Technical Programme

During the four-day technical programme there will be plenary sessions and up to four streams of concurrent sessions.

Concurrent session topics and titles are listed in the component sessions column of the table below and described in detail following the table. The sessions are grouped into broad themes and sub-themes in both the table and in the descriptions that follow the table.

The FULL PROGRAMME is available for download here (last updated Thursday 31 March).

Note that this is not final and changes may be made. Days and times are shown for New Zealand Daylight Savings Time. You can convert these to your own time zone by using relevant time conversion websites

Note that European, North American and many other time zones may also be in local Daylight Savings Time at the time of the conference, so please check the time conversion on the day before you want to participate.

Broad theme Sub-theme Component sessions
1. Mineral resources for the carbon neutral economy 1A. Critical metals including rare earth elements (REE) Peralkaline and carbonatite magmatism and related critical metal mineralisation
Critical metals and base-metal ore deposits: discovery to recovery
Supergene REE enrichment and ore deposits
Unconventional sources of critical metals
Enrichment mechanisms and processes of critical metal deposits
2. Specific mineral systems 2A. Hydrothermal mineral systems Porphyry and high sulphidation epithermal systems
Hot spring deposits and epithermal environments
VMS systems: modern and ancient
Distal signatures and vectors toward mineralisation in carbonate rocks: porphyry, skarn, vein, and replacement deposits
Sediment hosted/Carlin ore deposits
Antimony and related elements mineralisation: magmatism, fluids and sediments
Uranium mineral systems and exploration methods
Gold in metamorphic terranes — new research approaches, new models, and new target areas
Geothermal systems and their understandings applied to mineral deposits
 2B. Magmatic mineral systems Metallogenic processes within mafic-ultramafic magmatic systems
 2C. Placer deposits
 2D. Non-metallic and industrial minerals
 2E. Regional focus Metallogeny of Central Tethyan Belt
New Zealand
3. Ore-forming processes
4. Geometallurgy Complex orebodies - unlocking future resources through orebody knowledge and geometallurgy
5. New research and exploration developments Spatial data analysis for mineral exploration
Data-driven geoscience: machine learning and multivariate data analysis
Mineral vectors towards ore deposits: advances, applications and novel methods
Automated 3D geological modelling - new methods and applications
Geochemical anomaly classification and modelling in mineral exploration
Mineral exploration in weathered and covered terrains
Trace elements in minerals: where do we stand on the road between the holy grail and a can of worms?
6. Sustainable mining and environmental issues Enabling a sustainable future
Trajectories of sustainable development for mining territories
Innovation for enhancing sustainability in mining
Risk assessment of nickel mining in tropical regions
Secondary prospectivity of mine waste: from metals to construction materials
7. Social performance and acceptance Development geosciences and mineral resources for society
The future of the minerals industry; essential for modern lifestyles and climate change mitigation or environmentally and socially problematic?

*Please click on the black arrow at the end of the theme name to expand and contract the drop down list of sessions under each theme. Click on the session name to expand for more information about that session*

The growing demand for metals worldwide has led to the recognition of a large class of elements essential to long-term economic stability and energy security. Due to the combination of high industrial demand, unpredictable geological resource availability, and economically and geopolitically motivated supply risk, they are referred to as critical or strategic, and as elements, metals or materials. They include, but are not limited to, the rare earth elements, rare metals (Nb, Ta, Li, Be, Rb, Cs, Zr, Hf, W, Sn), rare dispersed metals (In, Cd, Te, Ge, Ga, Se, Re, Tl) and other precious metals (PGE, Cr, Co). Most are required in various high-technology applications, especially in those designed to create a carbon-neutral future to mitigate and react to the consequences of climate change. Hence, they may also be referred to as Hi-tech or green metals. Many have had only a recent exploration and research focus and therefore knowledge of the various processes that govern their distribution and behaviour in mineralising systems and in the environment is often rather limited. 

The following group of five sessions individually focus on specific aspects of the critical metals, mainly their different deposit types and formation processes.

