Winamp Logo
Discovery to Recovery Cover
Discovery to Recovery Profile

Discovery to Recovery

English, Sciences, 4 seasons, 50 episodes, 1 day, 20 hours, 21 minutes
A podcast produced by the Society of Economic Geologists (SEG), bringing you geoscience and technology stories from the world of ore deposits. Season 3 sponsored by ALS Goldspot Discoveries.
Episode Artwork

50. The Diverse Mineral Deposits and Geology of Namibia

Namibia is a country of diverse geology and mineral deposits that is also embracing the green energy transition.  The diversity of critical minerals and metals and the expansion of green energy sources for mining are all exciting for the future of Namibia. Namibia is 'elephant country' in more than one way! The Society of Economic Geologists is thrilled to collaborate with our partners  the Geoscience Council of Namibia and the Geological Society of Namibia  to host the SEG 2024 conference in Windhoek,  September 27-30.   This episode explores the geology and mineral deposits, from the Proterozoic to the present and the mineral potential that exists throughout the country.  We hope you will listen in and then join us in Windhoek in a few months!Anna Nguno, Deputy Director at the Geological Survey of Namibia (GSN), Ministry of Mines and Energy and co-chair of SEG 2024 introduces the episode with a conference teaser: what to expect at the conference, the main themes, technical sessions, field trips, and more. Geological  Mineral and Information System - Namibia (Geological Survey of Namibia)Next Roy Miller, previous Director of the Geological Survey of Namibia, provides an overview of the regional geology and tectonic history of Namibia, including the mineral deposits and economic potential of the various belts. Paleoproterozoic basement rocks contain the 1.2 Haib porphyry deposit.Mesoproterozoic rocks in the country are divided into 3 complexes, none of which contain extensive mineralization. The Neoproterozoic to Cambrian Damara Supergroup is the most extensive succession in Namibia, contains a wealth of different types of ore deposits, and is found in three belts: 1) the Damara belt in central Namibia; 2) the Kaoko belt in the northwest; and 3) the Gariep in the southwestThe Carboniferous to Jurassic Karoo Supergroup contains thin lenses of coal and sandstone aquifers. Cretaceous continental breakup resulted in Etendeka flood basalts.At the end of the Cretaceous the region became semi-arid and the Kalahari Desert began to form. In wetter periods, the Orange River flooded and deposited diamonds from inland to the coast, 90% of which are gem quality and mined today by De Beers. From 21 million years ago, sand began to accumulate in major dune fields. Finally, Mary Barton, Principal Geoscientist at Odikwa Geoservices, talks about her introduction to the field of geology and what a day in the life of a Namibian greenfields exploration geologist looks like. She discusses above ground risks in the country (including lions and cheetahs!), the placer diamond mining industry, and what opportunities the green transition might bring to the country.  Theme music is Confluence by 
2/26/202456 minutes, 20 seconds
Episode Artwork

49. Lithium Brines, Clays and Pegmatites - Understanding a Metal on the Move

Understanding the earth processes that control lithium is key to exploration and developing the resources needed for society and the energy transition.   The lightest of the metals, lithium moves easily in fluids and is found in a variety of geologic environments from brines to pegmatites to clays.  Host Anne Thompson explores the geoscience of lithium, assessing what we know and what are the challenges in the quest to supply the lithium needed by human society. Our three guests provide insights into the variety of lithium sources that potentially allow for geographically distributed supply. We talked first to Rebecca Paisley, a geochemist with WSP Canada, to consider the diversity of lithium bearing brines and the fundamental nature of the metal.  Its natural affinity to partition into the liquid phase means that lithium occurs in salty salar brines, a variety of geothermal brines and oil field brines.  The value of your brine, however, also depends on the end-product required and the steps needed to extract it from the solution.  Rebecca connects the value of lithium in brines to the whole mining circle. Bob Linnen, Chief Geologist – Lithium, KoBold Metals, spent his academic career studying pegmatites and now continues to develop his ideas through global exploration.  The high grades in lithium pegmatites make them appealing targets for exploration, and better positioned to survive big fluctuations in commodity price.  Not all pegmatites, however, are created equal and much is still being learned about this important host for lithium resources as the mineral system view evolves.Koopmans et al., 2023Lastly, we talked to Tom Benson, VP Global Exploration for Lithium Argentina.  Tom thought he was going to be an academic after completing a PhD on Thacker Pass, Nevada, USA, but an opportunity to engage in research and exploration was too good to pass up.  His work includes active collaboration with researchers around the world as well as exploration for new deposits.  Tom frames the occurrence of lithium in clays at Thacker Pass within the context of volcano-sedimentary systems.  The deposit has unique features, including the presence of higher grade illite in addition to lithium-bearing smectite.  Benson et al., 2023New research globally focused on lithium resources continues to push our understanding and highlight the importance of its volatile nature in the ways in which it is concentrated and trapped.  Next week is the last episode of Season 4 – we will head to Namibia, host to the SEG 2024 conference September 27-30,  to explore the diverse geology and mineral deposits and hear about what the conference has in store.  Many thanks to our season 4 sponsor, Anglo American.Our theme music is Confluence, by Eastwinds. 
2/19/202459 minutes, 50 seconds
Episode Artwork

