The Toronto Geological Discussion Group



Upcoming events

    • 09 Dec 2014
    • 8:30 AM - 4:45 PM
    • University of Toronto, Department of Earth Sciences Earth Sciences Center, Room B142
    The KEGS Foundation and the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Toronto are co-hosting a mini-symposium, entitled Exploration for Deep VMS Ore Bodies: The Hudbay Lalor Case Study.

    Although not a TGDG event, the committee feels this event will be of interest to many of our members.  The mini-symposium will be followed by the annual KEGS Christmas Party.  For more details, and to register, please visit

    Download the event flyer.

    • 09 Dec 2014
    • 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
    • Twenty Toronto Street, Toronto, ON M5C 2B8
    • 62

    Facts and Fallacies: a personal commentary on the last 45 years of uranium exploration and development in the Athabasca Basin of northern Saskatchewan.

    Part I: The Background - Some Facts – Roger Wallis

     The geological setting of the North Saskatchewan uranium deposits
     ii  A summary of the discovery history since Rabbit Lake in 1968, >80 deposits totaling 2.16 billion lbs of U3O8 (at US$40/lb. this is >C95 billion “in the ground”)
     iii  The distribution - both geographic and geological of tonnage and grade of these >80 deposits
     iv  But note: 65% of them have NOT been developed - why is this?

    Part II: Economic Development – William Kerr

    High-grade unconformity hosted deposits are the target of choice for almost every Athabasca-focused exploration entity due to their spectacular grades. However, there are no current CNSC licensing applications to place any of the ~~40 known undeveloped deposits, some with more than 100 million pounds U3O8 in resources and some with extremely high grades of up to 19% U3O8, (and all of which are very high-profile) in production.   This analysis, based on history of production and published costs, indicates that shaft-accessible deposits, unless approaching Cigar Lake size, are simply not economic and may be physically and economically stranded and will never be developed under any short to medium term uranium-pricing scenario. Counter-intuitively, this analysis also indicates that smaller lower-grade basement-hosted deposits may be much more economically viable than the remaining un-mined higher-grade unconformity-hosted deposits. While the Athabasca Basin is accepted as the highest-profile uranium exploration “camp” in the world, a radical re-think of these preferred exploration targets, in the context of their “mineability”, is suggested.

    Part III: The Current Exploration Model - A Severe Case of EM Myopia – Roger Wallis

    All the early discoveries were due to follow-up of airborne and ground radiometric surveys - boulder chasing e.g. Rabbit Lake, Cluff Lake, Key Lake, Midwest Lake. However, since the publication of Dahlkamp’s and Tan’s (1977) paper, which noted the proximity of graphite to the Key Lake deposits, uranium exploration in the Athabasca Basin had been dominated by a severe case of EM myopia. Note: This has been incredibly successful, >50 deposits having been discovered by drilling EM conductors.
    And, graphite becomes a significant component of the Hoeve/Sibbald (1978) geological model. However, Yeo/Potter (2010) have demonstrated that graphite is very unlikely to have been an “active” reductant. Using EM techniques to delineate graphite is simply “pragmatic”. It is easy to do, relatively inexpensive and provides drill targets. It is a classic example of the “it worked for them, so it should work for us, we don’t know why, but fly and drill” exploration model.
    Thus, over the last >30 years >10,000 “wildcat” drill holes have been drilled, at the cost of >$500M, with no specific target other than “it’s an EM conductor” and our property has got lots of them!
    So, a few points: (i) NO graphite, or a significant EM conductor, occurs directly for example at Beaverlodge/Gunnar, Cluff Lake, Rabbit Lake, Raven, Horseshoe, Eagle Point, Centennial - a total of >30 deposits. (ii) Recently discovered deposits Roughrider and Phoenix do NOT occur on AEM conductors and were NOT targeted on EM data. (iii) As of 2014 the Basin is saturated with EM to depths of >1000m. So what now? Saturate the Basin with IP, Resistivity, Gravity, Seismic, Magnetotellurics, etc. OR, is it time to return to basic geological controls: fluid transport and ore deposition. There has to be a reason why the deposits are where they are! Why not target these locations?

