02/10/2020 - SEMINAR ON GEOPHYSICAL EXPLORATION BY LEDUAR RAMAYO

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 of 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. 

 

ISEAZY PRESENTATION - ASTEROID AND PLANETARY MINING (IN SPANISH): 2ND DEBATE ON MINING OF THE FUTURE

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!

 

08/07/2020 – 2ND DEBATE ON MINING OF THE FUTURE: SPACE MINING

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 (https://iseazy.com/) 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.

16/06/2020 – MEETING WITH THE MEMBERS OF THE BCN SGA-SEG STUDENT CHAPTER

In this virtual meeting, carried out by means of ZOOM platform, two main topics were discussed.

First of all, we focused on voting the new Council proposal. The proposal obtained 14 votes in favor, meaning that it was accepted.

Afterwards, Jordi Llopis and Malena Cazorla, members in charge of the II Debate on Mining of the Future: Asteroid and Planetary Mining, introduced the topic by showing us the presentation they have been preparing over the course of the last few weeks. The presentation was done using the platform ISEAZY.

 

Lastly, the president of the Student Chapter Malena Cazorla explained and clarified the current state of the schedule of future activities to the rest of us.

From the BCN SC Council, we want to thank all the members that assisted the meeting for taking part in the election.

 

29/05/2020 - IBEROAMERICAN VIRTUAL MEETING OF SEG STUDENT CHAPTERS

On May 25th, we had the chance to participate in the 1st Iberoamerican Virtual Meeting of SEG Student Chapters, organized by the UNLP SEG Student Chapter, from Argentina. In the meeting, a lot of Chapters from South America and Spain were invited. Each of them had a few minutes to present their activities and to expose the different initatives that they were carrying out during this CoVid-19 pandemic and how they were facing it.

It was a very nice opportunity for all of us to get to know each other and to get to know the members of the different Councils. Additionally, we got to know the activities organized from each Chapter and several ideas about collaboration between Chapters were discussed.

We want to thank UNLP Student Chapter for organizing the activity. We hope that another meeting is organized soon and that we can collaborate as much as possible.

21/05/2020 – 1ST DEBATE ON MINING OF THE FUTURE: SEABED MINING (2ND PART)

 

On last 21st May the members of the BCN SGA-SEG Student Chapter had the opportunity to listen to Dr. Francisco Javier González in the second part of our first session of Debates on Mining of the Future: Seabed Mining.

Dr. González is an active researcher at the Marine Geology Division of the Spanish Geological Survey (IGME), where he focuses on the study of petrology, mineralogy, geochemistry and metallogenesis of deep sea environments (Fe-Mn nodules and crusts and polymetallic sulfides). Dr. González is also the coordinator of MINDeSEA, the flagship project of GeoERA on seabed mineral deposits in the European Seas, and a collaborator at the Department of Crystallography and Mineralogy of the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM).

In the presentation Dr. Gonzalez talked us through the current state of exploration of seabed resources and projects that focus on this field in Spain, Europe and worldwide. He also commented on the geopolitical aspect of the matter and explained the work of international organizations like the ISA in regulating exploration (and foreseeable future exploitation) of the ocean floor.

After this first introduction, we learned about the different types of ore deposits that form deep underwater in the Earth’s oceans, as well as the chances and challenges that their sustainable exploitation will present. Dr. González says that such resources may hold the key to future supply of critical raw materials, but that caution must be taken in regard to the fragile environments where they are found and possible impacts on marine life or climate change. Hence that much more research is needed before we are able to start using them, should it be necessary.

 
 

Finally and to the interest of all us our guest discussed recent discoveries of IGME in the canarian coasts and described how it is like to live and work for months in a ship during oceanographic campaigns.

From the BCN SGA-SEG Student Chapter we would like to thank Dr. González for his brilliant presentation and wish him the best.

 

 

New initiative by Peru SGA Student Chapter: PDYM - Digital Platform of Mineral Deposits (Plataforma Digital de los Yacimientos Minerales)

Lately, during these tough times, some new digital platforms have been created in order to fill the void left by cancelled events and conferences due to CoVid-19.

In this post we want to talk you about one of these platforms, the PDYM (Digital Platform of Mineral Deposits, by its Spanish acronym), which is an initiative of the Peru SGA Student Chapter, which aims to promote dissemination and debate on mining deposits through virtual talks in Spanish. These talks are open to the entire Spanish-speaking community that belongs to the SGA.

Those interested in attending the virtual talks can find them on the following link: Plataforma Digital de los Yacimientos Minerales, in which they publish the dates and schedule of the next conferences. Be sure to register for the next talk up to 24h before the start.

Logo of the Digital Platform of Mineral Depósits - SGA Perú Student Chapter

21/04/2020 - PARTICIPATION IN A WEBINAR ORGANIZED BY SEEQUENT: “HOW LEAPFROG GEO, EDGE AND CENTRAL CAN OPTIMIZE SHORT-TERM WORK PLAN?”

Last April 21st, some of our members had the chance to attend the Webinar “How Leapfrog Geo, Edge and Central can optimize short-term work plan?”imparted by Mariana Ordoñez and organized by Seequent. As academic users Leapfrog-Geo software, we want to thank them for giving us the opportunity to participate in this Webinar. During the talk, Mariana briefly explained the main functions of the software.

