Field trip to priorat

This fieldtrip, longly expected by most of our students, took finally place on last September 16-18th. The fieldtrip was kindly leaded by our advisor, Dr. Joan Carles Melgarejo, who did his PhD thesis, entitled "Metallogenetic study of the Paleozoic in the south of the Costero-Catalan ranges", in this area of our country.,

The fieldtrip, developed in this region of great geological and metallogenetic interest, included a first day in which different outcrops and mines near the Bellmunt del Priorat town where visited. Thus, we walked next to the Siurana river to visit the pre-Cambrian rocks outcroping there and containing small concentration of sulfides. Different abandoned mines, some of them now converted into wine cellars or touristic mines, where also visited. Mines such as "La Serrana", an stratabound Mn mine, "Mina Règia" and "Mina Eugènia" (mines exploted mainly for Pb and closed in the 70s) and "Mina Linda Mariquita" are included. We would like to highlight the visit to the underground work visit to mina Eugència. The second day other mineralized areas such as the occurrences in the "Mas del Mestre" area, close to Flaset, and some outcrops close Valls town where visited, so that at the end of the day we could reach our goal, which was understanding the geology and the metallogeny of the region. The graphic material presented by Dr. Joan Carles Melgarejo at the end of the day greatly helped in this sense.

In addition to the geological aspect of the fieldtrip, the attendants could delight some of the most delicious wines of all the country (and world). The nights sleeping in the floor of the classroom of the Bellmunt del Priorat’s school are also well remebered.

Although we were not very lucky with the weather we had a great time and it was a wonderful experience!


SGA workshop on mineral deposits related to acid magmatism (19-21 September)

The Barcelona Student Chapter is glad to inform you that the registration to our second workshop is now open!

As a result of the resounding success of the Pegmatite Workshop (October 2012), we decided to organise a new one, which we hope will be very interesting for students, young scientists and professional geologists. Therefore, this year we welcome you to join us on the SGA Workshop on mineral deposits related to acid magmatism that will be held in our faculty on September 19th-21st . A one-day field trip to visit polymetallic sulphide mineralisations (Pb-Zn-Cu-Au-PGE-Bi-Te-As-Ni-Co-V-Cr) in the Barberà Basin. You can read further information here and you can download the registration form here.

Back from Uppsala

Last week (August 12-15th) twenty-three members of the Barcelona SGA Student Chapter attended the 12th SGA Biennial Meeting at the University of Uppsala, Sweden. Most of the students presented their last research results as posters and Cristina Villanova and Thomas Aiglsperger gave a talk (and they did so well!). We gratefully acknowledge the SGA for the inscription and travel grants that allowed the participation of the Barcelona SGA SC in such a meeting point on Mineral Deposits.

During these four days we have attended different talks on different kinds of mineral deposits from all over the world. It was also an opportunity for various mining companies to promote themselves and to look for students which may be interested in joining them for future jobs or internships. The BCN SGA SC found this evening activity very positive for the students.

Also, we were warmly welcomed by the local students in Uppsala. They provided us a student card to join the different "nations", the students' bars and restaurants, and we spent a great time with the student staff of the 12th SGA Biennial Meeting.

This meeting has been a great experience for us and a great success for the organization team! Congratulations to the organizing committee, to the companies and to the students that made it possible!!! We hope we will participate in the next SGA Biennal Meeting in Nancy (France)!