48. Big Data Wrangling for Core Sensing Technology

As our geo-toolkit expands, how can we equip ourselves to deal with these large volumes of highly diverse, dense data that are available and at higher speeds than ever before? This week’s episode is a companion to episode 47 (Core Sensing Technology) and host Britt Bluemel (Global Business Development Manager, ALS GoldSpot Discoveries) is joined by experts in the field of big data wrangling.   They discuss considerations when dealing with data from core sensing systems, with the aim of empowering geologists with better decision-making tools throughout the mining value chain.  New out this week is also a great paper in the SEG Discovery Magazine by Anthony Harris and co-authors - Empowering Geologists in the Exploration Process - Maximizing Data Use from Enabling Scanning Technologies.  Check it out for diagrams and case studies that demonstrate the use of core scanning technology.In this week's episode, our first guest, Dr. McLean Trott (Director, Ore Body Knowledge at ALS GoldSpot Discoveries) just completed his PhD on the topic of tackling big data and integration of various data streams, and how to extract the most value from datasets, including image data. Mac also discusses the utility of point measurement compared to line scanning or full core imaging, with an emphasis on fit-for-purpose data, while considering bottom line factors like speed and cost of data acquisition.  Next,  we’re joined by Dr. Jack Milton, VP Geology at Fireweed Metals, and he provides the ‘end user’ perspective. Fireweed Metals has used XRF core scanning technology for several years and Jack describes some of the key benefits and real time decision making that is enabled by this technology. Jack also discusses good connectivity for transferring these huge data files (their on-site scanner has its own dedicated Starlink system) and the necessity of high quality calibrations when collecting XRF data in the field.  Our final guest, Brenton Crawford (Datarock’s Chief Geoscientist) cautions us not just to choose the coolest machine, but to select the sensor that’s right for the job. He discusses utilizing scanning data to create geometallurgical domains, and how project success can be increased by including your IT team in the early stages of the conversation.  Next week, Anne Thompson will be back with three exceptional guests, to discuss the geology of lithium and explore three different host environments, brines, clays and pegmatites.Our theme music is Confluence, by Eastwinds.  
2/12/202448 minutes, 10 seconds
Episode Artwork

