Venue: Rotorua, New Zealand
Travel report by Margaux Le Vaillant
Thanks to Geoconferences (WA) Inc. and the JH Lord Travel Grant I was able to attend the 26th IAGS in November 2013. This meeting incorporated the 35th New Zealand Geothermal Workshop (NZGW), and focused on applied geochemistry, new ways of analysis, interpretation of data, and geochemistry applied to environmentally sustainable mineral and geothermal exploration and development. A technical programme, special sessions, workshops and excursions provided a comprehensive programme.
My work is specifically looking at hydrothermal remobilization of base metals and platinum group elements around Western Australian komatiite-hosted nickel sulphide deposits. These Alteration and metamorphic processes have the potential to result in large geochemical haloes, whose recognition could potentially enlarge the detectable footprint of this ore type, thus aiding exploration targeting. I have studied several komatiite-hosted nickel sulphide deposits using multiple geochemistry tools and analytical techniques. One of these tools is a portable X-Ray Fluorescence Analyzer (pXRF). This geochemical tool is now widely used within the mining exploration community. I developed an analytical protocol in order to use and calibrate pXRF for komatiite-hosted nickel sulphide deposit exploration.
The 26th IAGS represented an ideal platform to present my work and get constructive criticism on my progress and interpretations. I had already presented this work at the 12th SGA Biennal Meeting in August 2013, conference which was more focused on economic geology and the practical applications of my work to exploration targeting. Attending and presenting my work at the 26th IAGS was very complementary. The audience was more focused on the tools that were used to detect the geochemical halo, and the analytical protocol that had been developed and put in place. As a result, attending this conference allowed my work to be assessed from a totally different, which was of great benefit to the quality of my thesis.
Finally, I was also invited to present my work at a workshop organised by the 26th IAGS: “Portable XRF in mineral exploration: state of the art 2013”. This workshop was a great opportunity to share my experience with this instrument and discuss the analytical protocol which I had developed with experts in the field. Finally, I learnt a lot on the best practice for pXRF, and discovered a large range of interesting and varied applications.
Attending these conferences was hugely beneficial as I was able to interact and share my research findings with leading geo-scientists in the fields of Applied Geochemistry. I received invaluable feedback and was able to gain knowledge on various useful analytical geochemical tools which I can apply in my future research.
In summary, this conference was both a resounding success, and was rewarding to both myself and my research. Again I would like to thank Geoconferences for the JH Lord travel grant and helping promote my research findings on Western Australian deposits throughout the world.