MDRU-GIF 2: Geophysical Toolkit for GeologistsBritish Columbia, Canada
MDRU-GIF’s Geophysical Toolkit for Geologists is a resource being developed to provide guidance and an easy entryway for geoscientists to explore magnetic data.
Mineralogical Controls on Gold Recovery at Kişladağ, TurkeyTurkey
This is the maiden project for MDRU's Geometallurgy Initiative, which began in 2017. The project focuses on identifying the mineralogical controls that variably affect gold recovery at Eldorado Gold's Kişladağ mine in western Turkey.
Exploration Geochemistry InitiativeBritish Columbia, Northwest Territories, Chile
MDRU's Exploration Geochemistry Initiative provides leadership and resources to implement a five-year program to significantly increase the amount and quality of research and training in the discipline of mineral exploration geochemistry.
Carbonate Alteration Footprints of Hydrothermal Ore SystemsPeru; Nevada, USA; British Columbia
MDRU researchers are testing how the proprietary prototype analytical tool - the Mineral Isotope Analyser (MDRU-MIA) - can be used to map hydrothermal alteration footprints around a wide variety of ore deposits to maximize its application as a mineral exploration tool.
Extracting Geological Value from SeArch Airborne Magnetic Data, central BCwest-central British Columbia
The Skeena Arch in west-central BC hosts porphyry Cu-Au occurrences and other mineralization but has attracted only limited exploration due in part to the poor quality of the existing 40-year-old structural and geological framework. Using high-resolution aeromagnetic data collected by Geoscience BC, field mapping and ASTER imagery, MDRU researchers are adding significant geological value to the SeArch project area to promote exploration interest.
Application of Genomics to Mineral PotentialVarious sites, southern BC
A gram of fertile soil typically hosts more than 1onebillion microbial cells. MDRU researchers are evaluating the capacity for molecular analyses (gene sequencing) of soil microbial communities to reveal buried mineral deposits.
Structural and Thermal Evolution of the Klondike Gold Fields, YukonKlondike gold fields, Yukon territory, Canada
The Klondike Gold Fields in western Yukon produced >13 million ounces of placer gold but hard-rock deposits remain undiscovered. Exploration success has been hindered by the lack of a robust geological and structural framework. This project will use structural mapping and thermochronological studies to produce a new structural map for the Klondike and new constraints on the Mesozoic structural and thermal history of the Yukon-Tanana terrane (YTT).
Exploration Framework for Porphyry to Epithermal Transitions in the Toodoggone Mineral District, BCToodoggone District, Peace River Region, BC
The Toodoggone district in northeastern BC hosts numberous epithermal-type mineral deposits and occurrences and porphyry mineralization. Existing geochronological results indicate that the porphyry and at least some of the highly-varied epithermal systems are formed around the same time and as a result of the same processes. This project will establish district-scale exploration guidelines by determining mineral and alteration characteristics of individual mineral occurrences to construct a broader porphyry system geometry.
Geology, Geochronology & Geochemistry of the El Alacrán Deposit, San Matías Project, ColombiaSan Matías Project, Cordoba Department, northwestern Colombia
The San Matías Project (SMP) in Cordoba, Colombia will unravel the magmatic and hydrothermal evolution of this increasingly important mining district, with specific emphasis on the ore genesis of the El Alacrán deposit formation.
Dawson Range–Mount Freegold Mapping, Mineralization and Magmatism, YukonDawson Range and Mt. Freegold areas, Yukon Territory
Significant gold, silver, copper, and molybdenum resources remain undeveloped and undiscovered in the Dawson Range and Mount Freegold areas of Yukon, which also host a historic and active placer industry. This project will systematically examine the three distinct magmatic suites recognised in the area in terms of their compositional, geochronological, and isotopic characteristics, and investigate regional structural controls on the location of magmatism and mineralization.
MDRU Geometallurgy InitiativeWorldwide
MDRU's Geometallurgy Initiative is developing and implementing collaborative research opportunities, strategies and projects with industry partners to characterize orebody variability to improve mining performance. We will facilitate a new era in geometallurgical research, training, and education in this rapidly developing field.
Mineralogical Characteristics of Porphyry Fertile Plutons: Guichon Creek, Takomkane and Granite Mountain Batholiths, BCBritish Columbia, Canada
Distinguishing metal fertile from barren plutons is a significant challenge for exploration geologists seeking porphyry copper deposits. Information that contributes such a priori knowledge provides guidance early in the exploration process to more effectively and efficiently make decisions on focusing exploration resources on more prospective targets. However, geologists do not have access to such tools that can effectively identify features of enhanced fertility and prospectivity. The most fundamental process in porphyry copper deposit formation is the exsolution of metal-rich magmatic hydrothermal fluids in large crystallizing batholiths below the site of porphyry copper deposit formations. These buoyant fluids stream through the crust to form perched porphyry copper deposits, but in many districts large porphyry deposits are hosted directly within or adjacent to the large causative plutons. In all cases, these plutons will host evidence that record these processes of porphyry fertility. The characterization of fertility in British Columbia has many benefits since many porphyry systems occur within or around the edges of large batholiths, or are in systems that have been tilted such that the deeper plutonic parts of the system are well-exposed.