Hongrui Fan1 and David Lentz2
1Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China, 2University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, Canada

Peralkaline and carbonatite intrusive complexes are primary sources of critical metals of REE+Y as well as Zr, Hf, Nb, Ta, Sc, U, and Th. Most peralkaline and carbonatite igneous rocks occur in intraplate tectonic environments, mainly in continental settings, and are typically associated with rifting, faulting, and/or crustal extension. They range in age from Archean to recent, but several significant deposits are of Mesoproterozoic age. This session will focus on the latest developments in understanding the evolution of peralkaline and carbonatite magmatism and its controls on critical metal mineralisation, and seek to bring mineralogists, petrologists, ore geochemists, and tectonicians together with exploration geologists to discuss ore deposits, resources, footprint, and exploration methods of these critical metal deposits.

Sean McClenaghan1, Reimar Seltmann and Yanbo Cheng
1Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland

Critical metals are found largely as trace constituents in base-metal (Cu-Zn-Pb-Ni) systems, for which by-product recovery during refining is critical to the current supply of CRMs such as Te, Ge, In, Ga, Sb, and Bi. Research and development in metallurgical processing have increased the efficiency of metal recovery, allowing for the efficient extraction of lower metal grades. Despite these advancements, inefficiency still exists in the delineation of critical metal resources and an efficient mining approach to their recovery.

This session invites submissions covering mechanisms controlling the distribution of critical metals (Ga-Ge-In-Co = trace-elements) in Pb-Zn-Cu systems and their recovery as a by-product. We encourage submissions on the characterisation of refractory and nano-particle occurrences of CRMs using micro-analytical-geochemical techniques, providing insight on the genesis and concentration of CRMs in a wide spectrum of deposit types, e.g. skarn, MVT, VMS, SEDEX and porphyry deposits. Note that alkaline systems, and magmatic and iron oxide deposits are covered by other sessions.

Michael Bau1 and Sylvia Sander2
1Department of Physics and Earth Sciences; Jacobs University Bremen, Bremen, Germany, 2 IAEA Marine Environmental Studies Laboratory; University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand

A range of conventional geological systems are currently investigated and explored for their Critical Mineral resource potential, however there also exist alternative approaches that focus on unconventional potential primary and secondary resources, such as marine phosphorites (“deep-sea clays”) for REE and U, ferromanganese crusts and nodules for Co and REE, red mud for Sc, waters from oil and gas production wells and geothermal wells for Li, and many more. This session provides a forum for the exchange of results and ideas in this emerging field, and hence we invite contributions that address such unconventional resources and report on their mineralogical and geochemical characteristics, as well as possible environmental consequences exploiting them.

Shao-Yong Jiang1, Sasha Stepanov1 and Wei Chen1
1China University of Geosciences (Wuhan), Wuhan, China

The enrichment mechanisms and ore-forming processes of critical metals are somewhat poorly understood. This session provides a forum to discuss the most recent research into understanding the metallogeny of critical metal deposits through experimental work and through mineralogical, petrological, and geochemical observations of natural deposits. We particularly seek topics taking advantage of the recent developments of high spatial resolution techniques for in-situ chemical and isotope analysis.

David Cooke1 and Lejun Zhang1
1CODES, University of Tasmania, Australia

Porphyry and related epithermal systems are the products of hydrous magmatism at convergent plate boundaries and in collisional and post-collisional settings. Ore formation in porphyry and epithermal systems involves the favourable conjunction of geodynamic, magmatic and hydrothermal processes.  Fertile porphyry magmas can have distinctive magma and mineral chemistry that reflect formation processes and provide guides for exploration. Porphyry mineralisation is typically focused within and around the apices of shallow crustal intrusive complexes. High sulphidation state mineralisation can occur in breccias, veins and disseminated orebodies above the porphyry mineralised centre, but may be superimposed onto early porphyry mineralisation in areas of rapid uplift and exhumation. The alteration footprint around porphyry and high sulphidation epithermal deposits can be extensive, including near surface lithocaps (advanced argillic and silicic alteration) and deeper level green rocks (propylitic alteration), which explorers must navigate to discover centres of mineralisation. This session welcomes contributions on all aspects of porphyry and high sulphidation epithermal systems, with the aim of providing a holistic overview of these vital resources of Cu, Mo, Au and Ag

