New initiative by Peru SGA Student Chapter: PDYM - Digital Platform of Mineral Deposits (Plataforma Digital de los Yacimientos Minerales)

Lately, during these tough times, some new digital platforms have been created in order to fill the void left by cancelled events and conferences due to CoVid-19.

In this post we want to talk you about one of these platforms, the PDYM (Digital Platform of Mineral Deposits, by its Spanish acronym), which is an initiative of the Peru SGA Student Chapter, which aims to promote dissemination and debate on mining deposits through virtual talks in Spanish. These talks are open to the entire Spanish-speaking community that belongs to the SGA.

Those interested in attending the virtual talks can find them on the following link: Plataforma Digital de los Yacimientos Minerales, in which they publish the dates and schedule of the next conferences. Be sure to register for the next talk up to 24h before the start.

Logo of the Digital Platform of Mineral Depósits - SGA Perú Student Chapter

21/04/2020 - PARTICIPATION IN A WEBINAR ORGANIZED BY SEEQUENT: “HOW LEAPFROG GEO, EDGE AND CENTRAL CAN OPTIMIZE SHORT-TERM WORK PLAN?”

Last April 21st, some of our members had the chance to attend the Webinar “How Leapfrog Geo, Edge and Central can optimize short-term work plan?”imparted by Mariana Ordoñez and organized by Seequent. As academic users Leapfrog-Geo software, we want to thank them for giving us the opportunity to participate in this Webinar. During the talk, Mariana briefly explained the main functions of the software.

These are the opinions of our Student Chapter participants:

Leapfrog-Geo is one of the main software used in the mining industry, as it is a powerful tool to create 3D geologic models (such as basins, mineral deposits, complex geological structures, etc.). You can see more examples here: Academic - Hub

Leapfrog-Edge is used to carry out multiple types of calculations, such as ore volume of specific rock type,  calculating the stripping ratio, among other mineral estimations that are very useful for mining companies, in a very visual and intuitive environment.

Mariana did an introduction to the workflow that should be followed when using this software in both short-term and long-term mining engineering work plans and also did a demonstration with a model of a mineral deposit in which she is working on at the moment. 

The participant members want to remark that, although some concepts were a little bit advanced and specific of the mining industry professionals for our level of knowledge, the Webinar has given them a new perspective about geological modeling. To conclude, one of the functions that our members found most interesting about the software modules is the ability to combine display 3D options and complex calculations.

We hope to be able soon to include these tools within our Student Chapter when we investigate a deposit (e.g., for our final degree thesis, master’s thesis or Ph.D. thesis) to give more value to mineral resources, even at an early stage of our university studies.

We hope to be able soon to include these tools within our Student Chapter when we investigate a deposit (e.g., for our final degree thesis, master’s thesis or Ph.D. thesis) to give more value to mineral resources, even at an early stage of our university studies.

Additionally, if you want to have a first contact with the software and see an example of what you can do with it, in the following figures you can see and play with a 3D-Model developed by some members of the BCN Student Chapter during the Leapfrog course that took place in 2017:

 

PARTICIPATION OF THE BCN STUDENT CHAPTER IN THE PREPARATION AND PUBLICATION OF A DIVULGATIVE ARTICLE: "HOW TO FIND RARE ELEMENTS FROM THE PERIODIC TABLE IN CATALONIA?"

Since November 2019, we have been involved in activities to expand our knowledge about "rare elements" in the periodic table. Some of these activities were focused on preparing conferences with experts and, additionally, we had the chance to participate in the writing and preparation of an article related to these rare elements. This activity would improve our members writing skills and they would also get to know a little bit more about rare elements and their distribution (small- and large-scale).

Title and authors of the article.

 

This paper was directed by Dr. Joan Carles Melgarejo, who gave us the appropriate tools to start writing the draft. Finally, and with the review and contribution of numerous professors and researchers, the paper has been published in "L'Atzavara" journal. In this paper, we discuss some aspects such as: 

- What do we mean when we speak of "rare elements"?

