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posted on February 24, 2021

MDRU SC112: Learn The Ins & Outs of Portable X-ray Fluorescence in Mineral Exploration and Mining

Registration is now closed as we have reached maximum capacity.  Thanks for your interest – stay tuned for more short courses.

This online course will provide an introduction to the practicalities of using portable x-ray fluorescence instruments (pXRF) in the mineral exploration and mining environment. On the first day, we will cover a variety of themes relating to pXRF best practices, including the strengths and weaknesses of pXRF, how pXRF instruments work, the value proposition of pXRF data, designing a fit-for-purpose pXRF survey and pXRF calibration. On the second day, a series of case studies will be presented on the use of portable X-ray fluorescence in mineral exploration and mining workflows including exploration for porphyry copper, low-sulfidation epithermal Au-Ag, VHMS and orogenic gold deposits, as well as a case study of how pXRF fits within a mineral exploration workflow.



Day 1 (April 12: 9:00am – 1:30pm PST)           Introduction to pXRF 

Day 2  (April 13: 11:00am – 4:00pm PST)       Advanced Case Studies in the Use of pXRF


Who should attend?

This course is suitable for anyone considering or planning pXRF analysis, which may help you avoid costly mistakes down the road.

In Preparation for This Course:

  • Digitized course materials will be made available to all participants few days prior to the short course (a link will be shared).


April 12, 2021
April 13, 2021
Event Categories:


Early Bird 350 (closes on Mar 31) | Regular 450 + GST
Free Event:
MDRU Corporate Members
50 + GST
MDRU Internal (RA/PDF/UBC Faculty):
75 + GST


Jeanne Liu, MDRU Events

Course Program

Day 1 - Introduction to pXRF
  • Welcome Course Introduction and Overview
  • pXRF Introduction, Strengths and Weaknesses
  • Whatever You Needed To Know About XRF and Forgot To Ask About Until You Are In the Field
  • The Basics of pXRF Calibration – What Happens In The Factory
  • The Value Proposition of pXRF Data
  • Designing a Fit For Purpose pXRF Program – with Case Study Examples
  • Practicalities of XRF Calibration In The Field
Day 2 - Advanced Case Studies in the Use Of pXRF
  • Assessing porphyry potential using pXRF
  • Use of Handheld XRF Analyzer as Production Grade Control Tool in Open-Pit Environment
  • pXRF in Exploration for VHMS Deposits
  • pXRF as Part of An Exploration Workflow
  • A pXRF Campaign in a Giant Gold Orebody – Obuasi, Ghana: Implications for Geology and Mining Of The Orebody


Dr. Ayesha Ahmed
Senior Project Geochemist

Ayesha Ahmed is an exploration geochemist with over 10 years’ experience. She is passionate about integrating new analytical techniques and geoscience initiatives into exploration workflows. Her current role is as senior project geochemist with Teck Resources, based out of Vancouver. Prior to this position, she obtained her MSc from MDRU (2010; University of British Colombia) and PhD from CODES (2019; University of Tasmania, Australia).

Dr. Shaun Barker

Shaun Barker is the Director of the Mineral Deposit Research Unit at UBC. Shaun has a background of geochemistry, mineralogy and structural geology. Shaun's research focuses on the application of geochemical and isotopic tools to understand the flow of hydrothermal fluids through the Earth's crust, with a particular focus on hydrothermal ore deposits. Shaun is involved in a diverse range of research projects and has worked on a variety of gold and copper deposits. Shaun has particular research expertise on vectoring within the cryptic alteration footprints of various carbonate-hosted ore deposit types, including Carlin-type gold deposits in Nevada, and the Mount Isa Cu deposit in Queensland. Currently, he also leads the AMIRA P1206 research project, on the application of resistate indicator mineral chemistry in exploration for sedimentary-hosted Cu deposits. 

Dr. James Cleverley
Global Product Manager - Geosciences
REFLEX (Imdex Ltd)

Dr. Cleverley is based in the UK office of IMDEX Limited (REFLEX and AMC), an ASX-Listed leading global technology company, and he has 25 years experience in academia, applied research, product development and understanding the challenges of customers. James joined IMDEX following his research work at CSIRO and leading research initiatives in exploration technology development and advanced x-ray characterisation, including the Lab-at-Rig. He has had experience with portable XRF since early 2000’s, and worked to embed the sensing with software and hardware to deliver value in exploration and mining.

Michael Gazley
Principal Geochemist
RSC Mining & Mineral Exploration

Michael is RSC’s Principal Geochemist. He is an expert at collecting data for and interpreting diverse chemical and mineralogical deposit-scale datasets. Michael has worked globally on many different mineral system types including orogenic Au, epithermal Au, placer Au, shear-hosted Cu, IOCG, Cu-Au porphyry, Pb-Zn-Ag deposits, and heavy mineral sands and other mineral systems in New Zealand, Australia and globally. Michael has a keen interest in cutting-edge data handling and machine learning techniques to maximise value from geochemical, mineralogical and remote sensing datasets. He is a graduate of Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.