47. Core Sensing Technology for Mineral Exploration and Mining - What, How and Why?

Drill core scanning technology is rapidly developing for use in exploration and mining. The future holds great promise if we can leverage all the data sets available from multiple sensors, but critical for success is understanding how the sensors and scanning systems work.  What are the right questions to ask when picking our tools?   Host Britt Bluemel, Global Business Development Manager for ALS Goldspot Discoveries, discusses three different types of sensors: hyperspectral for mineralogy, X-ray fluorescence (XRF) for elements and laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) for data at the level of atoms. Setting the scene in the first segment is Cari Deyell, Principal Spectral Geologist, Veracio.  Cari takes us through the fundamentals of reflectance spectroscopy and builds out the case for mapping mineralogy from exploration through to mine development and ore body knowledge.  The mineralogical data set provided by #spectroscopy can be enhanced when integrated with XRF and RGB photography.  This integration will lead to fundamental advances in how we understand and mine ore bodies. Our next story focuses on the benefits of using XRF scanners on drill core with Michelle Legat, Vice President at GeologicAI.  Scanning up to 650m per day, they are able to map the elements present and correlate with grades and minerals. Good data from any system is important and Michelle addresses key parts of the data collection process, to ensure that you get the best possible result.  Acquiring XRF data also means a better understanding of mobile and immobile elements, supporting lithogeochemistry and produces some exciting results for exploration programs. François Doucet founder and CEO of Elemission, joins Britt for the last conversation and takes us through the background of LIBS and how it relates to other well-known geochemical analysis.  Francois tells the story of the ground breaking moment of Curiosity landing on Mars in 1999 to the founding of Elemission, applying LIBS to the mapping of drill core.  Scanning rates are dependent on the grain size of the minerals, with adjustments to higher speeds for pegmatites and coarse-grained rock. A breakthrough technology that takes the mapping of core down to the level of atoms. Next week Britt will be back to explore how to handle the volumes of data generated by core scanning systems for use in all parts of the mining value chain.  Our theme music is Confluence by Eastwinds.
2/5/202455 minutes, 46 seconds
Episode Artwork

46. Rethinking Mineral Exploration - Less Carbon, Less Water, Better Data

Reducing the environmental impact of mineral exploration can reap benefits beyond the immediate obvious reduction of harm on the local flora and fauna.  Perhaps unexpected for some are the savings in carbon and water, the positive impact on data collection, the response from local communities and the cost savings. Add to that an ability to recruit outstanding employees and you have a compelling argument for rethinking mineral exploration. To find out what ideas a random sample of folks involved in mineral exploration had, we toured the exhibit hall of the recent AME Roundup 2024 in Vancouver, British Columbia.  What did they think would reduce the environmental impact of mineral exploration?  The ideas are wide ranging but hit on the critical point - take better data, be smart and be efficient. Careful program planning, building new camp systems and continuing to innovate as they grow their business is built into the fundamental framework of Anomalous Exploration.  Join us as we explore with Ellen Hunter-Perkins, CEO, how they approach small scale programs and the perhaps unexpected benefits of more time on the ground, in the field, to collect high quality data and the response they have had from potential employees.Anomalous Exploration Innovation is a core part of how Hy-tech operates, based out of Smithers, British Columbia. We talked to Brian Butterworth, President Hy-Tech Group about how they continue to adapt their systems and also build their international operations.  For several years now, they have been operating centrifuges on their diamond drills, resulting in most of the water needed in diamond drilling being recycled.  Several of their innovations result in lower fuel consumption and reduced equipment transportation.  Paying attention to how we drill diamond holes can significantly reduce our environmental footprint.Hy-tech DrillingTheme music is Confluence by Eastwinds.
1/29/202451 minutes, 52 seconds
Episode Artwork

45. Career and Family in Exploration - the Benefits of Balance for the Industry

How can we balance the demands of careers in exploration with family life? How has the industry at large dealt with this in the past versus how companies handle it today? Filling the expected gaps in the exploration and mining workforce requires us to look internally at how we support employees to start families, care for parents or manage other personal circumstances.  Communication with our managers, colleagues, spouses, and families are all equally important.  Managing it collaboratively and with flexibility can make the difference, determining who stays and who leaves the industry. Anne Thompson introduces the episode with some stories from her own early career as a field exploration geologist and while starting a family in the late 1980s.  Anne’s early work in Utah, where she took her young daughter into the field was recently featured by the Utah Geological Survey.Next, a husband-and-wife pair, Duncan and Catherine Proctor, discuss their own career paths and how they changed when they started a family. They tell the listeners how they balance their careers and their family and make sure both can be fulfilling for them. They also discuss the importance of being versatile when circumstances inevitably change in both their personal and professional lives. Find out more about their story at  ndp40 .Barbara Romero, Superintendent Exploration at BHP in Santiago, then discusses the challenges and opportunities of being a single mother in a job that requires significant travel. She talks about her experiences working for a major company raising a young daughter, from her first time away from home when her daughter was 6 months old to what life with her daughter is like now in a modern, post-pandemic world where flexible work schedules are the norm. She also discusses her challenges and her goals for the future.Duncan, Catherine, and Barbara all discuss how they stay connected to their families while they are away, and give the listeners advice on how they can advocate for themselves in the workplace. Tune in to get some stories and words of wisdom from these fantastic guests! Next episode we will switch gears and learn about the environmental impacts of exploration with host Anne Thompson.  Theme music is Confluence by Eastwinds . 
1/22/202453 minutes, 29 seconds
Episode Artwork