- How are the elements distributed in the mineral's structure?

- Distribution and concentration of elements on Earth (relative abundance)

- Concentration mechanisms.

Additionally, we expose examples of deposits in Catalonia that contain one or more of these "rare elements" and, finally, we discuss their potential and the distribution of these elements in this area.

We want to thank Dr. Joan Carles Melgarejo and colleagues for giving our Chapter the chance to participate in such an amazing activity.

If you are interested in reading the full article, you can download it from this link:
https://www.raco.cat/index.php/Atzavara/article/view/364969/459203

11/03/2020 - 11th INFORMATIVE TALK BY DIEGO DOMÍNGUEZ CARRETERO. ARCHITECTURE OF A DISTAL SKARN SYSTEM: CALAMITA Fe-SKARN DEPOSIT (ELBA ISLAND, ITALY)

Last March 11th, we had the pleasure to receive Diego Domínguez Carretero to our 11th Informative Talk. He is a former student of University of Barcelona, as well as, an ex-member of the SGA-SEG Barcelona Student Chapter. He gave us a speech about his master thesis and the experience of his master’s degree in Geneva, Switzerland.

Diego explained to us he became interested in economic geology because of the present and eminently greater need of society for critical metals, key to the development of science and new technologies. It is a field in which he encourages undergraduates to explore not only on the grounds of its potential but also because it can lead to varied and interesting careers. He points out that another of its greatest attractives is that it integrates areas as diverse as petrology, mineralogy, geochemistry, structural geology, geodynamics or even stratigraphy and hydrogeology.

After graduating, Diego moved to Switzerland to study his MSc, where he received an Excellence Scholarship. He says that the the overall experience was extremely beneficial because it granted him the opportunity to live abroad on his own and learn about new perspectives and ways to approach geology.

His Master thesis focused on the formation and architecture of a distal skarn system located in Elba Island, Italy. He explained that the genesis of the Miocene iron deposit, hosted by Palaeozoic marble and schist remained unknown until now. After a brief description of the local geology, he explained that the genesis of the ore deposit consisted in three principal stages.

First of all, the formation of silicate skarns took place, with the main mineral association being garnet, pyroxene, ilvaite and epidote. Secondly, iron oxides with hematite and magnetite were formed, followed by a third stage of sulphides - mainly pyrite, but also chalcopyrite, sphalerite and galena among others.

According to his study,  the genesis of this deposit could be linked to the hydrothermal magmatic fluids from Miocene felsic and peralkaline magmas of Elba and the Tyrrhenian sea, although he pointed out it is difficult to know yet to what particular magmatic body it is linked. Additionally, he stated that there is the possibility of it being linked to a magmatic body that does not outcrop the surface nowadays - an unknown body.

Finally, he explained it has been the first time that a formation of a distal skarn on Elba has been dated using geochronology of U/Pb in garnet.

We would like to express our most sincere thanks and appreciation to Diego for sharing with us his work and personal experience.

27/02/2020 - 1st SESSION OF DEBATES ABOUT MINING OF THE FUTURE: SEABED MINING

Last February 27th we had the chance to do the first session of a new series of activities organized by us: Debates about the Mining of the Future. The main objective of these sessions is to gain knowledge about non-conventional mining, such as seabed mining, mining in the Space (asteroids, planets, etc.) and biomining. A feature that we want to remark about these sessions is that it is a big opportunity for our members to get to improve their management, oral and organizational skills, since they are ones that, in groups of two to three people and voluntarily, organize the presentation of the topic and decide the format of the session. They can choose to do an oral presentation, to show a documentary about the topic, to do an interactive game with the participants in the activity, etc.

This first session was organized by Carlos Ramírez (MSc in Mineral Resources - Universitat de Barcelona) and Àlex García (BSc in Geology - Universitat de Barcelona). They divided the session in two different parts. The first part consisted of an oral presentation, where they got to explain general facts about seabed mining.