The first END OF TERM PARTY of the SGA Barcelona Student Chapter took place on Friday July 19th at the Faculty of Geology (Universitat de Barcelona). This event consisted of four sessions of 10-minute talks in which some of the Student Chapter members explained their current research topics in English. The speakers performing the talks were 3rd and 4th year pre-graduate students of  Geology and PhD students. The first session started at 10 am and the last finished at about 5 pm, including a coffee break and the lunch break. The academic activity ended in an evening party in the terrace of the Faculty, with nice music, fresh drinks, such as the impressively delicious variety of craft beers sponsored by Raul Benages (BEVIRRA) or the best caipirinhas ever prepared in Barcelona by the advisor Joaquín Proenza, soft drinks and snacks. Well received by professors and proved to be very positive for the students, the activity was an absolute success. You can see some pictures of the party here.
Here you may find the details of the speakers and the titles of their talks:
  • Alteration mineral domains under Loma la Cuaba: new insights as to the origin of the mineralization in the Pueblo Viejo district - Lisard Torró
  • The Río Mundo dolostones (Spain): implications for MVT and hydrocarbon formation - Dídac Navarro
  • “Garnierite” ore and Ni-serpentine mineralizations from the Falcondo Ni-laterite deposit (Dominican Republic): An approach from quantitative XR element imaging - Cristina Villanova
  • PGE and REE in different types of Ni-laterite profiles from the northern Caribbean: a geochemical comparison - Thomas Aiglsperger
  • Ag-Hg vein deposits hosted by Triasic dolostones from the Mina de la Guerra Antigua, Villahermosa del Rio (Castelló, Spain) - Albert Acedo and Míriam Pastor
  • Isotopic composition of the water of crystallisation of gypsum as a tool for genetic interpretation - Carlos Arbiol
  • Alkaline magmas parental to Catanda carbonatitic lavas (Angola): melt inclusion evidence - Marc Campeny
  • Trace-element composition and U-Pb dating on perovskites from Angolan kimberlites - Montgarri Castillo
  • Proterozoic metallogeny in the NW border of Botswana - Sergi Cardona
  • Orthomagmatic deposits from Western Sahara - Núria Bach
  • Mineralogy, textures and new sulphur isotope data of the Cerro de Maimón VMS deposit ores, Dominican Republic - Joan Marc Colomer
  • The Viloco Sn-W-Mo-As deposits, Bolivia: geology and mineralogy - David Artiaga
  • The Poopó Sn-Ag-Zn-Pb vein deposit, Bolivia: structure and mineralogy - Belén Torres
  • The Huanuni Sn-W-Pb-Zn-Ag vein deposits, Bolivia: Structure and mineralogy - Laia Arqués
  • Primary and secondary deposits from the Crisoleja area (Pb-Zn-Ag-Sn), La Unión, Murcia, Spain - Aleu Andreazini and Stefania Schamuells


Four members of the Barcelona SGA student chapter, Sandra Amores, Marc Campeny, Montgarri Castillo and Lisard Torró, all PhD students, have been awarded a Student Research Grant from the Society of Economic Geologist in order to develop the fieldwork related with their PhD during 2013.

Particularly, these four grants are provided for the Hugh E. McKinstry Fund which granted students whose projects involve studies of mines or ore districts, topical studies toward improved understanding of ore genesis, and experimental research in field applications.

Sandra Amores has been selected to receive a grant for an amount of $US 3,750 to sample and study Monte Verde and Coola carbonatites from Huambo province in Angola. Marc Campeny has been awarded $US 2,500 to carry on with his research in Catanda extrusive carbonatite located in Kwanza Sul, Angola. Montgarri Castillo received $US 3000 in order to advance in her research in diamantiferous kimberlites from Angola. Finally, Lisard Torró has been awarded $US 3000 to finance the fieldwork related with a detailed mapping of the Hatillo Sheet (central Dominican Republic) where Cerro Maimón and the world-class Pueblo Viejo deposits are located.



Title: The Sonora stratiform barite deposits: relation and analogy with the methane cold seeps (Els jaciments estratiformes de barita de Sonora: relació i analogia amb els cold seeps de metà).

Lecturer: Dr Carles Canet Miquel. Dept. Recursos Naturales, Instituto de Geofísica & Head of the Dept. Geoquímica, Instituto de Geología (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México).

Date: Wednesday 26th June 2013, 12.00h.

Place: room 2


The Mazatán barite deposits, Sonora, NW Mexico, represent an outstanding example of Paleozoic bedded barite, a poorly understood type of mineral deposit of major economic interest. The deposits of this type commonly occur hosted by shales and are characterized by the lack of base-metal sulfide mineralization, in contrast to classic sedimentary-exhalative (or SEDEX) deposits. A throughout study of the Mazatán barite deposits, based on petrography, fluid inclusions analyses and isotope geochemistry, confirmed the link between bedded barite and fossil hydrocarbon seeps, thereby leaving hydrothermal vent-related processes ruled out. Hence, modern cold seeps in continental margins would account for the geological setting and genetic aspects of this type of deposit.

