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.