They described the main seabed deposits that have been studied (to this day) in order to carry out mining projects on them, such as Seafloor Massive Sulfides, Manganese Nodules and Cobaltiferous-Ferromanganese Crusts. They also explained some disadvantages that Mining Companies must deal with when deciding to mine these types of deposits and shared with us some curiosities about seabed mining.

At the end of their talk, we debated about some interesting topics that the participants were interested in, like the legal problems Mining Companies must deal with, consequences and profitability of mining these deposits, among other things.

We want to thank and congratulate Àlex and Carlos for their participation and their commitment to carry out this activity. Further sessions related with this series of activities will take place in the following months (via online), in which we will get to discuss and debate more about seabed mining, with the participation of specialists, and we will introduce the second main topic of Debates about the Mining of the Future: mining in the space.

12/02/20 – ONE-DAY COURSE WITH DR. JOAN CARLES MEGALREJO: THEORETICAL - PRACTICAL SESSION IN BELLMUNT DEL PRIORAT

Two members of our Chapter (David Ruiz and Ernest Onetti) were invited to attend a one-day course given by Dr. Joan Carles Melgarejo (Mineralogy Professor at the University of Barcelona) and to assist him during the course. This course was organized for a High School class from Amposta, Catalonia, Spain. It consisted of a theorical part (a conference given by Dr. Melgarejo) about geology and ore deposits, and a practical part, were they had the chance to do a half-a-day field trip to the Museum of the Mines of Bellmunt del Priorat (Pb Mines) and to visit other small-scale deposits in the area, such as the Eugènia and Règia mine. The aim of this course was to teach geological concepts to High School students through a divulgative way. 

The main functions of the members from the BCN Student Chapter were to help Dr. Melgarejo, such as in the picking of samples of altered galena, non-altered galena, dolomite, ankerite, siderite, sphalerite, pyrite and marcassite. The samples they picked up are going to be used to complete the collections from the Clonations Pilot Project, a project directed by Dr. Joan Carles Melgarejo. Additionally, they had the opportunity to attend the whole course and get to know better the Geology from Bellmunt del Priorat and get to know how to easily recognize the different minerals observed during the field trip.

Example of the samples picked during the field trip. Left: Altered galena. Right: Dolomite-galena vein from the Bellmunt Pb Mines.

Finally, the Chapter members that attended the course, and the BCN Student Chapter, want to thank Dr. Joan Carles Melgarejo for giving them the opportunity to attend this activity. 

11/02/2020 – 10TH INFORMATIVE TALK WITH MARCO RODRÍGUEZ: GEODYNAMIC CONCEPTS OF THE CARIBBEAN

On February 11th took place the 10th Informative Talk given by Marco Rodríguez and organized by our Chapter. Marco Rodríguez is studying the second year of the Master's degree, specialization on Mineralogy and Geochemistry, at the University of Freiburg, Germany. 

During the talk, he explained that he had the opportunity to start collaborating in this project when he was working in the Johannes Gutenberg-Universität, in Mainz, Germany. To introduce his project, he first showed us the geological and geographical context of the Caribbean. Later on, he started explaining the main objectives of the project and the study he and his colleagues had to carry out to achieve all the objectives.

Regarding to the project, he explained that it all started when they found zircons from the Caribbean in the Galápagos Island, so the main question of the project was: "How did some zircons from the Caribbean end up in the Galapagos island?". He exposed the several hypothesis he and his team discussed.

He showed us the different softwares used to achieve the objectives they had, such as GPlates and MatLab. Additionally, we got to see the geodynamic evolution of Central America, the evolution of the plates conforming the area and how the limits between the plates have changed during the last 200 My, thanks to the GPlates software.

Finally, he explained that once all the data was processed by the different softwares and interpreted by him and his colleagues, the hypothesis that fit better their ideas and conclusions was that these zircons were transported by convection movements in the mantle that followed toroidal flows.

We want to express our admiration towards him, for being involved in this project of major difficulty, and, also, we want to thank him for sharing with us his his project and for giving a talk.

