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    Stable and radiogenic isotopes in mining exploration

    Dates:  Thursday November 5 and Friday November 6, 2020

    Description: The design of the Workshop is to introduce geochemical techniques used to explore for buried mineralization and understand ore genesis.  The short course will be divided into two days; with day 1 focusing on stable metal isotopes and day two focusing on radiogenic isotopes.  The course will provide insight into how the measurements are made (including chemical separations and instrumentation details) along with types of materials used in exploration campaigns that have used these isotope systems.  Case studies will be discussed for each of the isotope systems (stable metals- Cu, Zn, Mo, Ag, and Sn and radiogenic- Re-Os, U-Pb and others).

    Program:

    • Description of the stable metal isotopes used, why and how you can use these in geological exploration.
    • Summary of chemical separations, measuring techniques and how we evaluate the robustness of the measurements.  Briefly discuss mass bias corrections and errors associated with the analyses.
    • Cu isotopes in waters, soils and rocks.
    • Zn and Mo isotope values in ores and other materials used to understand ore genesis a.nd basic processes.
    • Ag and Sn isotope values in ores used to explain mechanisms for isotope fractionation and their implications for ore genesis.
    • Principles of radiogenic isotope geochemistry, closure temperatures and how to interpret ages determinations for different minerals using different radiogenic isotope pairs.
    • Summary of chemical separations, measuring techniques and how we evaluate the robustness of the measurements.  Briefly discuss mass bias corrections and errors associated with the analyses.
    • Re Os ages- describe techniques and discuss low concentration sulfide versus molybdenite age calculations.  Explore limitations of each technique.
    • U-Pb ages- brief discussion of zircon age dating and age calculations.  Discuss U-Pb dating in calcite veining and how these ages could be interpreted.
    • Integrated chronologies- the power of combining the different isotope systems in different minerals from the same mineralization events.

    Lecturer: Ryan Mathur, PhD

    Ryan Mathur is a professor at Juniata College.  He earned a B.A. in History and Geology from Juniata College in ’97 and Ph.D. in economic geology and isotope geochemistry from the University of Arizona in ’00.  He has worked a large variety of ore deposits in many different areas with the focus of geochronology of sulfide minerals (Re-Os and several other chronometers) and transition metal (Ti, Fe, Cu, Zn, Mo, Ag and Cd) and metal (Sn) isotope geochemistry.  He has published over 90 papers and 20 different journals and conducted multiple workshops for academia and industry.

     

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