Venue: Perth, Western Australia
Travel report by Dan Gregory
Thank you to the organisers of travel grants from Geoconferences (WA). Through the JH Lord Travel Grants Scheme I was able to attend the “Evolving Early Earth” 5th International Archean Symposium in Perth, Australia from September 5-9, 2010. During the trip I attended every day of the Symposium and the “Controls on Giant Minerals Systems in the Yilgarn Craton” field excursion.
The most beneficial part of the conference for me was participating in the “Controls on Giant Minerals Systems in Yilgarn Craton” field excursion. Over the course of the excursion we visited a number of gold and nickel mines, several of which are world class deposits within the Yilgarn Craton. This is especially pertinent to me because my study area is within the Yilgarn Craton and it allowed me to see other similar deposits in person and how they vary from my own study area. The trip covered a large area and it helped me to better understand the regional characteristics of the mineralization and the regional structural controls on the deposits.
My PhD involves studying two different deposits within the Yilgarn Craton. I have started work in the St Ives gold camp but it has not been decided what the second deposit will be. This trip provided me with the opportunity to look at several deposits which is a valuable addition to reading research papers, thus allowing me to select the most appropriate deposit for my thesis. During the trip I met several people representing different companies and research institutions working in the Yilgarn. Many of them are very willing to accommodate me visiting their mines and studying the deposits. The leaders of the tour were also very helpful in suggesting appropriate mines to study.
During the trip I was able to collect high grade pyrrhotite-pentlandite +/- pyrite nickel ore samples from the Long Victor Nickel Mine that will be used as teaching specimens at the University of Tasmania. In these samples the pentlandite is course grained and very easy to identify which will help future geology students to learn about this important nickel mineral.
All the talks at the conference were very informative and broadened my understanding of Archean geology greatly. The talks that I found most pertinent were the theme 4: “Establishing a Habitable Planet” talks because my thesis involves studying the characteristics of basinal sediments within the goldfields stratigraphy and some of the isotope and chemical techniques described by some of the speakers I had not heard of or considered. I hope to utilize some of these techniques in my own research.
Once again, I would like to thank Geoconferences (WA) for their generous support of my attendance at the conference through the JH Lord Travel Grant Scheme. Without this travel grant I probably would not have been able to attend the conference and it has been a very positive experience.