Virtual Field Trip Competition

The BCN SGA-SEG Student Chapter has entered the Virtual Field Trip Competition created by SEG and the University of Toronto SEG Student Chapter.

This competition aims to encourage chapters to create short virtual economic geology videos and share them with their fellow members worldwide, creating a truly global contest that will showcase an amazing range of diverse geologic sites. The competition allows students to virtually visit exciting geological locations, otherwise, they would never  have been able to travel, connect and collaborate with their SEG student community.

Given the proximity of the mine to Barcelona and the fact that it is one of the oldest and largest examples of underground mining in all of Europe, the Gavà Neolithic Mining Complex has been chosen. This mining complex was devoted to the exploitation of variscite, a green mineral used in the crafting of ornaments.

From the Student Chapter of Barcelona we invite you to visit and discover this mining complex.

We would like to thank the Gavà Mines Archaeological Park, especially Josep Bosch Argilós and Mireia Forasté Casas, and Joan Carles Melgarejo (Faculty of Earth Science of the University of Barcelona). 

Direction and editing of the video: Joana Graells, Ada Rodríguez and David Ruíz.



On April 22nd took place the Earth’s Day SEG Student Chapters Symposium, a meeting organized by the SEG and NUI SEG Student Chapter to discuss and reflect on the role of economic geology in the frame of sustainable development. The event brought together students from around the world who, through short clips and presentations, shared their interests and motivations to pursue careers in economic geology. Many of them took the opportunity to show their research on the topic and explain their views on the impact of geology on responsible raw materials supply. While the need for the growth of green technologies and renewable energy production is today one of the top topics of debate, little is said about how this industry will be provided with the materials it requires in a way that is both ethical and responsible towards our planet.


We are glad that Malena Cazorla, Laura Gemmrich, Ada Rodríguez and Pol Suñer, all of them members of our Student Chapter, decided to attend and take part in the conversation. We’d like to express our appreciation for the initiative of the organizers and say that we are looking forward to more events like this in the future.




On March 9th took place the last activity organized by the BCN SGA-SEG Student Chapter, an online seminar on Magmatic Ni-Cu-PGE deposits, given by Dr. David A. Holwell, Regional SGA Vicepresident for Europe.

The activity consisted of three main parts:

  1.    1- First, an introductory/theoretical part I in which Dr. David Holwell introduced us to the topic and to the fundamentals of Magmatic Ni-Cu-PGE deposits. During this part, he explained the main “ingredients” needed in order to form these type of deposits.
  4.    2- Afterwards, we proceeded to an interactive part, where we had the chance to look at several digitized 3D samples related to the topic of the Seminar. Dr. Holwell made available for the assistants to the seminar a document with all the links to the digitized samples and a short introduction to this interactive part, so that they could “play” on their own and look at them whenever they want. During this part, he explained the different samples, the main textures observed in each of them and their main mineralogy.
  6.    3- Finally, Dr. Holwell did a presentation in which he explained two different real case studies of Magmatic Ni-Cu-PGE deposits, Skaergaard intrusion and a mine in Zambia.

The assistants to the talk agree that it has been a very interactive and easy-to-follow talk, thanks to the interactive part Dr. Holwell suggested to add in the seminar, and also thanks to the entertaining and comprehensive presentation that he gave.

We want to thank you, David, for such an interesting seminar. We would be pleased to welcome you in our Faculty to give a short course on Magmatic Ni-Cu-PGE deposits, once the situation permits it.


The clonations pilot project is a project, directed by Dr Joan Carles Melgarejo (Mineralogy professor at the Faculty of Earth Sciences of the University of Barcelona), with which our Chapter has been collaborating since a couple of years ago. The project is aimed at providing Earth Science faculties in developing countries with first-class material for their mineral and rock collections (for mineralogy, mineral deposits, palaeontology and petrology subjects). These 30 different collections will contain approximately 222 different mineral species, species that are considered important for sustainable development, critical for the mining industry or particularly relevant in Earth Science teaching. The samples that will be included in the collections are being collected directly from the field (by BCN Student Chapter members, professors from the Faculty, etc.), acquired from collectors or received through donations. 

As time passed since the start of the project, the inventory grew every day. Currently, a very large volume of material has been collected and stored at the Faculty. 

Thanks to the slow easing of COVID-19 day by day, restrictions at Catalan universities a few months ago permitted us to resume the work on the project. With the helping hand of advisors and student members who have kindly contributed their time and effort remarkable progress in the organization and labelling of the samples has now been achieved. We hope to be able to carry on for as long as possible! 

Taking all the necessary precautions against the virus, volunteers label samples with their name, geological context and location as they sort them into cardboard boxes. These are later stored in the faculty’s basement for future distribution.

Here below you will find some images of the current state of the organization, and also images of some of the extraordinary specimens that these collections will include.

We will keep you informed on the state of the project. Keep connected!



Last January 20th and 21st took place the first activity organized by our Student Chapter in this 2021: “Virtual Short Course: Mineral Deposits Down to the Nanoscale: Focus on PGE Deposits”, given by Ph.D. José María González Jiménez and held in ZOOM.


Dr José María González Jiménez is currently working at the Department of Mineralogy and Petrology of the University of Granada and takes part in several projects and investigation topics, including one focused on Nanomineralogy and its application in Mineral Deposits, which is carried out in collaboration with some professors in our Faculty, the Faculty of Earth Sciences from the University of Barcelona.

This short course, imparted in two different days, was organized in order to have firstly an overview of the state of the art of the topic (what view do we have nowadays of Nanomineralogy, application to different types of deposits, etc.), to be able to go, further on, during the second session, deeper into the topic, and be able to learn more about Nanomineralogy and how it may contribute to the formation of PGE Deposits.

This was a very interesting short course that gave the participants an overview of another possible way of formation of deposits enriched in PGE, that basically proposes that these metals (PGE) could be remobilized in the fluid phase by means of Nanoparticles instead of as complexed ions in the fluid phase, as other metals such as Pb, Cu, etc. are thought to be mobilized.
We are very thankful to have had the opportunity to listen to José María during this Short Course, and we hope to be able to have him with us once more, to share and debate more about this very topic or new topics.

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 ( 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.