Diego Guido1, Kathleen Campbell2 and Ayrton Hamilton3
1Instituto de Recursos Minerales-INREMI (Conicet and La Plata University), Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2Te Ao Mārama, Centre for Fundamental Inquiry Science Faculty, The University of Auckland, New Zealand, 3The University of Auckland, New Zealand

Understanding fossil hot spring deposits is relevant to exploration in buried, telescoped, and barren/low grade epithermal mineralisation. Proper recognition and facies mapping of hot spring deposits and related products help to distinguish the acid or neutral nature of the forming epithermal fluids, change in fluid history, epithermal deposit types, and in some cases can vectorise to plumbing zones of epithermal systems. Geochemistry of the proximal facies may also help predict the presence of a mineralised epithermal system at depth. Considering that outcropping epithermal mineralisation has already mostly been explored and/or mined, paleosurfaces will be an important exploration tool for future epithermal discoveries in these and unexplored regions.

We invite submissions on:

  • Epithermal deposits with preserved paleosurfaces;
  • Hot spring morphology, textures, geochemistry, and geological settings;
  • Relationship of hot spring deposits to volcanic domes, lacustrine and fluvial reworked volcaniclastic deposits and phreatic or hydrothermal eruption breccias;
  • Geochemical characteristics of epithermal paleosurface and mineralisation;
  • Predictive models for vectorising shallow epithermal deposit exploration based on paleosurfaces.

Melissa Anderson1 and Hannah Grant2
1University Of Toronto, Toronto, Canada, 2British Geological Survey, Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Volcanogenic massive sulfide (VMS) deposits are important hosts for base metals (Cu, Zn, Pb), precious metals (Au, Ag), and other “high-tech” trace-elements (Cd, Ga, Ge, In, Te, etc.). These deposits form in a variety of tectonic environments, including volcanic arcs, back-arcs, and mid-ocean ridges, and under a wide range of conditions, including variable water depths, host rock lithologies, hydrothermal fluid compositions and temperatures, and redox states of the depositional environments. This produces a wide range of mineralisation and alteration styles and affects the geometry and architecture of these deposits. Ancient VMS deposits are widely accepted as fossil analogues to modern actively-forming seafloor massive sulphide (SMS) deposits. We aim to bring together research from both modern SMS and ancient VMS deposits (including ophiolites) to build an integrated understanding of seafloor ore-forming processes. We invite contributions that highlight any of the following processes:

  • Host rock controls on ore formation (physical volcanology/igneous petrology);
  • Tectonic/structural controls on ore formation;
  • Subseafloor alteration;
  • Hydrothermal fluid chemistry and circulation, including the role of magmatic volatiles;
  • New analytical approaches (including modelling, Machine Learning, ultra-trace geochemical methods, etc.);
  • Ore mineralogy and geochemistry;
  • Resource potential;
  • Exploration methods.

Zhaoshan Chang1 and Larry Meinert1
1Department of Geology and Geological Engineering, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, Colorado 80401, USA

Skarn deposits are natural geochemical laboratories due to the strong temperature and compositional gradients between hot magma and cooler wall rocks.  This leads to a series of geochemical reactions resulting in the formation of alteration and ore minerals whose major, trace, and isotopic compositions can be used as signatures of and vectors toward mineralisation, including Au, Cu, Fe, Mo, Sn, W, and Zn-Pb deposits. Mineralising systems below carbonate beds may also leave traces in the carbonates (e.g., Candelaria, Chile). The study of these patterns provides insight into ore precipitation mechanisms as well as guides for exploration.

This session highlights and invites contributions that explore distal signatures and vectors that can be used in the better understanding of and exploration for mineral deposits in carbonate rocks.

Details to be developed.