Cordilleran Porphyry Systems: The BC Pb Isotopic AdvantageBritish Columbia
Lead (Pb) isotopes are a robust tool for identifying signatures of lithospheric and crustal controls on ore forming systems, and fingerprints of metal reservoirs.
This project's magma-to-ore approach assesses the Pb isotopic composition of various materials (whole rock, minerals, ore) from mineralized and unmineralized Cordilleran plutonic and ore systems to identify processes that may differentiate economically significant systems from similar, but unfertile, systems. The project builds upon an existing extensive Pb isotope database for BC and Yukon that has not been interrogated spatially or regionally.
Western Tethyan Metallogeny Project, Phase 2Serbia, Romania, Turkey, Bulgaria, North Macedonia, Greece, Georgia
Building on the success of our earlier projects, the second phase of the Western Tethyan metallogenic project (WT2) will further improve our knowledge of the controlling features of mineral deposits and mineral districts through enhanced knowledge of the region's magmatic arcs, geological and structural frameworks, and tectonic domains. This multinational project will provide a range of new data compilations, and field, analytical, integrative, and interpretive components that are focused on regions of the Carpathians, Balkans, Anatolia and the Caucasus, with a specific focus on Serbia and Turkey. This project provides sponsoring companies with a stronger foundation to support informed exploration and acquisition decision-making to enhance their mineral exploration success.
A Metallogenic Map and Geochemical Atlas for ColombiaColombia
Colombia's mineral resource wealth is well-recognized and its potential for hosting world-class mineral deposits is strongly supported by recent discoveries, such as La Colosa, Nuevo Chaquiro, Santa Rosa and San Matías projects. Improving political conditions with the signing of peace agreements with guerilla forces is seen as a major growth opportunity for the country to attract outside interest from exploration companies. The Colombian Geological Survey (SGC) has been increasing efforts to highlight the mineral resource potential of the country through the preparation of regional country-scale geophysical, geochemical, and mineral resources maps.
Discovery Tools for Buried Copper Deposits in the Atacama Desert, ChileAtacama Desert, Chile
Porphyry copper deposits and their associated supergene enrichments are key mineral exploration targets. The Andes is well-endowed with large high-grade porphyry copper ore bodies. In the past, most discoveries had outcropping ore or alteration, ancient mine workings or near-mine brownfields drilling. Some recent discoveries were made through the Miocene and younger Atacama piedmont desert gravels, either from pattern drilling within known mineralized clusters or along structural corridors. These gravels present a major challenge to ongoing exploration efforts—no significant methodological breakthroughs have been achieved for this specific location prior to this study.
Controls on Gold Mineralization at the Coffee Gold Deposit, Dawson Range, YukonDawson Range, Yukon, Canada
With the discovery of the Coffee gold system in 2010, Kaminak Gold quickly built a gold resource that facilitated a $520M takeover by Goldcorp. Significant advances had been made to characterize the deposit's geology, alteration, and mineralization, but questions remained about the geological controls of gold distribution and grade, styles of mineralization, the age and structural evolution of the hydrothermal system - all of which are relevant to ongoing exploration targeting.
Assessing BC Porphyry Fertility with ZirconsBritish Columbia
Zircons are a useful tool for distinguishing metal-fertile from barren plutons when seeking porphyry copper deposits, particularly in British Columbia where many porphyry systems occur within or proximal to the edges of large batholiths. This project will develop an exploration tool that utilizes the textures and geochemistry of zircon grains to evaluate the fertility of British Columbia's plutons and batholiths for hosting/generating porphyry copper deposits.
Yukon-Alaska Metallogeny (YAM)Yukon Territory
The Yukon-Alaska Metallogeny (YAM) Project builds on the successes of the Yukon Gold Project (2010-2014), which focused on the emerging White Gold district. Kaminak Gold Corp.'s 2010 discovery of the Coffee gold deposit in the nearby Dawson Range further emphasized the multi-million ounce gold potential of the Yukon, and spurred new research and exploration in the region. In parallel with MDRU’s deposit characterization study of Coffee, the YAM Project has generated new insights into the regional geologic and metallogenic framework of the Dawson Range, with the project scope also extending into Alaska.
Regional Metallogeny of Ratanakiri, CambodiaRatanakiri, Cambodia
Seeing through Chilcotin basalts: the geochemical signal of what is hidden underneathcentral BC
In central British Columbia, rock units prospective for porphyry and other styles of base and precious metal mineralization are covered by extensive regions of barren Neogene basalt flows, most importantly the Miocene to Pleistocene Chilcotin Group. Effective exploration of targets covered by Chilcotin Group basalts is difficult because of the masking effect these basalts have in interpreting geophysical data (e.g., high magnetic susceptibility) and hindering development of regional stream and lake sediment geochemical anomalies.