    This event is followed by our annual Christmas Networking event.


    Bio: Roger Wallis

    Roger Wallis graduated from Birmingham University (UK) with a B.Sc. (Hons.) in Geology and minors in Civil and Mining Engineering in1960, and a Ph.D. in 1966. Roger has worked at Cambridge University as a Senior Research Associate; Senior Geologist with the Saskatchewan Geological Survey; Senior Geologist with Barringer Research; Project Manager at Barringer Fiji Ltd.; Chief Geologist, Minerals Division, Canadian Occidental Petroleum; V.P. Exploration, Billiton Metals Canada Inc. (Royal Dutch Shell), and since 1993 as a Consultant.
    Successful mineral discovery/development projects include McClean uranium (6) deposits; Selbaie Cu-Zn-Ag-Au; Blende Pb-Zn-Ag; Mt. Pleasant Sn/W; Hanson Lake Cu-Zn-Ag-Au and the Phoenix U deposit. Roger has published >30 peer reviewed papers, and been a Distinguished Lecturer for the GAC/CIM and Invited Lecturer for the SEG/GSA. He has been awarded the CIM's Barlow Medal (3 times) and the J. C. Sproule Memorial Plaque for >40 years of successful mineral exploration; the PDAC‘s Distinguished Service Award and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for service to the Canadian Mineral Exploration Industry. Roger was a longtime member of the TGDG Executive.

    Bio: Bill Kerr

    Bill Kerr graduated from UNB in 1975, worked on the Abitibi grant in Buchans, Newfoundland, then spent 3 years with Questor flying INPUT surveys before joining Dome Exploration in 1981 as resident geologist out of Campbell Red Lake Mines, and later the big Dome in Timmins.  He joined Denison Mines in 1997 and became Denison’s technical representative to the McClean Lake JV and also Vice-President Exploration.  He was lead author in 2003 of the world’s first NI 43-101 technical report on U reserves and resources, and co-author of a NI 43-101report on blindshaft boring (forerunner to the McClean Lake JV’s MED and SABRE system).  He directed the Management Committee of the Midwest JV in 2004/2005 to restart exploration to follow up historic hole MW-238, which became the 13 million pound Midwest A deposit.  He built and led the teams responsible for, and named the discovery of,  the worlds highest-grade Uranium deposit at Phoenix, while simultaneously doubling resources by discovery at deposits in both Mongolia and Zambia.  He left Denison in 2011 to run gold and base metal exploration for the Saudi Arabian government’s mining company Ma’aden, returning to Canada in 2013.

    • 20 Jan 2015
    • 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
    • Twenty Toronto Street, Toronto, ON M5C 2B8
    • 69

    Renard Mine, Quebec

    Bio: Matt Manson, CEO, President and Director, Stornoway Diamonds

    • 03 Feb 2015
    • 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
    • Twenty Toronto Street, Toronto, ON M5C 2B8
    • 69
    Discovery History of the Cote Gold Deposit

    Bio: Jamie Rogers, Chief Geologist, IAMGOLD Corporation

    • 28 Apr 2015
    • 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
    • tba
    • 70