Eric Gloaguen1, Johann Tuduri1, Pablo L. Higueras2 and Giada Iacono-Marziano3
1BRGM, Orléans, France, 2Almadén School of Mines, University of Castilla-La Mancha, Almadén, Spain, 3Institut des Sciences de la Terre d'Orléans, Orléans, France

Antimony deposits are frequently assigned to orogenic gold systems, because of similar characteristics, such as paragenesis, alteration, or tectono-metamorphic environments. The genetic models of antimony mineralisation, however, seem to differ from the classical one of orogenic gold deposits. Magmatism and overlying volcanic plumbing system are proposed to play a key-role in the mobilisation and concentration of Sb and related metals and metalloids, with the interactions between magmas and surrounding sediments possibly playing a role in the mineralising processes, by assimilation or devolatilisation of sediments. More research about Sb deposits is therefore required to better constrain the genetic processes leading to mineralisation. This may contribute to future discoveries of antimony resources that are critical in various applications in our technological societies.

This session welcomes all presentations dealing with antimony and frequently associated elements, such as Au, Hg, As, W. In particular, we invite contributions on the relationships with magmatism, volcanism, and geothermal fluid circulation, from ore to geodynamic scale.

Andy Wilde1 and Alex Otto1
1Deep Yellow Ltd, Perth, Australia

The need for lower carbon emissions to fight global warming, coupled with reliable provision of base-load energy has refocussed global attention on nuclear power.  Nearly 50 nuclear reactors are under construction around the globe, mainly in Asia and Russia. The predicted requirement for uranium greatly outstrips projected supply and therefore there is a pressing need for the discovery of new uranium resources to meet demand from 2030 onwards.  This session therefore aims at presenting new research into, or reviews of, specific uranium deposits, uranium deposit models and exploration methodologies for buried uranium deposits.  These are topics that have been somewhat neglected in recent years, reflecting minimal investment and the exit of major companies from uranium exploration.

This session invites contributions dealing with:

  • Geology/geochemistry/mineralogy of newly discovered uranium deposits;
  • Theoretical or experimental studies on uranium solubility in hydrothermal fluids;
  • Behaviour of uranium in magmatic systems;
  • Mineral system models of uranium deposits;
  • Case histories of discovery;
  • New exploration methodologies.

Pasi Eilu1, Rich Goldfarb2and Iain Pitcairn3
1Geological Survey of Finland, Espoo, Finland, 2Goldfarb Exploration, Boulder, Colorado, USA, 3Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden

Metamorphic rocks, whether in the Paleozoic and Mesozoic of the South Island of New Zealand, other accretionary margin settings, or in Precambrian cratons, contain much of the global gold endowment.  This session welcomes presentations of tectonic, geological, and structural description of important new greenfield and brownfield discoveries, as well as exploration history that led to recognition of new large gold resources.  Descriptions of novel approaches in geochronological, isotopic, geochemical, and application of other techniques to the understanding of fluid and gold source, fluid conduits, gold precipitation mechanisms, and the genesis of orogenic and intrusion-related gold ores in metamorphic settings are also encouraged.

Mark P. Simpson1 and Isabelle Chambefort1
1GNS Science, Wairakei Research Centre, Taupō, New Zealand

Geothermal systems and volcanoes are natural laboratories where the interaction of hydrothermal fluids (heated meteoric water, magmatic volatiles) results in the alteration of the host rocks creating a diversity of hydrothermal minerals as well as the deposition of minerals in fractures and geothermal infrastructure. In some geothermal wells, controlled pressure and temperature changes result in precipitation of spectacular percent level concentrations of Au, Ag, Te and base metal sulfides. Study of these provides insight into ore precipitation mechanisms and the calculation and measurement of metal concentrations in the fluids.  In recent years unconventional drillings (e.g. IDDP1,2; DEEPEGS) created the opportunity to access rocks and fluids sampled closer to a magmatic source. These studies are improving our understanding of mass transfer, in particular metals and their ligands, between magmas and hydrothermal fluids, which can then be utilised to refine experimental, chemical and numerical modelling of metal deposition.

This session highlights and invites contributions that explore and detail hydrothermal fluids, alteration and ore minerals and their formation in volcanic-hosted geothermal systems and how their learning is applied to the understanding of mineral deposits.