The largest barite bodies of Mazatán are hosted within an Upper Carboniferous flysch succession, which formed part of an accretionary wedge related to the subduction of the Rheic Ocean beneath Gondwana. As well, a few barite occurrences are hosted in Upper Devonian, pre-orogenic turbidites. A variety of mineralized structures is displayed by barite, including: septaria nodules, enterolitic structures, rosettes and debris-flow conglomerates. Barite is accompanied by chalcedony, pyrite (framboids) and berthierine. Gas-rich fluid inclusions in barite were analyzed by micro-Raman spectroscopy and methane was identified, suggesting the occurrence of light hydrocarbons in the environment within which barite precipitated. 13C-depleted carbonates (δ13C: -24.3 to -18.7‰) were found in the barite deposits; they likely formed through anaerobic oxidation of methane coupled to sulfate reduction. Besides, these carbonates yield negative δ18O values (-11.9 to -5.2‰) reflecting the isotopic composition of Devonian−Carboniferous seawater; alternatively, this 18O-depletion could reflect late diagenetic processes. Methane-derived carbonates occur at modern hydrocarbon seeps and have been reported from Mesozoic, Cenozoic and even Paleozoic seep sediments, but they have never before been described in Paleozoic bedded barite deposits. δ34S values of barite vary from +17.6 to +64.1‰, with the lowest values overlapping the range for coeval seawater sulfate; this distribution indicates a process of sulfate reduction. Barite precipitation can be explained by mixing of methane- and barium-rich fluids with pore-water (seawater) containing sulfate residual from microbial reduction. Two analyses from barite gave an 87Sr/86Sr within and slightly above the range for seawater at the time of deposition, with 0.708130 and 0.708588, which would preclude the involvement of hydrothermal fluids in the mineralization process.

Congratulations Carlos and Núria!

Two members of the Barcelona SGA Student Chapter, Carlos Arbiol and Núria Bach, have been awarded a very prestigious and competitive scholarship to develop their Master studies at the University of Geneva (Switzerland). Here you can see the list of candidates from all over the world that were also awarded an Excellence Master Fellowship at the Faculty of Sciences of this University. They will study for a two-year degree in Master of Science in Geology, orientation Geochemistry, Petrology and Ore Deposits. Hiding our well-meaning envy, we all wish these two excellent students a very fruitful stay in this fabulous city.

EMU School 2013: Minerals at the nanoscale

Last week Cristina Villanova, our secretary, attended the EMU School 2013 "Minerals at the nanoscale", about fundamentals and aplications of High Resolution Transmission Electron Microscopy in Mineralogy. The course was held in the Centro de Investigación Científica (CIC) of the University of Granada from June 3th to 6th, with the participation of experienced international lecturers, and including practical lessons in the high level transmission electron microscopy facilities of the centre and exercises to learn how to interpret the results obtained by this technique.



Our secretary accompanied by Dr. Fernando Nieto (left) and Dr. Fernando Gervilla (right), professors of the University of Granada and organizers of the EMU School 2013.

The SGA BCN Student Chapter official T-shirt is now available

We are thrilled to present the new T-shirt of the BCN Student Chapter. The main theme of this design is the Gaudí-style hammer which is the official logo of our association, combined with the sentence “All you need is Ore” making reference to the popular song by The Beatles, capturing our devotion to ore minerals. They also have the SGA logo printed on one sleeve.

The T-shirts are black in colour and are available in different sizes (S, M, L, XL & XXL), in both regular and girly versions.

The price for non-members of the BCN Student Chapter is 15 €. If you are interested to purchase this exclusive T-shirt, please send your request to the official electronic address of the BCN Student Chapter:  Esta dirección de correo electrónico está siendo protegida contra los robots de spam. Necesita tener JavaScript habilitado para poder verlo.

And remember... All you need is Ore!!!

Visiting the Adelaide Mine, the Crocoite’s dream world!

Marc Campeny Crego a PhD student from the BCN-SGA Student Chapter is carrying out a scientific stage in the University of Tasmania (Australia), relatively close to one of the most wonderful mineralogical places in the world: the crocoite’s mines from Mt.Dundas in Zeehan, NW Tasmania.

Crocoite is a very rare lead chromate (PbCrO4) famous for its amazing red colour and its delicate acicular crystallizations. Its type locality is the Tsvetnoi Mine in the Urals region, Russia but the Tasmanian crocoites are considered without doubt the most exceptional specimens all around the world.

Marc visited the Adelaide Mine, an ancient lead and chromium mine now only exploited to extract crocoite specimens for mineralogical collections. 