    Abitibi Crustal Evolution

    Bio: Lyal Harris, INRS-ETE

Past events

19 Nov 2014 Mini-Symposium – Canada's Mineral Landscape: Aboriginal Rights and Related Issues
21 Oct 2014 The Geologic Framework and Potential for Deep Seated Deposits at the Superior Project, Ontario
07 Oct 2014 Hardrock Gold Project, Geraldton, Ontario: Structural and stratigraphic settings of the deposits
23 Sep 2014 Timing and Controls on Gold Mineralization in the Abitibi Greenstone Belt
15 Sep 2014 Deep Mineral Exploration - The Next Economic Geology Frontier
09 Sep 2014 The discovery of the Goldrush deposit, Cortez Camp, Nevada
13 May 2014 Alexkor and the Richtersveld Land Claim – A retrospective diamond mineral property valuation case study
29 Apr 2014 Advancing Canada's newest gold district: The Borden gold project
09 Apr 2014 Mini-Symposium – Mexico Exploration: Finding the Treasure of the Sierra Madre and more
18 Feb 2014 Geometallurgical Modelling of the Dumont Deposit
04 Feb 2014 The Pistol Bay Gold Project, Nunavut, Canada A new district of Archean gold deposits in a variety of rocks - not just iron formation!
21 Jan 2014 Deep Mining Exploration reveals Ancient Waters of the Precambrian Shield
10 Dec 2013 OSC Staff Notice 43-705: a fair reflection of the mining industry’s recent performance?
21 Nov 2013 Mini-Symposium – Applied Earth Modelling: Better Targeting Using 3D Exploration
05 Nov 2013 The Curraghinalt Orogenic Gold Deposit, Northern Ireland. A Pot of High Grade Gold at the End of the Rainbow
22 Oct 2013 A multidisciplinary approach to the Attawapiskat kimberlite field: accelerating the discovery to production pipeline
01 Oct 2013 Discovery of the Mesel, Batu Hijau, and Elang Deposits, Indonesia: Successful Greenfields Exploration
17 Sep 2013 Exploring and Developing the Hope Bay Project: Approaches Both Old and New
28 May 2013 Do Recent Changes to Ontario’s Mining Act Make the Province a Less Competitive Jurisdiction to Explore?
14 May 2013 Sabodala Gold Mine, Senegal
30 Apr 2013 Key Elements for Mineral Exploration Success: An Example from Neves-Corvo, Portugal
16 Apr 2013 The Rovina Valley Au-Cu Project, Golden Quadrilateral, Romania: New Discoveries in an Old Mining District
02 Apr 2013 Economic geology of black shale – hosted vanadium mineralization in Xiushui County, Jiangxi Province, southeastern China
26 Mar 2013 Mini-Symposium – Laterites or Laterwrongs: Making the Pieces Fit
19 Feb 2013 Anna Fonseca – Infrared Spectroscopy Applied to Alteration Mapping
05 Feb 2013 Joe Hinzer – Challenging Mineral Property Evaluations
22 Jan 2013 Jean-Francois Ravenelle – Geology of the Eleonore Gold Deposit
04 Dec 2012 Jeremy Niemi – The Romero gold discovery, Dominican Republic
08 Nov 2012 Mini-Symposium: The future of mining and exploration in Canada
23 Oct 2012 John Ryder – Paleoplacers – Are Archean/Proterozoic diamondiferous placers/paleoplacers potentially new sources of diamond supply to meet the looming diamond shortage?
09 Oct 2012 Warren Bates – Geology, alteration and Geophysics an the Manfo Gold Project, Sefwi Belt, Ghana
25 Sep 2012 Brent Cook – Exploration vs. Finance and the Low Odds of Success
11 Sep 2012 Hernan Ugalde – Geological Modeling of Geophysical Data: Beyond the 3D inversion black box, v2.0
18 Apr 2012 Hamid Mumin – Iron Oxide Copper-Gold Deposits in Genetic Context
03 Apr 2012 Sally Pehrsson – A new evolution and architecture for the Trans Hudson orogeny and its use in targeting for world class VMS, Nickel and Gold deposits
20 Mar 2012 Jim Mungall – Formation of iron oxide and phosphate tephra of the El Laco volcano, Chile from an Fe-P-O-S magma.
21 Feb 2012 Sergio Cattalani – Discovery and Development of the Canadian Malartic Bulk-Tonnage Gold Deposit, Southern Abitibi, Quebec, Canada.
07 Feb 2012 Workshop and Mini-Symposium on the Complexities of Grade Estimation
24 Jan 2012 Xiaodong Zhou – The Use and Limitations of Aster Satellite Imagery for Exploration

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