44. Seeing the Rocks - New Ideas in the Kiruna Mining District, Northern Sweden

The Kiruna Mining District, 200km north of the Arctic Circle in Sweden, is well known for the giant Kiruna Iron-Oxide-Apatite (IOA) deposit.   The district has a long history of iron production extending back to the late 1800s. Less well known are the copper deposits that are spatially associated with Kiruna. New work by both researchers and explorationists is providing a better understanding of the complicated relationships in these Proterozoic rocks. A shift in mindset is allowing for new perspectives and an opportunity for discovery. We first talked to Leslie Logan, PhD candidate at Luleå University of Technology. Her study focuses on the tectonic framework of the Svecokarelian greenstone belt and uses a mineral systems approach to understand mineral occurrences in the district. The origin of the copper deposits has long been debated. Leslie’s work provides new data and interpretation to understand the origins and relationship of the deposits with each other. Leslie Logan - Luleå University of TechnologyOur second guest was Marcello Imaña, Chief Geologist from Copperstone Resources to talk about the history of Viscaria Cu-Fe deposit which is immediately adjacent to the giant Kiruna IOA deposit. Mining at Viscaria was carried out from 1982 to 1997.  Most recently, Copperstone Resources acquired the deposit and are aiming to be in full production again in 2026 after a very successful exploration phase. Their secret was going to an old place with new ideas. Marcello shares how they changed their mindsets staying away from models and relying on what they saw in the rocks. He believes that successful efforts at Viscaria will transform and promote the Kiruna Mining District for copper.Copperstone Resources ViscariaOur music is Confluence by Eastwinds.
1/15/202449 minutes, 50 seconds
Episode Artwork

43. Let the Rocks Talk - Mineral Systems and Deposit Models in Northern Sweden

Exploration and mining have a long history in northern Sweden, host to the Skellefteä, Bergslagen, and Kiruna Mining Districts.  What are the underlying characteristics that make this region rich in mineralization?  We explore the metallogeny, mineral systems and deposit models that guide exploration for base metals and gold.  What has changed over the last century and what do we know now that will help guide the next discoveries?  First, we talked to Nils Jansson, Associate Professor at Luleå Tekniska Universitet about the metallogeny and diverse mineral occurrences in the Skellefteä, Bergslagen, and Kiruna Mining Districts. His academic and industry background helped us understand how and why some deposit types occur together and the challenges of using genetic models. An open mind, an understanding of the complexities present and a mineral systems approach are all important in guiding exploration for deep, hidden deposits.  In our second story, Mac Persson, an exploration geologist from Boliden Minerals shares the history, culture, and challenges in the Skellefteä District.   The world-class mining district has been explored for over a century and hosts numerous deposits, dominantly VMS mineralization, but also porphyry, orogenic gold and magmatic nickel deposits.  He talked about the significance of Au-rich VMS deposits for Boliden Minerals and how the company explores them using innovative methods and legacy data. Both of our guests were field trip leaders at the SEG 2022 Base, Precious and Critical Metal Deposits of the Paleoproterozoic Skellefteä District, Sweden.  They have extensive experience and perspective on working in this challenging terrain.Our music is Confluence by Eastwinds.
1/9/202452 minutes, 32 seconds
Episode Artwork

