.W. - Late Cretaceous exhumation in northern central Nevada: evidence from low-temperature apatite and zircon (U-Th)/He and apatite fission track thermochronology - Oral presentation
  • Hickey, K.A., Dipple, G.M., Barker, S.L.L., Arehart, G.B., and Donelick, R.A. - The brevity of hydrothermal fluid flow revealed by thermal haloes around giant Au-deposits - Oral presentation
  • Lepore, W.A., Hickey, K.A., Barker, S.L.L., and Smith, M.T. - High density 18O/16O isotopic mapping of hydro-thermal fluid flow pathways within carbonate rock-hosted gold deposits: NE Nevada - Poster
  • Milton, J.E., Hickey, K.A., Gleeson, S.A., and Jercinovic, M.J. - Tracing fluid-flow through space and time: Epigenetic mineralization in the Redstone Copperbelt - Oral presentation
  • Newkirk, T.T., Hickey, K.A., Bissig, T., Reiners, P.W., and Donelick, R.A. - Implications of and observations from the post-mineralization weathering, denudation, and burial of Carlin-type Au-mineralization - Oral presentation
  • Smar, L.M., Hickey, K.A., and Jackson, V.A. - Complex deformational history of supracrustal rocks of the Coronation Supergroup, southern Wopmay Orogen: Thrusting, shortening and thickening of a Proterozoic wedge against a cold Archean craton - Oral presentation
  • Tucker, M.J., Hart, C.J.R., and Carne, R.C. - The Rackla Gold Belt – A Yukon relative to Carlin-type systems - Oral presentation
  • Vaughan, J.R., Hickey, K.A., Barker, S.L.L. and Dipple, G.M.- High density isotopic mapping of hydrothermal fluid flow in carbonate-hosted hydrothermal systems: Implications for the genesis of, and exploration for, Carlin-type Au-deposits - Oral presentation

Goldschmidt 2012 - Montreal, QC

  • Harrison, A, Power, I., Wilson, S., Dipple, G., Mayer, U. and Bea, B. - Reactive transport modeling of CO2 sequestration in mine tailings - Oral presentation
  • McCutcheon, J., Power, I., Harrison, A., Dipple, G. and Southam, G. - Microbially-accelerated carbon sequestration - Poster
  • Power, I., Wilson, S., Dipple, G. and Harrison, A. - Hydromagnesite-magnesite playas: A model for carbon storage - Oral presentation

Upcoming Events

Northwest Mining Association (NWMA) Annual Conference

December 3-7, 2013
Thoroughly Modern Mining in a Technology Based World
Spokane Convention Center, Spokane, WA

The Western Inter-University Geoscience Conference

January 3-5, 2013
The Western Inter-University Geoscience Conference (WIUGC) is an annual student-run conference that encourages undergraduate and graduate geosciences students to present their research through posters and technical presentations, discuss job opportunities, recent discoveries and technologies. The conference rotates between universities in Western Canada (British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba) and is this year hosted by UBC. If you are interested in participating, sponsoring or contributing to this event, check out their website at or contact Nicole at

Short Courses

Exploration Footprints of Hydrothermal Mineral Deposits
January 26 & 27, 2013
In conjunction with the AMEBC Roundup 2013

Hot Topics in Kimberlite Petrography
January 26, 2013

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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