Institute of Applied Geoscience (IAG)



OMG helps investigate the origins of placer gold in Yukon

Rob Chapman is working with the Yukon Geological Survey (YGS) and Goldcorp on Goldcorp’s Coffee Property in Yukon, Canada. Read about his recent field visit here.


Leeds interns in Yukon

Four OMG summer interns (Joshua Khan, Joseph O'Neill, Oliver Campbell, and Thomas Matthews), funded by Klondike Gold Corp., are mapping the Klondike Schist unit near Dawson in Yukon, Canada, as a part of their internships. The project, conducted in collaboration with SRK, aims at differentiating the previously undifferentiated schist unit and understanding the structural setting and orientation - and the relationship of these - of the gold-bearing quartz veins.


Student successes and other fun news

Congratulations to Matt Grimshaw and Tina Nakashole on successful completion of their PhDs. Matt has started work with SRK exploration based in Cardiff and Tina has returned to Namibia with Namdeb.

Funding success: Congrats to Hugh Graham and James Shaw who received student bursaries from SEG (worth a combined $10k). In addition, Georgian Manuc gained c. £1.5k in total from GSNI, the Mineralogical society and from IOM3. Many thanks for all the funders on the behalf of the students and the entire OMG.

Rob Chapman and Taija Torvela, along with James Lambert-Smith from University of Cardiff, have also been invited to chair a session on orogenic gold at SGA in Glasgow in August 2019. Rob and Taija will also lead a post-conference orogenic gold field trip in Scotland, Ireland, and Nothern Ireland.

Last but not least, Rob Chapman has been invited to join the advisory board of the Arts and Humanities Research Council Research Network on gold in Britain’s auriferous regions


Gold workshop at Leeds

OMG hosted an industry-academia workshop on orogenic gold on Wednesday 9 May. At the workshop, morning talks were followed by a discussion on the "big questions" around the topic of orogenic gold. Many thanks for all the participants for a thought-provoking day! Photo from left to right: Chris Sangster (Scotgold); Gawen Jenkin (Leicester); Simon Bottrell (Leeds); Sam Rice; Sean Jefferson (Great Glen Resources); Orla McKenna and Cian O'Meara (Dalradian Gold); Rob Chapman (Leeds); Sarah Coulter (Galantas Gold Corp.); Mark Cooper and Mark Patton (GSNI); Howard Bills (ToroGold); Richard Walshaw, Taija Torvela, Carl Spence-Jones and Graham McLeod (Leeds); Steve Hollis (ICRAG); Georgian Manuc and James Shaw (Leeds); Graham Leslie (BGS Scotland). Photo Hugh Graham (Leeds).


AME Roundup, Vancouver, 22-25 Jan 2018

A group of 11 Leeds staff and students attended the Association of Mineral Exploration in Vancouver this year - with six posters in total displaying research results from projects ranging from undergraduate projects to PhD projects and further to staff research projects. A great couple of days catching up with current collaborators at universities and companies, and establishing new links and collaborations. Excellent news also regarding graduate employment - jobs are increasingly available as metal prices and exploration efforts are picking up!  Photo: Leeds contingency together with academia and industry collaborators Jim Mortensen, Orla McKenna, Tim Wrighton, and Murray Allan (photo courtesy of Liam Hardy).

Mineral Deposits Study Group

Taija Torvela, Carl Spence-Jones, Georgian Manuc, and James Shaw attended the MDSG conference at the university of Brighton in early January. Carl, Georgian, and James presented posters at the meeting. Thanks to the organizers for a good meeting!


Gold at Yukon Geoscience Forum

Rob Chapman presented a talk entitled ‘Fingerprinting of ore deposit styles in central Yukon using detrital gold mineralogy’  ‘to the Yukon Geoscience Forum, in Whitehorse Yukon on 20th November. The forum was attended by approximately 400 delegates from industry, Government Geological surveys and Canadian Universities. In addition Rob gave a talk entitled ‘Gold Grains are really complicated things’ to the Yukon Placer Miner’s forum on Nov 19th. The Forum is an annual event organised by the Yukon Geological Survey and addresses various aspect of geology, engineering and licensing relevant to the buoyant placer mining industry in Yukon.


NERC DTP PhD projects

New ores-related DTP PhD projects are now open for applications, deadline 8 January. The three projects are looking at: Regional-scale controls of gold using structural modelling and geochemical approaches; relationships between gold geochemistry and microstructure; and experimental approach to gold precipitation. Please get in touch if you have any questions.