These are the opinions of our Student Chapter participants:

Leapfrog-Geo is one of the main software used in the mining industry, as it is a powerful tool to create 3D geologic models (such as basins, mineral deposits, complex geological structures, etc.). You can see more examples here: Academic - Hub

Leapfrog-Edge is used to carry out multiple types of calculations, such as ore volume of specific rock type,  calculating the stripping ratio, among other mineral estimations that are very useful for mining companies, in a very visual and intuitive environment.

Mariana did an introduction to the workflow that should be followed when using this software in both short-term and long-term mining engineering work plans and also did a demonstration with a model of a mineral deposit in which she is working on at the moment. 

The participant members want to remark that, although some concepts were a little bit advanced and specific of the mining industry professionals for our level of knowledge, the Webinar has given them a new perspective about geological modeling. To conclude, one of the functions that our members found most interesting about the software modules is the ability to combine display 3D options and complex calculations.

We hope to be able soon to include these tools within our Student Chapter when we investigate a deposit (e.g., for our final degree thesis, master’s thesis or Ph.D. thesis) to give more value to mineral resources, even at an early stage of our university studies.

We hope to be able soon to include these tools within our Student Chapter when we investigate a deposit (e.g., for our final degree thesis, master’s thesis or Ph.D. thesis) to give more value to mineral resources, even at an early stage of our university studies.

Additionally, if you want to have a first contact with the software and see an example of what you can do with it, in the following figures you can see and play with a 3D-Model developed by some members of the BCN Student Chapter during the Leapfrog course that took place in 2017:

 

PARTICIPATION OF THE BCN STUDENT CHAPTER IN THE PREPARATION AND PUBLICATION OF A DIVULGATIVE ARTICLE: "HOW TO FIND RARE ELEMENTS FROM THE PERIODIC TABLE IN CATALONIA?"

Since November 2019, we have been involved in activities to expand our knowledge about "rare elements" in the periodic table. Some of these activities were focused on preparing conferences with experts and, additionally, we had the chance to participate in the writing and preparation of an article related to these rare elements. This activity would improve our members writing skills and they would also get to know a little bit more about rare elements and their distribution (small- and large-scale).

Title and authors of the article.

 

This paper was directed by Dr. Joan Carles Melgarejo, who gave us the appropriate tools to start writing the draft. Finally, and with the review and contribution of numerous professors and researchers, the paper has been published in "L'Atzavara" journal. In this paper, we discuss some aspects such as: 

- What do we mean when we speak of "rare elements"?

- How are the elements distributed in the mineral's structure?

- Distribution and concentration of elements on Earth (relative abundance)

- Concentration mechanisms.

Additionally, we expose examples of deposits in Catalonia that contain one or more of these "rare elements" and, finally, we discuss their potential and the distribution of these elements in this area.

We want to thank Dr. Joan Carles Melgarejo and colleagues for giving our Chapter the chance to participate in such an amazing activity.

If you are interested in reading the full article, you can download it from this link:
https://www.raco.cat/index.php/Atzavara/article/view/364969/459203

11/03/2020 - 11th INFORMATIVE TALK BY DIEGO DOMÍNGUEZ CARRETERO. ARCHITECTURE OF A DISTAL SKARN SYSTEM: CALAMITA Fe-SKARN DEPOSIT (ELBA ISLAND, ITALY)

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.

27/02/2020 - 1st SESSION OF DEBATES ABOUT MINING OF THE FUTURE: SEABED MINING

Last February 27th we had the chance to do the first session of a new series of activities organized by us: Debates about the Mining of the Future. The main objective of these sessions is to gain knowledge about non-conventional mining, such as seabed mining, mining in the Space (asteroids, planets, etc.) and biomining. A feature that we want to remark about these sessions is that it is a big opportunity for our members to get to improve their management, oral and organizational skills, since they are ones that, in groups of two to three people and voluntarily, organize the presentation of the topic and decide the format of the session. They can choose to do an oral presentation, to show a documentary about the topic, to do an interactive game with the participants in the activity, etc.

This first session was organized by Carlos Ramírez (MSc in Mineral Resources - Universitat de Barcelona) and Àlex García (BSc in Geology - Universitat de Barcelona). They divided the session in two different parts. The first part consisted of an oral presentation, where they got to explain general facts about seabed mining.

They described the main seabed deposits that have been studied (to this day) in order to carry out mining projects on them, such as Seafloor Massive Sulfides, Manganese Nodules and Cobaltiferous-Ferromanganese Crusts. They also explained some disadvantages that Mining Companies must deal with when deciding to mine these types of deposits and shared with us some curiosities about seabed mining.

At the end of their talk, we debated about some interesting topics that the participants were interested in, like the legal problems Mining Companies must deal with, consequences and profitability of mining these deposits, among other things.

We want to thank and congratulate Àlex and Carlos for their participation and their commitment to carry out this activity. Further sessions related with this series of activities will take place in the following months (via online), in which we will get to discuss and debate more about seabed mining, with the participation of specialists, and we will introduce the second main topic of Debates about the Mining of the Future: mining in the space.