Ore deposits

Current Research Projects - Dan Marshall

Dan Marshall's research interests involve the application of a variety of methods of pressure, temperature and age determination to problems in metamorphic petrology, aqueous geochemistry, ore deposits and tectonics.

Genesis of the Kenticha emerald deposit, Ethiopia

A recent project on a new emerald occurrence in Ethiopia provided an excellent opportunity for a stellar undergraduate student, who commenced working on the emeralds to determine their mode of formation as a summer NSERC student and is currently continuing those studies as part of her MSc studies funded by scholarships from the provincial and federal governments and in collaboration with one of the geologists responsible for discovering more emerald in the area.

Figure 1 -  Gem quality emerald crystals from the Kenticha mine in Ethiopia

Precious metal enrichment at the Myra Falls base metal deposit, Vancouver Island, BC

A recently completed project on gold enrichment at the Myra Falls mine on Vancouver Island, funded by a collaborative industry-government grant, sponsored a recent graduate for a year and resulted in a refereed publication (Marshall et al., 2018) co-authored by two recent graduates and provided the spring board for one of those student to go on to complete an M.Eng degree and launch their own company.

Figure 2 - Composite photomicrographs of the alteration halo surrounding a gold (au) bearing veinlet and the fluid inclusions responsible for the gold mineralization (inset).

Short Wave Infrared, alteration, and geochemical study of the IKE copper occurrence, central BC

Another recently completed MSc project on the IKE porphyry copper occurrence in central BC involved an collaboration with an industry partner (Hunter Dickinson Mining - Amarc Resources Ltd.), the Geological Survey of Canada, and the Earth Sciences department at SFU. This projected also garnered some support from GeoscienceBC through scholarship funding and generated a geological report on the work. This project was a successful career launch for the student, who went on to work with the exploration industry after graduation.

Figure 3 - Deposit model of IKE with illite crystallinity, copper concentration, and Early Halo Type (EHT) vein percentage contours, based on short-wave infrared (SWIR) spectroscopy, drill core alteration, and geochemistry. Note that only areas of moderate-strong alteration are shown. White represents reference drill holes, as well as areas with higher copper grades and percentages of early halo type veins. Dyke widths have been exaggerated for clarity.

Tourmaline breccia pipes as exploration vectoring tools for porphyry copper ceposits

Another collaborative study, currently in progress is a PhD research project investigating a new type of ore-deposit target in the Canadian Cordillera. These breccia-topped deep porphyry copper systems are more common in the South American Cordillera, but there are indications they also may be a viable Canadian exploration target.  The Giant Copper occurrence in southern BC displays a number of characteristics similar to the South American deposits.  This project is a government-industry collaboration and is funded by Imperial Metals Corporation as the industry partner and NSERC as the government contributor via Collaborative Research and Development grant.

Figure 4 - Animation showing the size and shape of the AM breccia within the Giant Copper system

* GiantCopperNumericAndGeologicModel.wmv
Giant Copper Numeric and Geologic Model