Simon Griffiths
Director and Chief Consultant
Third Planet Exploration Services Ltd.

Simon Griffiths is a consulting economic geologist with a Masters’ degree and 30 years of experience in mineral exploration, working for major mining companies on various commodities (Cu, Au, Ag, Pb-Zn, U, Ni, diamonds, coal and coal bed methane). Simon started his career as an Exploration Geologist with the Fresnillo Group based in Sonora, Mexico. After 7 years in Mexico he went on to work in the USA and Canada, then Australia, Asia, Africa and South America. During this time, roles such as Global Chief Geochemist in Barrick Gold (8 years) and then Barrick’s Chief Geologist for South America (2 years), required managing all aspects geochemical exploration programs across the globe and involved significant contributions to mid and long-term exploration strategy planning. Simon has also managed a large pre-feasibility study for a high-profile Rio Tinto thermal coal property on indigenous lands in the U.S. and was Laboratory Manager for one of Rio Tinto’s diamond processing labs.

Dr. Shawn Hood
Vice President of Technical Services
GoldSpot Discoveries

Shawn Hood is the Vice President of Technical Services at GoldSpot Discoveries, with experience in mineral exploration, mining, and academia spanning 15 years. His roles in industry include brownfield and greenfield exploration, open pit and underground mining, and the direction and application of R&D. Shawn applies machine learning to understand ore deposits by integrating disparate datasets to enhance mineral exploration work programmes. He has a focus on understanding how this technology can deliver objective and repeatable results in mineral exploration settings, especially where trained geoscientists can apply their expert knowledge to guide machine learning models. Shawn obtained his MSc at the Mineral Deposit Research Unit (MDRU) at the University of British Columbia in 2011, and his PhD at the Centre of Ore Deposit and Earth Sciences (CODES) in 2019. 

Todd Houlahan
Director, International Mining Group · ‎Olympus Scientific Solutions

Todd graduated from the University of Newcastle, Australia in 1993 with a BAppSc majoring in soil science. He worked for 7 years in Australia and the UK as a contaminated land consultant before using a portable XRF while remediating a lead contaminated site in Sydney in 2000. Since then, Todd’s career has been dedicated to pXRF and he has worked globally as a consultant, contractor, distributor and in technical, sales and business development positions based in Australia, Germany and the UK for the 2 most prominent portable XRF manufacturers. Since 2008, Todd has been the Director of International Mining at Olympus, focused on long term partnerships and collaboration with the minerals industry and best practice application of pXRF.

Michael Hull
Product Manager - Analytical Instruments - XRF & XRD · ‎Olympus IMS

Michael W. Hull is the Product Manager for Olympus Corporation of the Americas in their Analytical Instruments division. Day-to-day he develops custom solutions for XRF and XRD users. He earned a PhD in Inorganic Chemistry (2009) from the University of Notre Dame. He utilizes X-ray techniques for materials characterization and analytical identification. He was a faculty member in the Department of Natural Sciences at Northwest Missouri State University, before joining Olympus, and has been a visiting researcher at Rice University (2015) and the Colorado School of Mines (2014). He can be reached at michael.hull@olympus.com.

Dr. Nick Oliver
Principal Consultant
Holcombe Coughlin Oliver Valenta Global
Dr. Pierre-Simon Ross
Centre Eau Terre Environnement (ETE)

Pierre-Simon Ross, géo., PhD is a professor at Institut national de la recherche scientifique in Quebec City, Canada. He specializes in economic geology, geochemistry and volcanology. He has been using portable XRF analyzers and a multi-sensor core logger since 2010 to discriminate different volcanic lithologies and study hydrothermal alteration in VMS systems. Recently he has applied pXRF technology to regional bedrock mapping and glacial prospecting applications.

Alexander Seyfarth
Global XRF Technology Manager
SGS Canada

Global Technology Manager for XRF with the Natural Resource Division of SGS S.A, Domiciled in Janesville WI USA. Dipl. Mineralogist (Geochemistry and Crystallography) with over 20 years’ experience in X-Ray Spectroscopy, Diffraction and Vibrational Spectroscopy.
Experience in Product Development, Application Development and Production in pXRF, laboratory XRF as well as Chemometric method development (Bruker, Thermo Fisher Scientific). Lecturer for University Western Ontario Short Course in XRF (2003-2016), LXCG XRF Course at Hamilton College USA, (2017 onwards), XRF Boot Camp for Conservators (by Getty & Yale) and many other seminars.

Juho Torvi
Manager of Geology and Mining Engineering
Terraframe Oy

Juho Torvi, M.Sc (Tech), is the Manager of Geology and Mining Engineering department at Terrafame Oy. He has over 10 years experience in rock engineering, open-pit mining and mine planning. Mr Torvi is specialized in optimized mine planning and developing hard rock open-pit mining processes. Member of Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy in the discipline of Mining Engineering since 2019.