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posted on September 12, 2018

MDRU SC104: Discovery Through Cover Using Geochemistry: A Global Context (AME Roundup 2019)*


Registration is now closed as the course is full.  Email mdruevents@eoas.ubc.ca if you wish to be put on the waitlist.  Thanks again for considering our short course.

Transported and highly weathered overburden remains an impediment to the discovery of mineral deposits across the globe. Geochemistry has been a major and successful component of mineral discovery in residual terrains, however, its application in transported overburden is poorly understood, poorly executed and often contentious in application and interpretation. This short course will examine through practical case studies combined with clear theory and geochemical principles, the application of exploration geochemistry in transported overburden within four different climatic/tectonic regions:

  • Northern latitudes, stable continental, concealed by till – Canada; Scandinavia, Russia
  • Arid/hyper-arid deserts, tectonically active/inactive – Chile, Mexico, SW-USA, Namibia;
  • Tropical, stable continental, deeply weathered – Central Africa, central-NE S. America;
  • Arid, Stable continental, deeply weathered – Australia, West Africa.

Who should attend:

Geologists, junior Geochemists, Exploration managers, Project managers.
The course is aimed at providing the exploration geologist/manager with a suite of common sense applied geochemical exploration tools applicable to the different environmental regions.

What to bring:

Short course material and presentations are uploaded on USB flash drives and will be provided to each participant upon arrival.  Feel free to bring your laptop and battery pack, pen and notepad.  We recommend you dress accordingly as the conference room temperature may vary.

Top 5 Take-aways:

  • Basic principles of Exploration Geochemistry and anomaly formation
  • Development of the current surface environment, impact on geochemistry
  • Sampling media, sample program design, appropriate analytical techniques
  • Data interpretation in the context of the environment
  • Pitfalls and inappropriate applications to avoid

Please view the technical program agenda for further details. For questions, please email mdruevents@eoas.ubc.ca.

* Short course will be hosted at BCIT Downtown Campus Room 280-284 (a short walk away from the Vancouver Convention Centre East).


January 26, 2019 @ 8:30 am
January 27, 2019 @ 5:00 pm
Event Category:
<a href="https://roundup.amebc.ca/events/mdru-course-2/">https://roundup.amebc.ca/events/mdru-course-2/ </a>


MDRU Corporate Members:
690 + GST
890 + GST
190 + GST



Additional Information

More Info:

Coffee, refreshments and lunch will be provided.

Lunch Sponsor:

Reception Sponsor:


Course Program

Day 1 -
  • Principles of Geochemistry. Applying chemistry to geochemistry, element relationships, major, minor and trace hosts.
  • Ore deposit geochemistry, mineralisation styles, key elements, pathfinders, lithogeochemimical signatures, element distribution amongst minerals.
  • Weathering and dispersion, physical, chemical, element mobility under changing conditions.
  • Sample types, survey design, survey scales, soils, stream sediments, vegetation, termite mounds, Objectives of different media.
  • Analytical opportunities, digestions, instrumental finishes, fire assay.
  • Quality control and quality assurance.
  • Data interpretation – thinking beyond just pressing the buttons. Principles, practises, advanced.
  • Climatic, palaeo-climatic, tectonic zones: introduction.
  • Geochemistry for Exploration and Discovery in Stable tectonic, deeply weathered, active tropical regimes. a) Regolith development and element dispersion b) Survey design c) Data Interpretation
Day 1 - Reception (5:00pm - 7:00pm)
Day 2 -
  • Geochemistry for Exploration and Discovery through till. a) Glacial materials, surface mapping, element dispersion b) Indicator minerals c) surface geochemistry d) Vegetation
  • Geochemistry for Exploration and Discovery in hyper-arid tectonically active terrains. a) Terrain development and surface characteristics b) Element dispersion mechanisms, tectonic implications c) Ground water, Surface sampling principles and practices.
  • Geochemistry for Exploration and Discovery in arid, deeply weathered terrains. a) Further regolith development and element dispersion b) Survey design c) Data Interpretation
  • Discussion and wrap up


Peter Winterburn
Research Chair in Exploration Geochemistry (MDRU - UBC)

Peter is an exploration geochemist with over 25 years of experience in industry prior to joining the Mineral Deposit Research Unit (MDRU) as a professor of exploration geochemistry at the University of British Columbia, Canada, in 2014. Peter was previously employed by Anglo American plc as their regional geochemist in Africa and subsequently in South America, based out of Santiago, Chile, following which he held the post of chief geochemist for global exploration with Vale, based out of Toronto, Canada. Peter has worked in over 60 countries representing a range of environments from tropical to arctic to arid deserts in both mountainous and subdued terrains. He is currently the NSERC/AcmeLabs/Bureau Veritas Minerals Research Chair in Exploration Geochemistry at MDRU, where he directs a program aimed at answering many of the questions and providing practical applications with respect to the discovery of mineral deposits through transported overburden. Peter has active research projects and students in British Columbia, the Northwest Territories, Colombia, and Chile, where he is working on a dominant theme of understanding the processes of anomaly generation and anomaly retention in the surface soils in areas where mineralisation is concealed by exotic materials. This research includes themes as diverse as regolith mapping, surface organic and inorganic geochemistry, soil mineralogy, structural mapping, extractive geochemistry, geochemistry in hyper-arid terrains and microbial genomics.