07/12/2020 - SEG SEMINAR 2020 with Dr. JUN COWAN

In our chapter, we invite every year a fellow SEG member to give a seminar on a relevant topic related to ore deposit geology. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, it has not been possible to hold it in person at our faculty this year - as it would have normally been done, but we have managed to carry on the tradition nonetheless! Dr Jun Cowan has been our SEG special guest for 2020.

Dr Cowan is a structural geologist renowned for being the conceptual founder of Leapfrog software. He has a broad experience in the mining sector and has worked on hundreds of deposits around the world since he joined the industry in 1999. Today, Dr Cowan works as a structural consultant in Western Australia and has recently sparked off a debate on the origin of most ancient so-called VMS deposits. In a series of publications he is posting in LinkedIn, he tries to prove, based on structural data, that many VMS deposits which have been traditionally labelled as syngenetic are actually epigenetic.

Much to our delight, the seminar, entitled “What is Deposit-scale Structural Analysis? - An interactive presentation”, was meant to introduce us to this very topic. The first part of the presentation was devoted to an interactive activity. In it, Dr Cowan used examples of case studies from around the world to encourage the listeners to be critical and to apply basic geological principles. In the second half of the seminar, each example was reviewed by our guest as he exposed his ideas on the formation of the deposit. Finally, we had our doubts answered and fell into an interesting conversation about challenging long-held views in science.

We would like to thank Jun Cowan for his time and for sharing his thoughts with us in what was a fruitful and pleasurable meeting.


Dr Joaquin A. Proenza is a researcher and professor at the Department of Mineralogy, Petrology and Applied Geology of the Faculty of Earth Sciences of the University of Barcelona. Dr Proenza’s current research focuses on the study of Ni-Co and critical metals in laterites, exotic mineral associations in ophiolites and mineral systems of the lithosphere of intra-oceanic island arcs. He is expert in the geochemistry, petrology and metallogenesis of ophiolites and intra-oceanic island arcs.

Last Tuesday Dr Proenza introduced the exciting field of PGE mineral deposits to the members of the Student Chapter in a virtual conference. In it, he first reviewed the main deposit types that serve as sources of PGEs today (“conventional deposits”) and outlined their geological context and formation processes. Subsequently, he commented on other mineralisations that remain unexploited but have been identified as potential candidates for PGE extraction (“unconventional deposits”).

We were delighted with the presentation and pleased to learn something about the geology of these intriguing and valuable elements. Notwithstanding the growing demand for PGEs and the key role they will play in the economies of the future, little is known about their geological behaviour and the field is seldom covered in the syllabus of BSc degrees.


Today we want to celebrate that our ex-president and member of the BCN Student Chapter Ariana Carrazana has finished her Ph.D. 
¡Congratulations on this achievement! 
Her thesis was based on the calc-alkaline and peralkaline volcanism of SW Sardinia, Italy, and was directed by Dr. Domingo Gimeno.
She studied the geodynamic context related to the end of the rotation of the Corsica-Sardinia block in the Miocene and the manganese oxide mineralization associated. Some of the models she developed for her thesis were carried out by means of Leapfrog, software with which our Chapter is collaborating at the moment. Take a look at her models in the images below!
We are very proud of you, Ari! We wish you good luck with your upcoming steps in your career!


Last month geologist Dr Leduar Ramayo was invited to conduct a virtual seminar for the chapter’s members on geophysical exploration.

Dr Ramayo has worked as an exploration geologist in over 500 projects worldwide, most of them in the American continent. Currently, he is Senior Geoscientist in Quantec Geoscience LDT, a Canadian geophysical survey company which specializes in electric and electro-magnetic earth imaging techniques. 

During the talk, our guest presented a comprehensive overview of the geophysical techniques most commonly used in the mining and exploration industry. The attendees learned the basic principles each method is based on, in which situations they are most conveniently used, how data is collected in the field and how digital models are generated and interpreted. Aside from that, Dr Ramayo used his broad experience in the area to provide examples of how geophysics has been successfully used in exploration, but also to evaluate the strengths vs. weaknesses of different methods and issues one might come across.

From all the team, we would like to say we are very grateful for the effort and the enthusiasm of Dr Ramayo as well as for the interest of those who had the pleasure to listen to him. 



In this publication we want to share with all of you the work that our members Jordi Llopis and Malena Cazorla had prepared for the 2nd Debate on Mining of the Future.

In the presentation you will find below, you can find a compilation of all the information that our colleagues have found interesting about Asteroid and Planetary mining, from a geological point of view. In the last slide, you will find a document with all the articles, documents and reports they used in order to complete the presentation.

Some of the reports and information have been given to us by the expert in the topic Dr. Ignasi Casanova (Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya), so we want to thank him for that and for being our invited expert to the practical session of this 2nd Debate, in which we had the chance to tell him our doubts on the topic and to debate with him.

