Short Course at SGA 2019 conference

Workshop 'Goodies' given to participants included the SoS RARE rare earth deposits deck and Elements Happy Families playing cards (download free from Geobus ), a NdFeB permanent magnet, and Eu-doped strontium aluminate glow pebble. Photo Copyright Frances Wall.
Adrian Finch talking about Greenland rare earth ore deposits. Photo Copyright Frances Wall.
Participants 'hands on' session to learn about Ilímaussaq rocks.  Photo Copyright Adrian Finch.

Adrian Finch and Frances Wall of the SoS RARE and HiTech AlkCarb projects gave a short course on 'Resources in carbonatite and peralkaline rocks: Everything you wanted to know but were too shy to ask' on 25, 26 August before the SGA 2019 conference at the University of Glasgow, Scotland. The topics covered started with issues of criticality and nomenclature. Participants learned the importance of terms and a new one, recently coined by the World Bank – called Climate-Smart Mining. An overview of the main petrological and mineralogical controls on REE and high field strength elements (Zr, Nb, Ta, Hf) followed and then a summary of the major deposit types. More details of the understanding of petrogenesis, exploration indicators and issues of minerals processing and refining were given via case studies of the Gardar region in Greenland (Adrian) and Malawi carbonatites (Frances).

Participants included exploration geologists, students and interested researchers from Japan, Australia, Portugal, UK, Ireland and Norway.

A key aspect was to learn the recognition skills for these rock types and hence Adrian brought a 'car load' of rocks, and a 'hands on' workshops to identify carbonatites and alkaline rocks was part of the programme. Highlights included some of the beautiful rocks from Ilímaussaq, including fluorescent and photochromic sodalites and water-soluble villiaumite. The 'lowlight' was a rock sample contributed by Frances, laterite rare earth ore from Mt Weld, Western Australia – the most ugly rock at the workshop but, participants agreed, at about 15 wt% rare earth oxide and from one of the main active mines outside China, probably the most valuable!

Frances Wall, September, 2019


SoS MinErals logo

NERC logo

EPSRC logo


Social media links