It is with great sadness that we advise you of the passing of John Paul Golightly in Sudbury on Sunday, October 14 at the age of 78 years. Paul was one of the most visible geologists in Sudbury, attending most Sudbury Geological Discussion Group meetings and Laurentian University seminars, and one of the most active Adjunct Professors at LU, teaching in the Magmatic Ore Deposits modular course, serving on numerous thesis advisory and examination committees, and working regularly with other members of the Mineral Exploration Research Centre at the Harquail School of Earth Sciences on magmatic Ni-Cu-PGE deposits.
Paul obtained a BSc Hons from McGill University in 1961, winning their Logan Medal, and a PhD from McGill in 1968, with a thesis entitled “Crystal Field Spectra of Fe Minerals”. Between 1967 and 1969 he worked for Norton Research Corporation in Niagara Falls ON on crystal growth and structure studies of semi-conductor grade silicon carbide.
Between 1969 and 1998 he worked as a research geologist for Inco Limited on a wide variety of mineral deposits including nickel laterites (Indonesia, New Caledonia, Guatemala, Australia, Brazil, Oman, Cameroon), magnetite-Zn-Sn and W skarns (El Violin, Guerrero & San Alberto, Sonora, Mexico), magmatic and beach-sand titanium (Laurentian Ti QC; Darien GA), mesothermal Au deposits (Casa Berardi QC; Anoki and McBean ON; Jardine MT; Crixas, Brazil; Cochenour, Musselwhite ON), vein Ag (La Luz, Guanajuato ), vein Sn-Pb-Zn (Kelapa Kampit, Indonesia), red bed Cu (Colima, Mexico), metamorphosed Cu (Chapada, Brazil), volcanic hosted Cu (Centennial Mine, Hiawatha chalcocite deposit, Keweenaw MI), magmatic nickel and copper sulfides (Thompson MB; Sudbury ON; Voisey's Bay NL; Flaat, Norway; Kabanga, Tanzania; Ban Phuc, Vietnam), sediment-hosted Ni (Wadi Quatan, Saudi Arabia; Nick YK), sandstone-hosted U (Athabaska SK), and chromite ± PGE (Mountain Lake QC, Luanga, Para and Pedra Branca, Ceara Brazil). Between 1982-1989 he was Inco’s geostatistician, evaluating numerous gold deposits and a nickel laterite. Between 1989 and 1998 he was involved in Inco’s exploration program design and evaluation worldwide.
After retiring from Inco he served on the NSERC Solid Earth Sciences Grant Selection Committee and founded Golightly Geoscience, working as a consultant for Inco Exploration and Technical Services (evaluation of geochemical surveys in Brazil, China, and Africa; modeling of mineralization controls and structure of Sudbury and Thompson), FNX Mining (evaluation of the effect of shear zones on the mineralization at Victoria Mine in Sudbury), CANICO Resources (Onca-Puma Ni laterite), and Skye Resources (Exmibal Nickel Project).
Paul published papers and gave talks at meetings on a wide range of topics, including crystal structure determination, silicon carbide growth, nickel laterites (including a seminal review in the 75th Anniversary Volume of Economic Geology), the MacClean uranium deposit (two of which won CIM Barlow Medals in 1981 and 1982), the structural geology of the Casa Berardi Gold deposit, the economic significance of the meteorite impact theory for Sudbury, and on the geology and ore deposits of the Thompson Nickel Belt.
Paul was also an avid hiker, skier, and cyclist, cycling daily from his home in the University area to the Inco office in Copper Cliff, and spending long days hiking and skiing on the many trails in Sudbury.
Paul is survived by his wife Ruth, sons John and David, and daughters Katherine and Karen. Donations can be made in Paul’s memory by cheque or online to the Nickel District Conservation Foundation: https://obittree.com/obituary/ca/ontario/sudbury/cooperative-funeral-home/paul-golightly/3632020/hfs/donations/