Talks by Dr Federica Zaccarini and Dr Giorgio Garuti

Dr Zaccarini and Dr Garuti, from the Department of Applied Geosciences and Geophysics at University of Leoben (Austria) are these days here in Barcelona. As we know that they are always willing to collaborate with students, we asked them to lecture us on some topics they are doing research in. They kindly accepted. The talks will be held in Room 10 at the Faculty of Geology on Thursday May 14th at 16.00h. The titles and abstracts are as follow:

Massive sulfide deposits of the northern Apennine ophiolites (Italy)

Sulfide deposits located in the Northern Apennine of Italy have been known as a workable source of copper since 3500 BC, thus providing evidence for the earliest copper exploitation in Western Europe. The most important copper deposits are associated with the Western Alps and Northern Apennine ophiolites, which represent fragments of the sub-oceanic lithosphere that floored the Liguria-Piedmont Tethys. This embryonic ocean formed by divergence of the European and the Adriatic Plates in Jurassic times, and closed between Late Cretaceous and Early Eocene.

The sulfide deposits of the Northern Apennine are characterized by the metal assemblage Fe-Cu-Zn typical of ophiolite-hosted Volcanic Massive Sulfide (VMS) deposits. They consist of the hydrothermal ore assemblage pyrite-chalcopyrite-sphalerite with or without pyrrhotite, galena, magnetite and other accessory ore minerals (linneite, millerite, marcasite, covellite, gold, silver, acanthite, freibergite, ilmenite, rutile, uraninite, hydroromarchite). Quartz, calcite and chlorite are major gangue minerals, along with accessory siderite, epidote, titanite, apatite and zircon. The Northern Apennine deposits represent a rare example of seafloor-stratiform, stratabound, and sub-seafloor stockwork ore-bodies associated with both the ultramafic basement and the basalt volcanic cover in one single ophiolite sequence.

Sulfur isotope values in VMS deposits of the Northern Apennine ophiolites have an overall average of 5.9 δ34S‰, similar to other VMS deposits of the eastern Mediterranean Tethys, i.e. Troodos (4.6‰) and Eastern Turkey (4.2‰). They differ, however, for a much wider range of δ34S, varying from +11.4‰ to -2.9‰.The sulfur isotope variations observed in the Northern Apennine VMS deposits reflect the influence of the different environments of sulfide deposition (seafloor vs. subseafloor) and different lithologies of the host rocks (basalt vs. serpentinite).

Electron microprobe and Raman spectroscopy applied to the identification of platinum group minerals (PGM)

Platinum group minerals (PGM), with few exceptions, occur as small phases less than 10 microns in size. Therefore, to analyze them is a difficult task. Due to their small size, they cannot be investigated by X-ray and, as a consequence, the most used technique to recognize PGM is the electron microprobe. However, this methodology applied to PGM is relatively complicate and consuming-time. In a paper published about 20 years ago [1], it was suggested Raman spectroscopy a possible tool to investigate PGM. Since Raman is a non-destructive and structurally sensitive technique, can be easily used to identify small mineral phases less than 10 microns in size, such as PGM. However only 6 Raman spectra were published for the following natural PGM: cooperite (Pt,Pd,Ni)S, sperrylite (PtAs2), platarsite (PtAsS), moncheite (Pt,Pd)(Te,Bi)2, braggite (Pt,Pd,Ni)S and potarite (PdHg). Therefore, in this contribution preliminary Raman results obtained, for the first time, on a great variety of PGM, are presented. PGM sulphides, arsenides, sulpharsenides display a very well-defined and characteristic spectrum, as typical for the compounds characterized by the presence of covalent bonding. On the contrary, the Raman spectra of a number of alloys and native elements show no discernible scattering bands suggesting that the possible bonds present in these PGM are metallic or ionic. Few PGM, classified as possible Ru bearing oxides, show a broad and weakly scattered spectrum over the range of about 100–800 cm-1. 

The collected data also demonstrated that Raman is sensitive on the compositional variation, particularly in the PGM characterized by a solid solution substitution such as laurite (ideally RuS2)-erlichmanite (ideally OsS2) series. These results confirm that Raman spectroscopy can be considered an innovative and complementary technique with a huge potential to better characterized and identify rare and tiny phases such as PGM. The two main disadvantages of the Raman spectroscopy applied to the investigation of PGM are: 1) some PGM, such native elements and alloys, are not sensitive to this technique and 2) it does not provide a chemical composition of the investigated minerals. Therefore, it is intended to apply the Raman spectroscopy to a great number of different PGM, already chemically characterized by electron microprobe, with the target to create a future and accessible data base of Raman spectra of a great number of different PGM.

[1] Mernagh T.P. and Hoatson D.M. (1995) Can. Mineral., 33, 409-417.