42. Tethyan Belt in Türkiye – Exploration Potential and Recent Discoveries

Türkiye forms an integral part of the Tethyan Belt, extending from the Balkans in the west to Iran in the east. The complexity of the geology in Turkish Tethyan Bet also offers diverse mineralization styles and is still considered underexplored compared to other countries. We talked to our guests with diverse backgrounds to understand the exploration potential and recent successes across the regions.Our first guest is İlkay Kuşçu, Exploration Projects Consultant with SSR Mining, who has over three decades of experience on the Turkish Tethyan Bel. He provides a valuable overview of the belt and exploration history of the country.Then, we talked to Firuz Alizade, Head of Global Exploration with Lidya Mining. In 2015, he led the team in discovering a high-grade Au-Cu Hod Maden deposit and was also the recipient of 2020 PDAC’s Thayer Lindsley award. He shared Hod Maden's exploration story.The third guest, Ali İmer, is an assistant professor of Economic Geology at METU Turkey. His primary focus has been on the Porphyry-Epithermal System in Eastern Anatolia, sharing the tectonomagmatic evolution of the region with a comparison to Iran.Our last guests are Elif Tekin, Business Development Manager with ESAN and past-chair WIM Turkey, and Bader Bilgin, Exploration Geologist with SSR Mining. Elif Tekin informs us about WIM's activities and future goals in Turkey. She also remarks on the importance of resourcing geologists. Then, Bader Bilgin tells us why an early career geologist would need a mentor and how SEG and WIM mentorship benefited her.Our music is Confluence by Eastwinds. 
12/12/202355 minutes, 12 seconds
Episode Artwork

41. Artisanal Mining - Building Geoscience Capacity with Collaboration

Artisanal mining is full of both opportunities and challenges.  How can we collaborate to  build capacity for artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM), particularly in Africa?  We talk about the many aspects of ASM and the importance of geology in creating longer term, sustainable mining operations.  Each of our guests has personal experience and knowledge to bring to the conversations.We talked first to Nicole Smith, assistant Professor at the Colorado School of Mines and an expert on artisanal and small-scale mining. She provides an excellent overview of the sector and its many facets and addresses the fundamental question of why we should be working towards formalization of artisanal mining globally.In our second story,  Manuel Nopeia,  a post-doctoral fellow at Akita University in Japan addresses the need for use of geological models in establishing formalization of artisanal mining in Mozambique.  We connected just a few days ago to find out more about his story and the importance of ASM in his home country, where exploration and discovery of gold deposits is dominated by artisanal miners. Manuel published a thought provoking paper in Science Direct that addresses the need for geological models in the formalization of artisanal mining in Mozambique.Nopeia et. al, 2022Having  heard what the challenges are and how important building capacity is – we turned to John Tychsen, CEO at ASSM Consult, to learn what the  PanAfGeo program is  doing to help.  PanAfGeo is a European Union funded effort that brings 12 European geological surveys together with all the surveys and ministries of mines in Africa to support advancing geoscience.  John has delivered workshops to representatives from all 54 African countries as part of the ASM work package. PanAfGeo - ASMOur music is Confluence, by Eastwinds.Eastwinds
12/5/202354 minutes, 26 seconds
Episode Artwork

40. Fit for Purpose Mining Methods

Three completely different types of ore deposits demand 'fit for purpose' mining methods.  We consider the move in the last 20 years to ‘super’ block caving, unlocking massive deep resources, then change scale and examine an innovative new technology that enables ‘surgical mining’.  Lastly, changing the mining method for Cobre's project in the Kalahari Copper Belt, Botswana,  to in-situ leach may unlock new potential for the region.We start with a look at block caving to consider the benefits and challenges of working in large deposits at greater and greater depths. We talked to Katrina Crook a mining engineer, currently with Glencore where she is  Lead - Governance & Integration, Value Realisation.  Her diverse experience provides provides a great overview of how the method works, the importance of geological knowledge and expertise and the challenges that need to be overcome. Epiroc Youtube Video - Block Caving In our next story we consider a completely different mining challenge and change the scale of the target.  Allan Cramm is the VP Innovation for Novamera – a technology company with a new approach to mining, finding ways to unlock value in high grade narrow zones by using ‘surgical mining.’  They are employing a large diameter drill in conjunction with an innovative sensor technology and software to mine a range of targets that previously would have been stranded.Novamera - Surgical Mining VideoLastly  - what do you do when you the high grade, underground mining target eludes you, but what you discover is too deep for an open pit?  In the case of Cobre, an Australian listed company, they recognized an opportunity for an in-situ copper recovery operation.  We talked to their CEO, Adam Wooldridge to find out the story behind the discovery and their plans going forward.  In-Situ Recovery - Sinclair and Thompson, 2015
11/27/202359 minutes, 5 seconds
Episode Artwork