We hope that you all find this interactive presentation useful and interesting. Enjoy it and take your time to learn just as much as Jordi and Malena have learned while preparing it!



In this 2nd Debate on Mining of the Future, we wanted to focus on another type of mining we may me be faced with in the future: asteroid and planetary mining. Many of us find this topic particularly appealing, but it’s nonetheless controversial and challenging for society. 

The theoretical part of this activity, as we explained in the last publication, was organized by Jordi Llopis and Malena Cazorla, two student members from our Chapter, who decided to prepare something different this time. They have done an ISEAZY presentation (https://iseazy.com/) with all the information that they found relevant about the topic. This type of presentation allows the members to have a look at it whenever they want, and they can take the time they need to read and study it.

The second part of this 2nd Debate on Asteroid and Planetary Mining was carried out by means of ZOOM platform, and the invited expert was Dr. Ignasi Casanova. It took place on July 8th.

He is Professor of Environmental Geochemistry at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and currently director of the Institute of Energy Technologies of the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC). Additionally, he has participated in some Space Missions with the European Space Agency (ESA) and NASA.

This session with an expert took a different direction than the last one. We decided to make it more interactive with the members, so they could ask  Dr. Ignasi Casanova right from the beginning about their doubts and curiosities on the topic. Some of the topics mentioned were related with the mining of Helium-3 in the Moon, extraction of water from the martian regolith, the settlement of humans in the martian surface and the materials needed for building facilities in space.


It was a good instructive experience for all the members who attended the activity. We had the chance to solve all of our doubts and questions, and Dr. Ignasi was very committed to the activity. We would like to thank him for his motivation in this particular debate and his interest in general with our Chapter. We are really looking forward to welcoming him again.


In this virtual meeting, carried out by means of ZOOM platform, two main topics were discussed.

First of all, we focused on voting the new Council proposal. The proposal obtained 14 votes in favor, meaning that it was accepted.

Afterwards, Jordi Llopis and Malena Cazorla, members in charge of the II Debate on Mining of the Future: Asteroid and Planetary Mining, introduced the topic by showing us the presentation they have been preparing over the course of the last few weeks. The presentation was done using the platform ISEAZY.


Lastly, the president of the Student Chapter Malena Cazorla explained and clarified the current state of the schedule of future activities to the rest of us.

From the BCN SC Council, we want to thank all the members that assisted the meeting for taking part in the election.



On May 25th, we had the chance to participate in the 1st Iberoamerican Virtual Meeting of SEG Student Chapters, organized by the UNLP SEG Student Chapter, from Argentina. In the meeting, a lot of Chapters from South America and Spain were invited. Each of them had a few minutes to present their activities and to expose the different initatives that they were carrying out during this CoVid-19 pandemic and how they were facing it.

It was a very nice opportunity for all of us to get to know each other and to get to know the members of the different Councils. Additionally, we got to know the activities organized from each Chapter and several ideas about collaboration between Chapters were discussed.

We want to thank UNLP Student Chapter for organizing the activity. We hope that another meeting is organized soon and that we can collaborate as much as possible.



On last 21st May the members of the BCN SGA-SEG Student Chapter had the opportunity to listen to Dr. Francisco Javier González in the second part of our first session of Debates on Mining of the Future: Seabed Mining.

Dr. González is an active researcher at the Marine Geology Division of the Spanish Geological Survey (IGME), where he focuses on the study of petrology, mineralogy, geochemistry and metallogenesis of deep sea environments (Fe-Mn nodules and crusts and polymetallic sulfides). Dr. González is also the coordinator of MINDeSEA, the flagship project of GeoERA on seabed mineral deposits in the European Seas, and a collaborator at the Department of Crystallography and Mineralogy of the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM).

In the presentation Dr. Gonzalez talked us through the current state of exploration of seabed resources and projects that focus on this field in Spain, Europe and worldwide. He also commented on the geopolitical aspect of the matter and explained the work of international organizations like the ISA in regulating exploration (and foreseeable future exploitation) of the ocean floor.

After this first introduction, we learned about the different types of ore deposits that form deep underwater in the Earth’s oceans, as well as the chances and challenges that their sustainable exploitation will present. Dr. González says that such resources may hold the key to future supply of critical raw materials, but that caution must be taken in regard to the fragile environments where they are found and possible impacts on marine life or climate change. Hence that much more research is needed before we are able to start using them, should it be necessary.


Finally and to the interest of all us our guest discussed recent discoveries of IGME in the canarian coasts and described how it is like to live and work for months in a ship during oceanographic campaigns.

From the BCN SGA-SEG Student Chapter we would like to thank Dr. González for his brilliant presentation and wish him the best.



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


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: