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Mineralogy and Petrology

Our research focuses on understanding the chemistry, structure and occurrence of minerals, rocks and melts. Many of these studies are conducted in the context of understanding the formation of and exploration for a wide range of ore deposit types, understanding crustal evolution, as well as understanding environmental issues in the mining industry.

Mineralogy and petrology is considered to be the cornerstone of understanding petrological problems ranging from surface to deep mantle conditions and our research focuses on understanding the chemistry, structure and occurrence of minerals, rocks and melts. Mineralogical and petrological studies are critically important for mineral exploration studies (e.g., location and characterization of VMS, Au, and porphyry style deposits) as well as understanding the evolution of our planet. Research topics in our unit range from the application of mineralogy and crystal chemistry to understanding the evolution of alkaline rocks, exploring for Au and rare metals (e.g., Ta, Nb), understanding how the atomic structures of minerals relate to their observed physical and optical properties, application of thermodynamic calculations in petrological studies of ore deposits and anatexis of the crust, and experimental petrology studies aimed at replicating various geologic processes (e.g. mantle differentiation, chemical sequestration of metals in melts). Many of these studies are conducted in the context of understanding the formation of and exploration for a wide range of ore deposit types, understanding crustal evolution, as well as understanding environmental issues in the mining industry.

 

Faculty

  • Daniel J. Kontak
    Professor, Ore Deposit Geology

    My research program aims to fully characterize a variety of magmatic and hydrothermal ore systems using both traditional and novel approaches. This work incorporates field studies supported by a large range of follow-up geochronologic (Re-Os, Ar-Ar, TIMS and LA U-Pb), petrologic and mineral-fluid chemical work that utilizes state-of-the-art analytical facilities at Laurentian and collaborating institutions. The work is financed through a wide variety of granting agencies that include the Federal Government (NSERC DG and CRD grants), Geological Survey of Canada, provincial surveys and many exploration and mining companies.

  • C. Michael Lesher
    C. Michael Lesher
    Professor, Economic Geology, University Research Chair in Mineral Exploration

  • Andrew M. McDonald
    Andrew M. McDonald
    Professor, Mineralogy

    My research is directed at using mineralogy as a tool in the geosciences. Although I still conduct investigations/characterizations of new mineral species, I am also interested in applying mineralogy and crystal chemistry as a means of understanding the evolution of alkaline rocks, exploring for Au and rare metals (e.g. Ta, Nb) and understanding how the atomic structures of minerals relate to their observed physical and optical properties.

  • Michael Schindler
    Michael Schindler
    Associate Professor, Environmental Mineralogy

    The fate of heavy elements in the environment is controlled by their transport properties, the dissolution and growth of minerals containing these elements, their uptake by minerals and their adsorption on mineral surfaces. Processes such as dissolution, growth, adsorption and uptake occur at or near the mineral-water interface. Interpretation of these observations requires an understanding of the structure and property of mineral surfaces and the crystal-chemical properties of the heavy element involved in the surface process. My research focuses on an understanding of these surface processes using surface analytical methods and crystal-chemical theory.

  • Douglas K. Tinkham
    Douglas K. Tinkham
    Director, Harquail School of Earth Sciences

    Dr. Tinkham arrived at Laurentian in 2005. His research is in the broad field of metamorphic geology, where he specializes in the application of thermodynamic calculations to investigate metamorphic processes and the pressure-temperature-composition evolution of rocks during metamorphism. This work is applied to rocks to decipher zoning and modification of metamorphosed hydrothermal alteration zones associated with ore deposits, metal mobility during metamorphism, partial melting of high-grade metamorphic rocks, and orogenic processes.

 

 

Post Doctoral Fellows

 

 

PhD Candidates

  • Evan Hastie
    Evan Hastie
    PhD Candidate

    FROM: Hanover, Ontario GRADUATED FROM: University of Windsor, Windsor, Ontario (BSc and MSc) CURRENT RESEARCH: Gold Metallogeny of the Southern Swayze Greenstone Belt, Abitibi Subprovince SUPERVISORS: Dr. Bruno Lafrance / Dr. Daniel Kontak

  • Michael Langa
    Michael Langa
    PhD Candidate

    PhD candidate working on chromitite-hosted PGE-Ni-Cu mineralization, Bushveld Igneous Complex, South Africa.

 

 

MSc Students

  • Thomas Gore
    Thomas E. Gore
    MSc candidate Geology

    A study of the relationship between the crystal-chemistry and morphology of millerite from magmatic ore deposits. Supervisor: Dr. Andy McDonald

  • Evan Keir-Sage
    Evan Keir-Sage
    MSc candidate Geology

    My research is on the Northern Limb of the Bushveld Igneous Complex, specifically looking at the impact of footwall assimilation. My supervisors are Matthew Leybourne and Pedro Jugo.

  • Sharlotte Mkhonto
    Sharlotte Mkhonto
    MSc candidate Geology

    Current Research: Characterising Base Metal Sulfides and Platinum Group Metals of the Platreef in Turfspruit Farm, Northern Limb of the Bushveld Complex, South Africa. Supervisor: Dr. Pedro Jugo

935 Ramsey Lake Road
Sudbury, Ontario
P3E 2C6
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hes@laurentian.ca

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