Marco Rodríguez, Undergraduate and Master Chapter members that attended the Informative Talk and Joaquin Proenza, our academic advisor.

15/11/19 - 16/11/19 - NEW ACTIVITIES RELATED TO THE CLONATIONS PILOT PROJECT IN THE FRAMEWORK OF INTERNATIONAL COLLABORATION

On November 15th we received the visit of Dmitriy Tonkacheev that currently is working at the Institute of Geology of Ore Deposits, Petrography, Mineralogy, and Geochemistry (IGEM RAS), in the Russian Academy of Sciences, in the framework of the Cloning project for teaching mineralogy, petrology and mineral deposits that we have been promoting since 2018.

Dmitry added to the collection samples that correspond to minerals such as diopside with calcite, phlogopite, magnetite, and hastingsite from Kovdor and some samples from Tolbachik volcano on the Kamchatka peninsula.

During his visit to the University of Barcelona, he met with our advisor and the vice president of the Student Chapter to evaluate possible ways of collaboration with the IGEM RAS Student Chapter (mineral exchange, possible trips to the Kola Peninsula and The Urals mountains, among others).

On November 16th, a visit to the mining area of ​​Molar-Bellmunt was organized to show Dmitry the region of El Priorat, which was one of the most important mining centers in Catalonia and the first extraction for lead in Galena. Some master and degree students of our faculty joined the activity.

The field trip started in The Molar Mines where oxides and silicates of manganese, copper ores (malachite, tennantite, chalcopyrite) calcite, siderite, ankerite, dolomite, barite, and galena were recognized. A guided tour in the Bellmunt Mines Museum was also carried out, which included a tour inside the Eugenia mine to observe Galena's veins and the nickeliferous veins with minerals such as Millerite.

We thank Dmitry for his visit and his interest in getting involved in this project that we consider very important for collaborative learning. We are looking forward to welcome him again.

 

08/11/2019 – ANNUAL SEG CONFERENCE WITH INTERNATIONAL EXCHANGE LECTURER, DR. YASUSHI WATANABE

Last November 8th 2019, we had the pleasure to welcome Dr. Yasushi Watanabe to our Faculty. He was invited to give a talk about a topic which he is specialized in: Rare Earth Deposits and Mineralization. The talk was given in the Sala de Juntes from the Facultat de Ciències de la Terra (University of Barcelona).

Regarding to Dr. Watanabe, he is the director of the Department of Earth Resource Science, and Professor of the Graduate School of International Resource Sciences, Akita University. At the same time, he works as an Advisor and Consultant to Governments and Organizations, and, additionally, he is Committee member of the training course of the Japan Mining, Engineering and Training Center and of the Geo-Resource Information Archive System Project by Japan Space System.

His most recent research lines include, for example, “Recovery of rare earth elements from apatite ore” and “Differential fractionation of rare earth elements in oxidized and reduced granitic rocks”.

In the talk, he first started giving a short introduction about himself and the different areas in which he was worked. He continued explaining rare earth elements, and other facts related to them such as the crustal abundance of REE and their different applications. Once he finished with the introduction, he focused on the different REE deposits in China (i.e., Bayan Obo Fe-REE deposit) and all around the globe (i.e., the African Rift, Mountain Pass, Mount Weld, etc.). He also went into detail about the main REE deposits (carbonatites, hydrothermal veins, peralkaline-rock associated deposits, etc.) and exposed that ion-adsorption deposits are an important source for REE (i.e., the Longnan deposit in China).

Later on, he explained the research line in which he is working at the moment: REE production from apatite. He says apatite to be a container of REE. A deposit that hosts REE-bearing apatite is a deposit in Phalabora, which it is recorded to contain up to 7400 ppm REE in apatite, and up to 3000 ppm REE in gypsum. But he also exposed that, although there are some advantages of REE extraction from apatite, such as small capital cost required, low environmental impact, enormous resources and it is technically possible,  the extracting these types of deposits is not always successful, since the REE grade is in some cases too low to use expensive chemicals for digestion.