David Holwell1, and Margaux Le Vaillant2 
1University of Leicester, United Kingdom, 2CSIRO, Australia

Magmatic sulphide and oxide ore deposits hosted in mafic-ultramafic systems that span the lithosphere host some of the world’s most significant resources of base and precious metals, many of which are increasingly important in the transition to a low carbon economy (e.g. Ni, Co, Cu, PGE, V). In this session we invite contributions that investigate the ore forming processes of this mineral system on micro-to-crustal scales, the nature of the ores and deposits, as well as advances in exploration targeting. In particular, we encourage papers reporting new discoveries, new analytical techniques, changes in thinking or advances in understanding of key aspects of the mineral system, from well-known districts (e.g. Bushveld, Noril’sk, Sudbury) to more unconventional settings.

Sessions in this theme will be developed based on the titles of submissions.

Sessions in this theme will be developed based on the titles of submissions.

Presentation topics with a regional theme may be grouped under continent, country or region sessions, e.g. Africa, Australia, China, Europe including UK, New Zealand, North and South America, SE Asia. At this stage we have two regional sessions offered and if you think your presentation would better fit a different regional session, please state a region.

Hooshang Asadi Haroni1,3, Mohammad Hassan Karimpour2 and Mana Rahimi4
1Center for Exploration Targeting, University Of Western Australia, 2Research Centre for Ore Deposits of Eastern Iran, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Iran, 3Department of Mining Engineering, Isfahan University of Technology, Iran, 4Mineral Deposit Research Unit (MDRU), The University of British Columbia (UBC), Vancouver, Canada

The Tethyan Metallogenic Belt extends across central and southeast Europe to Turkey, Iran, Pakistan and southeast Asia. The less explored Turkey, Iran and Pakistan, located in the Central Tethyan Metallogenic Belt, are host to several world-class porphyry copper, epithermal and Carlin-type gold deposits. These deposits are related to the evolution and closure of the Neo-Tethys Ocean and post collision of the Afro-Arabian and Eurasian plates.

In this session, we invite submissions in the following fields:

  • Plate tectonic setting and magmatic characteristics of the Central Tethyan Metallogenic Belt;
  • Regional mineral system approaches to characterise critical processes such as metal sources, heat sources driving mineralising hydrothermal solutions, migration processes and channel ways of hydrothermal solutions, deposition traps and protection features of mineral deposits, and converting them to mappable exploration features; 
  • Application of remote sensing and GIS techniques in mapping áreas with mineral potential for future exploration.

Michael Gazley1 and Tony Christie2
1RSCMME, Wellington, New Zealand, 2GNS Science, Lower Hutt, New Zealand

A session on New Zealand’s metallogenesis and mineral deposits. We particularly seek presentations on New Zealand’s orogenic, epithermal and placer gold deposits, ironsands, and non-metallic deposits, as well as discussions on regional tectonics and geology contributing to New Zealand’s metallogenesis.

Sessions in this theme will be developed based on the titles of submissions. 

Nathan Fox1, Richard Valenta1 and Paul Gow1
1WH Bryan Mining & Geology Research Centre, Sustainable Minerals Institute, The University of Queensland, Australia

The resources sector is faced with a significant challenge to meet the projected future demand for commodities including copper, nickel, rare earth elements and critical metals (e.g. Co, Li) which are essential for the global transition to low-carbon technologies. 

To meet this increasing demand, future commodities will need to be sourced from a combination of existing mines, new discoveries and currently undeveloped deposits. The natural complexity of ore systems necessitates that technical factors can render these ‘complex orebodies’ as economically unviable. These may include low ore grade, geotechnical issues, problematic metallurgy and geoenvironmental factors. 

This session will focus on key topics related to orebody knowledge and geometallurgy that bridge the technical challenges facing existing, future and undeveloped resources to unlock value from these complex systems. This session seeks submissions that will address:

  • Applied mineralogical and chemical analytical methods for enhanced orebody knowledge and geometallurgical characterisation (including drill core scanning and microanalysis);  
  • Geometallurgy case studies implemented at both strategic planning and operational levels;
  • Novel mineral processing techniques for improved recovery of low-grade/problematic ores and new economy minerals;
  • Geological linkages to geotechnical issues related to mass mining methods (e.g. block/panel caving);
  • Novel approaches and technologies for coarse waste rejection.