Tiny gold grains could hold key to copper deposit 'DNA'

The outcomes of a study by Rob Chapman and MSc student Tom Mileham funded by Geoscience BC (a British Columbia government funded agency) were the subject of a dedicated press release last week. The study identified a generic compositional signature in gold grains formed in alkalic copper-gold porphyries in British Columbia.


Three new MGeol research projects start in 2017

The final year of the ‘Mgeol’ 4 year degree program at Leeds now contains a research project which corresponds to just under half the year’s workload. This year three students have elected to study ore geology related topics.

Lauren Tuffield is investigating specific mineral systems which form complex inclusions in gold grains from specific localities in the Yukon. These mineral assemblages typically contain elements such as Cu, Ag, Pb, Bi, S, Te, and Se. Lauren will investigate mineral stability fields to constrain the conditions of formation of the gold particle host. In addition she will use trace element maps generated through TOF LA-ICP-MS to investigate how such inclusions form.

Tom Matthews is addressing on of the UK’s geological mysteries; the unknown source of the placer gold exploited during the Sutherland Gold rush of 1869. Tom will be looking at the mineralogy and trace element compositions of gold grains from throughout the Sutherland goldfield and relating these to somewhat rare specimens of float to identify plausible geological models for the genesis of the gold.

Jakub Skrzynecki is working with the USGS, focussing on gold bearing mineralization in Alaska. Jakub is characterizing the mineralogy of hypogene and placer gold from several occurrences in the vicinity of the Pogo Mine. The aim is to identify whether gold derived from intrusion- related mineralization exhibits a characteristic signature that may be applied in the context of exploration.


PhDs welcome

A warm welcome to our three new PhD students. Hugh will be looking at the evolution of porphyry-epithermal gold systems using trace element mobility and concentration; Georgian's project will be about physio-chemical controls on gold-bearing veins in the British and Irish Caledonides; and James will research into structural controls of orogenic gold in Northern Ireland and implications for orogenic gold genetic models. We are all delighted to have them in the team.


Rob in Alaska

Rob Chapman was invited to contribute to fieldwork in Alaska which forms part of a USGS project investigating gold metallogeny in the Tintina gold belt. The fieldwork was also supported by the Yukon-Alaskan Metallogeny project based at the Minerals Deposit Research unit at UBC, Vancouver. The fieldwork involved characterization of mineralization in various in situ occurrences in the environs of the Pogo mine, and collection of detrital gold to evaluate its potential as a pathfinder.


Rob gets around!

Dr Rob Chapman has been appointed as External Examiner at Camborne School of Mines for the Mining Geology MSc program and the new Mineral Exploration MSc programme. He has also been invited by the National Science and Engineering Research council of Canada (NSERC) to be a panel member for the renewal of the ‘NSERC-Agnico-Eagle Industrial Research Chair in Mineral Exploration” at Laval University, Quebec.


PhD Opportunities

Ore geology PhD projects will be offered through the Leeds York NERC Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP), for a start in October 2018. Watch this space... or go to


Welcome to our new students

We would like to welcome three new PhD students: 

Hugh Graham: Trace element mobility and concentration in Cu-Au magmatic hydrothermal systems (Supervised by Dan Morgan, David Banks, Rob Chapman, Steven Stackhouse)

Georgian Manuc: Mineralized veins: how did they get there? A combined physiochemical approach to vein formation. (Supervised by Taija Torvela, Rob Chapman)

James Shaw: Structural controls of orogenic gold in Northern Ireland and implications for orogenic gold genetic models (Supervised by Taija Torvela, Rob Chapman; Dr Mark Cooper (GSNI); Greg Hope (Dalradian Resources Inc.))

Also, a warm welcome to James Ball, recipient of a 2-year Undergraduate Research & Leadership Scholarship. James will be contributing to the Caledonian gold mineralization studies.

Leeds at AMEBC Roundup 2017

OMG had again a strong presence in Vancouver at the Association of Mineral Exploration British Columbia Roundup in January 2017. Rob Chapman, Carl Spence-Jones, Taija Torvela, and seven MGeol students spent a fruitful few days at the talks and posters, interacting with industry, and looking at rocks. OMG presented three posters:

Spence-Jones C, Chapman R, Banks DA: Evaluation of trace elements in gold by LA-ICP-MS: preliminary results of placer lode studies in British Columbia.

Chapman R, Banks DA, Spence-Jones C, Borovinskaya O, Grimshaw M: Trace Element Quantification in Gold by Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry.

Torvela T, Accotto C, Elliston F: Structural interpretation of the Nadaleen Trend, Yukon.

Matt's CSIRO visit

Matt Grimshaw, a PhD student in the OMG, recently gained a scholarship to undertake a 3-month internship at the Australian Resources Research Centre in Perth. Read about Matt's visit here.

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