39. Crystallizing your Communication - the Power of Words

Effective geoscience outreach and scientific collaboration are enhanced by our choice of words and communication tools. Our guests Sam Illingworth and Chris Jackson offer fresh perspectives based on their own experience and work.  They focus on what we as individuals can do, from using poetry to solve scientific roadblocks, to ways in which we can better connect with audiences of all types – even those within our own work environments.  Both challenge us to be more professional in our geoscience communication and work on measuring our impact.Sam Illingworth, an Associate Professor at Edinburgh Napier University discusses his work, specifically using poetry as a tool for dialogue and reimagining a problem.   Sam views poetry as being able to provide a space for dialogue.  It connects scientists and non-scientists, enabling the development of research and enabling knowledge dissemination.   He encourages us to do a better job of measuring the value of our geoscience outreach projects.  Sam produces a poetry podcast, is an editor of Consilience (science poetry journal) and the journal Geoscience Communication. Geoscience Communication journalConsilienceThe Poetry of Science PodcastGeologize Communication CourseOur second guest, Chris Jackson, is the Director of Sustainable Geosciences at Jacobs and Visiting Professor of Basin Analysis at Imperial College in London.  He brings all our themes together and emphasizes how important it is for geoscientists to be effective communicators. His participation in shows like ‘Expedition Volcano’ on the BBC has allowed him to bring geoscience to a broader audience and engage them in a different, more accessible manner.  Whoever is the audience, whether it be colleagues or school children, the key to success is making them feel smarter by the end of your presentation. This results also results in a more engaged and interested audience.  The key questions are -   How can we simplify without losing accuracy?  What are the benefits and challenges in diversifying voices?  Everyone can embrace geoscience communication at whatever level works for them.  TedX – Chris Jackson Diversity UK EventRI Lecture
11/20/202348 minutes, 1 second
Episode Artwork

38. New Horizons in Geoscience Communication

In the evolving world of communication in geology and geoscience,  the importance of dialogue leads the way to deal with some of society’s grand challenges. Iain Stewart is at the forefront, helping build effective communication strategies to advance the global geoscience mission. We also explore an example of empathetic, community centred dialogue with Kate Moore.  A two-way conversation is critical to building the mines of the future, supplying the energy transition and supporting a broad range of geology-related societal challenges.  Iain Stewart is the El Hassan bin Talal Research Chair in Sustainability at the Royal Scientific Society (Jordan) and Professor of Geoscience Communication at the University of Plymouth (UK). Iain has spent decades honing his communication skills, including a 15-year partnership with the BBC, but his thinking around communication continues to evolve.  We talked to him about how he arrived at an approach of seeking to understand what people want to know, ultimately summed up by the question ‘how can we help?’.  Importantly, he recently published a paper , Three Horizons for Future Geoscience, that uses the dialogic tool of the three horizons as a framework for thinking about systemic change and what pathways we can use to move away from the ‘business as usual’ approach.  The paper evaluates the current state of geoscience, particularly in advanced economies, and poses one narrative that can be used to reimagine the global geoscientific mission.  There aren’t easy answers, but there are ways in which we can build dialogue and seek solutions together.  Dialogue and asking the question ‘how can we help you?’ was fundamental to Kate Moore’s team on the large EU Horizon 2020 project, IMPaCT.  Kathryn Moore, Senior Lecturer in Critical and Green Technology Metals, Cambourne School of Mines, was part of the team that worked with Mineco, a small mining company operating in Bosnia. Success in the project required multidisciplinary dialogue, across all technical disciplines and with the local community.  One of their big challenges was also to create enduring and effective public outreach.  Through both creative thinking and a series of fortuitous and challenging events, the final product was a thoughtful and provocative book entitled ‘Of Earth, For Earth.’   The book was published by the University of Exeter and is available from a variety of sources.Our theme music is Confluence by Eastwinds.
11/13/202359 minutes, 2 seconds