Fertility to vectors: porphyry exploration short course

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Gain an overview of developments in petrological and geochemical methods applicable to the understanding of, and exploration for, porphyry-style deposits at the regional and camp scale.

About the course

This course will review our understanding of porphyry formation from an academic perspective. It will then examine the use of igneous geochemistry at the magmatic belt scale, using both whole rock geochemistry and mineral chemistry, for assessment of magmatic fertility. Finally, it will explain the use of mineral assemblages, textures and mineral chemistry vectors in the hydrothermal systems associated with porphyry-style mineralization.

Who is it for?

Suitable for industry exploration geologists who wish to develop a greater understanding of the processes that result in porphyry formation, the footprints of these deposits and state-of-the-art geochemical tools for exploration.

  • Outcomes

    Attendees will gain an understanding of:

    1.    porphyry-style ore systems and where they occur

    2.    the nature and significance of the suites of magmatic rocks associated with porphyry-style mineralization

    3.    the rock textures associated with porphyry-style mineralization

    4.    which geochemical analytical methods are applicable, their uses and their limitations

    5.    the use of whole rock geochemistry in determining magma fertility

    6.    the application of mineral chemistry to assessing magma fertility

    7.    the alteration styles associated with porphyry mineralization

    8.    the application of whole rock geochemistry to alteration studies

    9.    the use of alteration mineral chemistry for vectoring in hydrothermal systems associated with porphyry-style mineralization

  • About the presenters

    Dr Jamie Wilkinson is the Research Leader in Mineral Deposits at the Natural History Museum, spearheading the Museum's research initiative in ore deposits research and engaging with the minerals industry via collaborative research projects and consulting. He is co-founder and Director at LODE, and held the post of Visiting Research Professor at CODES, University of Tasmania from 2008 - 2010. His specialization is the use of mineral chemistry for vectoring and fertility assessment in porphyry-epithermal systems.

    Dr Simon Kocher is curator of the ores collection at the Natural History Museum. His research focuses on hydrothermal mineralizing processes and petrology of hypogene ores. During his PhD at Imperial College London he  researched the controls on molybdenite mineralization at the Bingham Canyon porphyry deposit.

    Dr Simon Large is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Natural History Museum. His research within the FAMOS project focusses on identifying processes that are favourable or essential for the porphyry fertility of magma reservoirs. Previously, he used high-precision zircon petrochronology to reconstruct the sub-Ma evolution of magma reservoirs that sourced world-class porphyry Cu-Au deposits.

    Dr Matt Loader is a Postdoctoral Researcher in porphyry fertility indicators at the Natural History Museum, funded by Quantum Pacific Exploration. His research focusses on the mineral and whole rock geochemistry, and igneous petrogenesis, of some of the world’s largest porphyry systems, including Resolution, Oyu Tolgoi, and Chuquicamata.

    Dr Robin Armstrong is the Mining Sector Consultancy Leader at the Natural History Museum. He has 20 years'  experience in the textural and geochemical characteristics of porphyry-style mineralization and related igneous rocks at the deposit, camp and belt scale.

Course delivery

The course will be delivered by the staff of the London Centre for Ore Deposits and Exploration (LODE) at the Natural History Museum, London. Learning will be structured through a series of seminars, presentations and practical sessions using the Museum’s collection and non-proprietary data sets. Course attendees will receive a copy of the course notes and a certificate of attendance for CPD purposes.


Contact the Training and Development team on +44 (0)207 942 6182 or email us.