Surficial Geochemical Models of British Columbia Porphyry SystemsBritish Columbia
Geochemistry of surficial materials is an effective method for the the exploration and discovery of British Columbia (BC) porphyry deposits but is fraught with challenges in areas of cover that conspire to diminish success. Porphyry systems are invariably diverse and their surficial geochemical responses and signatures (tenor, patterns, trends) can vary considerably over large areas. Post-mineralization dispersion of surficial materials by glacial, alluvial and mass-wasting processes further diffuses the signal. Additionally, the pedogenic processes involved in soil formation, such as oxidation, bio- and cryoturbation, leaching and hydromorphic dispersion, further contribute to modifying the geochemical signal and patterns. This Geoscience BC sponsored project project provides empirical examples of the surficial geochemical datasets for BC porphyry deposits.
Carbonate Alteration Footprint of the Cortez Hills Carlin-type Gold Deposit, NevadaCarlin district, Nevada, USA
Host Rock Characteristics at Copper Mountain Mine, BCCopper Mountain, British Columbia
Alteration styles and patterns, and grade variations in alkalic porphyry projects are notoriously difficult to assess, in part because of host rocks controls. This project will characterize host rocks and their controls on alteration, Cu, Au and Ag mineralization and grade distribution at Copper Mountain mine in southern BC.
Structural Controls on Barkerville and Related Orogenic Gold Camps of Interior British ColumbiaBarkerville Gold Camp, central BC, Canada
Much of BC's historic gold production is from orogenic quartz vein networks along the eastern margin of the Intermontane terranes. The Barkerville camp alone accounts for 1.2 Moz of gold from such lodes, and another 2.5-3 Moz were extracted from related placer deposits. The revival of brownfields exploration in the district emphasizes the importance of establishing ore controls for this mineralization style. Structural models for orogenic gold systems emphasize major crustal-scale strike-slip faults as a first-order ore control, but these are absent from Barkerville and related orogenic gold camps such as Cassiar and Sheep Creek.
This project will generate a new series of maps, sections, and structural datasets that incorporate public domain geologic data and new structural mapping to place gold mineralization into a regional structural and kinematic framework that can enhance structural targeting.
CMIC – Copper Exploration Footprints: Highland Valley Copper PorphyryHighland Valley Copper Mine, BC
The CMIC-Copper project characterized the numerous detectable components that comprise the footprint around the large Highland Valley Copper porphyry system in British Columbia, and produce an integrated, multi-parameter footprint model for porphyry copper systems. The project is part of the NSERC-CMIC Footprints research network, the largest mineral exploration research project ever run in Canada.
Structural evolution of the Mitchell Au-Cu-Ag-Mo porphyry deposit, NW BCIskut-Stikine River region, British Columbia
The Mitchell Cu-Au-Ag-Mo porphyry deposit in the Stikine terrane of northwestern British Columbia together with the Kerr-Sulphurets-Mitchell porphyry deposits (KSM) are amongst the largest undeveloped gold-rich porphyry resource in Canada. These deposits, along with the Brucejack high-grade gold deposit and the Snowfield porphyry deposit are hosted in volcanosedimentary rocks of the Late Triassic Stuhini Group and unconformably overlying Early Jurassic volcanosedimentary strata and allied plutonic rocks of the Hazelton Group. Part of the Sulphurets district, these deposits lie at the northern end of a 60-km-long north-northwest trending Cu-Au porphyry and related mineralization.
TREK Geology, Magmatism and Metallogeny, central BCInterior Plateau, British Columbia
BC's Interior Plateau is difficult to explore because of significant glacial till and young volcanic cover. The region has the potential to host a variety of undiscovered mineral deposits. Using new geophysical, geochemical and geological data, MDRU researchers are generating a new and significantly improved geological understanding and data framework for the Interior Plateau.
Western Tethyan Metallogeny ProjectTurkey, Serbia, Armenia, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Greece, Iran, Romania
Predicting Magmatic Fertility & Detecting Hydrothermal Alteration of Porphyry Copper Systems with Porphyry Indicator Minerals (PIMS)Global
MDRU’s successful porphyry indicator mineral (PIMS) research has established the viability of some minerals as exploration tools to contribute to the discovery of porphyry copper systems. These initial findings on altered and alteration minerals provide confidence that the specific characteristics of various PIMS can be utilized to contribute to exploration decision-making, particularly for covered deposits, in both hypogene and supergene environments. In much the same way that diamond exploration benefited from the understanding of detrital accessory mineral populations and the importance of G10 garnets, we propose that similar indicators of porphyry copper fertility and mineralization can also be established.
A consortium of interested industry collaborators looking to gain a competitive exploration advantage is now being assembled.
PIMS-Porphyry Indicator MineralsBC
Establishing a tool kit of indicator mineral features and chemistry to explore for covered porphyry deposits.
BRIMM CO2 Sequestration of Mine Tailings
Ultramafic mine waste has an inherent but untapped capacity to permanently trap the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) thus affording environmental and regulatory benefits through greenhouse gas offsets or trading credits. This project is exploring how to accelerate direct capture of CO2 from the atmosphere and documenting how to incorporate carbon sequestration activities into mine operations from planning to comminution to tailings storage.