Arianne Ford1 and John Carranza2
1Geoscience Australia, Australia,  2University of Kwazulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

The mineral exploration industry and government organisations acquire massive volumes of geoscience data annually. Often the data collected remain underutilised due to lack of time, budget, or inhouse expertise – or some combination thereof. This session will describe new ways of generating mineral exploration targets through optimised spatial data analysis and integration, with a focus on greenfields and regional- to district-scale studies. The session welcomes contributions on:

  • Integration, analysis, and interpretation of spatial geoscience (geological, geochemical, geophysical) data for mineral exploration;
  • Case studies of exploration success stories aided by spatial data analysis/integration;
  • Quantifying and managing geological uncertainty in spatial data analysis;
  • Challenges facing spatial data analyses and their possible solutions.

Michael Gazley1 and Shawn Hood2
1RSCMME, Wellington, New Zealand, 2GoldSpot Discoveries Corp, Montreal, Canada

This session will focus on the role of techniques such as machine learning and multivariate data analysis methods with relation to ore deposit studies or exploration settings to explore large, multi-dimensional datasets that are increasingly generated by geologists. The uptake of machine learning and multivariate data analysis techniques are all around us, especially to complete monotonous jobs rapidly or to find complex relationships in datasets with high degrees of dimensionality. Unfortunately, these techniques are often applied naively or with limited oversight from a domain expert (i.e. a geologist). We invite contributions from across commodities and ore deposits-styles (including exploration settings) that highlight novel applications of these techniques to enhance geological understanding based on all the available data.

Renee Birchall1, Tobias Schlegel1 and Jessica Stromberg1
1CSIRO Mineral Resources

Understanding the mineral zonation related to magmatic and hydrothermal ore deposits and the development of novel approaches to exploration vectoring using mineralogy are critical for future discoveries in an increasingly challenging exploration climate, especially in terrains where ore deposits are deeply buried below thick sequences of cover. This session aims to bring together researchers and industry professionals who develop or apply mineralogical vectors that help mineral exploration in the discovery of ore deposits. The techniques and approaches may range from trace element contents in indicator mineral and SEM-based quantitative mineralogy to hyperspectral mineralogy. We invite contributions from across commodities and ore deposits-styles highlighting analytical techniques and novel applications for mineral exploration, as well as case studies which contribute to the greater understanding of economic mineralisation.

Behnam Sadeghi1,2, Franco Pirajno3 and Huayong Chen4
1EarthByte Group, School of Geosciences, University of Sydney, Australia, 2Earth and Sustainability Research Centre, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia, 3Centre for Exploration Targeting (CET), The University of Western Australia, Perth/Crawley, Australia, 4Key Laboratory of Mineralogy and Metallogeny, Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou, China

One of the main objectives in the analysis of data in geochemical exploration programs (including elements, minerals, lithology, and/or other related agents) is the selection and application of suitable classification models to separate signals related to the effects of mineralisation from other processes or sources, as well as controls on variation in background geochemical distributions. Various mathematical and statistical models have been applied to regional geochemical data to reveal subtle geochemical patterns related to the effects of different styles of mineralisation or variations in parent lithologies. Conventional statistical methods such as exploratory data analysis, weights of evidence, and probability plots used for anomaly detection or the isolation of geochemical signals and patterns related to the effects of mineralisation on regolith geochemistry have a number of limitations. This has encouraged the investigation of less conventional alternatives to conventional parametric methods, including fractal modelling and geostatistical simulation to isolate such signals or patterns. All studies related to advanced methods and developments in geochemical anomaly classification in mineral exploration, using advanced classification models such as fractal/multi-fractal models, and geostatistical simulations, particularly those works study on the validity, robustness, and uncertainty of the models, are welcome.

Walid Salama1, David Cohen2 and Ryan Noble1
1Australian Resources Research Centre (ARRC), Kensington, Australia, 2University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

One of the fundamental challenges for mineral exploration industry is targeting deeper concealed mineral deposits in deeply weathered and covered terrains. Although the geochemical footprints of the buried mineralisation can be obscured, weathering processes can produce secondary mineral deposits within the weathering profile by supergene enrichment and metal dispersion through the overlying transported cover.