To finish, he expressed that, nowadays, the main objective for the mining industry is to be completely Sustainable (circular economy), but first we will have to go through some transitional stages.

Dr. Joan Carles Melgarejo, as an advisor from our Student Chapter and an assistant to the talk, gave us his opinion: “Dr. Watanabe detailed in his conference to the SEG-SGA Student Chapter in Barcelona the state of the art of the REE mining, including the geological meaning of the REE, their types of economic deposit models, uses and supply concerns. The information was up-to-date and easy to be understood for a diverse public including from undergraduate students to senior researchers.”

As the BCN-SGA-SEG Student Chapter, we are very happy to have organized this SEG Conference with Dr. Watanabe, and we would appreciate receiving him again in the future to teach us new facts about the mining industry and its long-term perspectives.

Dr. Yasushi Watanabe (center left) with the advisor from the BCN-SGA-SEG Student Chapter Joan Carles Melgarejo (center), the ex-presdient Julia Farré (right), the actual president Ariana Carrazana (center right) and the actual vicepresident Malena Cazorla (left).

15/10/19 - 17/10/19 - Attendance of some of our members to the MMH Seville

Some of our members (Malena Cazorla, Laura Poll and Joana Lluch) had the pleasure to attend the MMH of Seville - Mining and Minerals Hall of Seville - between October 15th and October 17th.

In the meeting, there were several simultaneous sessions in which different topics were debated. Some referent speakers were invited to give a talk before the debates about topics like circular economy, the relation between mining and the ecosystems, new mining projects, etc.

The three participants want to highlight the awareness on the environmental aspects related to the industry of all those attending the congress. Due to this, the new mining projects presented had a detailed plan for the restoration of the surroundings of the mine once the mineral extraction finishes. In addition, a high percentage of the talks discussed issues related to the preservation of the environment and the need for review and control the projects, including the effects of mine waste, environmental degradation, and ecosystems around the mine area.

Moreover, the participants had the opportunity to contact many mining companies that participated in promotion stands. In these, people currently working in mines and mine services gave them advices on the importance of having a decisive attitude when applying for a job in the mining industry (it is not only important the qualifications they have during your degree or master's degree, but also how they face the problems, how they deal with them and also the importance of having the willpower to continue and achieve their objectives).

Finally, we want to continue encouraging students to attend this type of meetings and conferences related to the mining industry and mining companies, since mining is essential for our society, not only for its development towards greener energy and services but also in our daily life. Mining without a negative impact on the environment is possible, and we, the geologists, are the ones who have the power to change people's bad opinions about mining.

08/10/2019 – 9TH INFORMATIVE TALK WITH ORIOL VILANOVA: VOLCANOES AND ICE LAND

Last October 8th, Oriol Vilanova, a master’s student from the University of Barcelona and member of SGA-SEG Barcelona Student Chapter gave an informative talk in which he explained several aspects related to his stay during last spring semester as Erasmus student in Iceland.

He started explaining the main reason why Iceland is so active in terms of volcanic eruptions and how volcanoes interact with glaciers. He exposed that in Iceland, the usage of geothermal energy related to volcanic activity is widespread, becoming a leader country in terms of green energies. Another topic he focused in was the consequences of climate change in Iceland and how its community is aware of the direct consequences in their glaciers.

At the end of the talk, the relationship between geothermal energy (more economical) for mining companies was explained and discussed with the attendees. In this case, Oriol explained about Aluminum mining and how companies transport raw material from the US to its final processing in Iceland.

At the end of the talk, the relationship between geothermal energy (more economical) for mining companies was explained and discussed with the attendees. In this case, Oriol explained about Aluminum mining and how companies transport raw material from the US to its final processing in Iceland.

We want to thank Oriol for bringing some samples of volcanic and sedimentary rocks with which the attendees evaluated their characteristics and origin. We were very pleased to hear your his experiences on the island and we hope that the transmission of his experience will be a stimulus for other students, whom Oriol has encouraged to leave their comfort zone with this type of exchange.