In this session we invite submissions on the following:

  • Processes of metal dispersion in the weathering profile and transported cover;
  • Exploration techniques for vectoring buried mineral deposits in weathered terrains including bio-/hydo-geochemical, geophysical, hyperspectral, remote sensing and machine learning methods;
  • Supergene and lateritic ore deposits;
  • Indicator minerals in areas of transported cover.

Nigel J. Cook1
1University Of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia

Rapidly advancing analytical technologies have enabled study of trace elements in minerals at ever improving sensitivity and spatial resolutions. Among the applications of trace element studies are petrogenetic interpretation, constraining ore-forming conditions, and development of distributions models for potentially valuable minor ore components. Although many sets of empirical data on deposits of different types have been published, there is a growing recognition that without ultra-careful multi-technique characterisation of the analysed material, interpretations of the observed patterns may be questionable or case-specific rather than generic. Nanoscale studies have shown that commonly held assumptions about the state of elements in minerals do not always hold true and that fluid-assisted reaction may drive nano- to micron-scale element remobilisation. 

This session will address all aspects of trace elements in minerals and invites contributions that explore topics ranging from innovative microanalytical techniques at different scales, through to applications of trace element studies to ore genesis. Contributions that critically evaluate established paradigms, or identify fertile future research areas, are encouraged. 

Paul Weber
Mine Waste Management, Christchurch, New Zealand

The process of mining and sourcing of minerals and materials is essential to support societies demands for a low carbon clean-green technological future.  To deliver these materials all current and future mining operations must address environmental, social, governance (ESG) requirements by undertaking planning, operations, and closure activities using best practicable methodologies coupled with transparent stakeholder engagement.  ESG expectations can be greater than regulatory requirements and also change with time and all projects need to address these expectations.  This session explores ESG requirements for exploration and mining operations and invites contributions that focus on understanding environmental geochemical risks for projects, management of these risks and uncertainty, environmental geochemistry risk communication and engagement, adaptive management, and planning for closure.

Marie Forget1, Magali Rossi1 and Kristina Maud Bergeron2
1Savoie Mont Blanc University, Le Bourget-du-lac, France, 2Université du Québec à Montréal, Montréal, Canada

Building sustainable mining territories requires questioning the independent and interdependent relationships between the ore deposit, the mining industry, the environment, culture and society. This session expects contributions from the humanities, environmental sciences, social geology and interdisciplinary studies to explore past and present-day territorial trajectories. Topics of interest include:

  • The inheritance of past mining activities on the environment and on society;
  • The role of local, regional, national, global governance and policy-making in framing trajectories;
  • The integration of mining activities within a sustainable development framework: best practices and lessons learned;
  • Integrated, co-existing or conflictual territorial uses or values;
  • The evolution of the social licence to operate;
  • Interactions of stakeholders in conjunction with territorial development;
  • Other historical and socio-environmental aspects of territorial trajectories.

Contributions showing the trajectories of various mining territories are welcome, focussing on areas where mines are closed, regions with large or developing operations, as well as those with artisanal and small-scale mining.

Marie-Odile Simonnot1, Antony van der Ent2 and Agnes Samper1
1Universite De Lorraine - Labex Ressources21, Nancy, France, 2University of Queensland - Sustainable Minerals Institute SMI, Brisbane, Australia

Rising expectations for environmental and social performance in the minerals sector are strongly affecting research needs and trends. The environmental footprint of mines can be reduced at all stages of the mine life cycle, from exploration stages to extraction and closure, and achieved through innovative technologies and collaborative research.

This session, organised by the international multidisciplinary UQ-UL SUCRE research group (Sourcing Unconventional Critical Resource Elements), is calling for contributions with examples of innovative research, designed specifically for building more practical and efficient sustainability in the minerals sector by:

  • Improving the understanding of the diversity of mineralogical assemblages and the geochemical distribution of metals in the ore;
  • Developing efficient solutions in extractive chemistry (in-process extraction, ore enrichment, process engineering, purification processes);
  • Deriving economic value from mine waste through eco-engineering;
  • Identifying the potential for biological processes to assist with mine remediation (hyper-accumulator plants);
  • Creating adaptive solutions for specific mine sites and wastes, or “soft-mining” of non-conventional substrates;
  • Enhancing participatory processes with all stakeholders;
  • Approaching undeveloped ore deposits with a vision including Environmental, Social and Governance considerations;
  • Enhancing more significant collaborative inter-disciplinary research, including with industry partners.

Jenny Stauber1, Lisa Golding1 and Farid Juillot2
1CSIRO Land and Water, Lucas Heights, Australia, 2French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development, Noumea, New Caledonia

In the last two decades, nickel production has shifted from temperate sulfides to tropical laterite deposits to meet the strong increase in global demand. Laterite nickel deposits now represent two thirds of the nickel resources and they account for about 60% of the nickel production, which emphasises the need for a dedicated assessment of the environmental impacts and health effects of laterite nickel mining. Such an assessment relies on a full understanding of the physical and biogeochemical processes that drive mobility, bioaccumulation, bioavailability and (eco)toxicity of nickel and associated trace metals (Cr, Mn, Co) in soils, sediments, freshwaters, coastal marine waters and the atmosphere around laterite nickel deposits.

This session will focus on understanding the interplay between nickel and associated trace metal geochemistry, ecology and human health, by gathering studies dedicated to source identification and apportionment, fate and transport modeling, speciation characterisation, ecotoxicity and ecological risk assessment, as well as human health risk assessment.

Considering the large proportion of laterite nickel resources in New Caledonia, The Philippines, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Australia, studies focused on the Southeast Asia and Melanesia region will be particularly welcome.

Anita Parbhakar-Fox1 and Gavin Mudd2
1University of Queensland, Indooroopilly, Australia; 2RMIT University, Melbourne, Austrlia

A global challenge faced by the mining sector is how to effectively rehabilitate and relinquish mine sites. This is a complex and costly challenge if conventional rehabilitation practices are practiced. Further, the effectiveness of such traditional management techniques in reducing long-term chemical or stability risks has been contested.

An alternative management strategy is challenging the linear economy approach and instead regarding mine waste as a potential resource i.e., adopting a circular economy management approach. This has potential to reduce the environmental footprint of mining. Recent focus has been on battery or technology metals (e.g., Co, In, W, Te, V, REEs) recovery however, a more holistic approach towards mine waste valorisation (i.e., using gangue minerals as construction materials) is starting to emerge. This session seeks submissions that will:

  • Introduce effective techniques for metal exploration (with a focus on battery or technology metals) in a range of mine waste materials (e.g., tailings, slag, waste rock, spent heap leach);
  • Discuss case studies where potential secondary resources, both metals and other gangue minerals, have been identified;
  • Describe new mineral processing technologies developed to unlock these complex ore bodies;
  • Document valorisation of new waste streams.        

Nico Thebaud1, Mark Jessell1 and Luc Siebenaller2
1Centre for Exploration Targeting, School of Earth Sciences, University of Western Australia, Crawley, Australia, 2Le Soleil dans la Main, Winseler, Luxembourg

In many emerging nations, mineral resources and mining activities account for large portions of their total export revenues. Yet the ability of local geoscientists and through them local communities to fully benefit from this economic revenue may be impeded by the lack of specialised training. This lack of training is also critically apparent in artisanal mineral extraction activities and contributes to large scale environmental and social challenges that have further negative impacts on other human activities. In this symposium we solicit contributions that may relate to:

  • Mining in populated regions – Contemporary and future challenges;
  • Sustainability and international cooperation;
  • Geosciences education models for developing nations; 
  • Geoscientists and environmental protection;
  • Role of women geoscientist in natural resources development.

Patron Sponsor

Gold Sponsor


Conference Organisers

Conferences & Events Ltd
Conference Manager: Claudette van der Westhuizen
 +64  4 384 1511

This event is organised by Conferences & Events Ltd, Wellington, Auckland, Nelson & Nationwide.  We are a New Zealand business.