Energy, Mines and Resources

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Past Recipients

Timothy Gibson - 2014 Recipient

Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, McGill University

Supervisor: Dr. Galen Halverson

Early Neoproterozoic (1000-700 Ma) Tectonostratigraphic Evolution of Northern Canada
Northern Canada preserves unusually complete Neoproterozoic sedimentary sequences that include evidence of early Neoproterozoic eukaryotic diversification, early animal evolution, oxygenation of the global ocean, snowball glaciations, and the breakup of the Rodinia. Through a combination of detailed stratigraphic fieldwork, stable isotope geochemistry, and U-Pb geochronology, I aim to formulate a robust stratigraphic architecture for early Neoproterozoic basin-fill in northern Canada. This will provide a template for integrating complementary paleontological and geochemical datasets that shed light on biogeochemical and biospheric evolution in the early Neoproterozoic.

Logan Brown - 2013 Recipient

Department of Earth Sciences, Simon Fraser University

Supervisor: Dr. Brent C. Ward

Cosmogenic dating of the penultimate glaciation in the Ogilvie Mountain, Yukon Territory
The Yukon was repeatedly affected by the Cordilleran ice sheet (CIS) during the Late Pliocene to Late Pleistocene, as well as ice from local alpine sources. Recent studies have shown that the age of the penultimate ice limit varies across the Yukon: Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 4 (80-60 ka) in Aishihik Lake area and MIS 6 (190-130 ka) along the Stewart and Pelly rivers. This diachronous nature of the penultimate limit, formerly thought to be the boundary of only one glaciation, requires re-evaluation of this limit for each of the ice lobes, and suggests a complex response to climate forcing. The aim of this study is to constrain the age of the mapped penultimate limit in the Ogilvie Mountains to either MIS 4 or MIS 6. The age will be determined using a terrestrial cosmogenic nuclide (TCN) depth profile in outwash gravels near the established penultimate limit, north of Chapman Lake. The ages obtained from the depth profile will be supported by radiocarbon dating of organic material and establishment of the paleoenvironment based on stratigraphy and analysis of plant and insect macrofossils. 

Eric Buitenhuis - 2012 Recipient

Department of Earth Sciences, Western University

Supervisor: Dr. Norman Duke

The thesis is titled "Metallogenesis of the Latte Gold Zone, Kaminak Gold Corporation's Coffee Gold Project, Dawson Range, Yukon", and it's objective is to better understand and classify the Latte gold zone at Kaminak Gold Corporation's Coffee property. It is located in the White Gold district of the Tintina Gold Belt, Yukon, Canada, ~30 km south of Kinross Gold Corporations Golden Saddle deposit. A key issue which needs to be addressed is the lack of detailed cross sections as well as a standardized database of the Latte host rocks. The main problems to be solved can be subdivided into two aspects. A better understanding of host rocks at Latte is the initial research direction. Problems include: the origin of amphibolite and biotite schist, timing of the transpositional foliation which overprints the biotite schist, the chemical signature of footwall metabasalts, and dating of late porphyry dykes. The second aspect of research will focus on the gold mineralization. Problems include: timing of the mineralizing event(s), defining differing mineralizing styles, and identifying the fluid source of mineralization. This project aims to clarify and classify the style of mineralization seen at Coffee, and specifically Latte, which would be a valuable contribution to the greater geological community.

Timothy Wrighton - 2011 Recipient

Minerals Deposit Research Unit, University of British Columbia

Supervisor: Dr. Jim Mortensen

Placer/Lode Gold Relationships and the Implications for Gold Exploration
Previous research by a number of authors (Mortensen, Chapman and others) has looked at different aspects of placer gold geochemistry and morphology. This project is a continuation if this work and aims to combine these two avenues of research together to develop a new method for determining the most likely style(s) of lode mineralization (e.g., orogenic, epithermal, porphyry, skarn, etc.) that contribute to placer deposits, and for estimating how far the gold grains have travelled from source; thus providing valuable information to aid hard rock exploration. Recent studies of placer and lode gold in the western Yukon and elsewhere by Chapman, Mortensen and others have shown that the morphology and microchemical signature (alloy composition and microinclusion assemblage) of placer gold can be used in this way to inform exploration. This project involves applying the technique across the whole unglaciated portion of the Western Yukon, with the aim of actively directing companies toward areas of economic interest. The Yukon is an ideal area to conduct this project due to: 1) the unglaciated nature of the western Yukon; 2) the extensive research already conducted; 3) the widespread placer gold across the study area; and 4) the current drive in the area to find new resources. During this project I aim to evaluate the potential of using this technique during active exploration programs alongside more conventional data streams (e.g., Geophysics, stream sediments and soil geochemistry) and I hope to display the added value that can be gained by applying this technique during exploration efforts.

Kristi Medig - 2010 Recipient

Kirsti is working on a Ph.D. at the Department of Earth Sciences at Simon Fraser University, under the supervision of Derek Thorkelson. Her thesis focuses on the stratigraphy, sedimentology and detrital mineral geochronology of the Proterozoic Pinguicula Group in north-central Yukon.

Proterozoic Pinguicula Group: Stratigraphy, contact relationships and possible correlations

The Pinguicula Group consists of conglomerate, sandstone and mudstone, overlain by mainly dolostone with minor intercalations of shale. We know little about the source of the sediment, the variations in stratigraphy, the origin and framework of the basin, the age of deposition, stratigraphic correlations with units in other regions, and the role of the succession in upper crustal evolution. Furthermore, we know little about the nature and extent of mineralization hosted by the succession. This research will provide a comprehensive analysis of the Pinguicula Group based on field studies and subsequent laboratory work. The objectives are to provide (1) new field-based descriptions of the succession involving mapping, section measurement and sampling; (2) an evaluation of sediment provenance using geochemical, geochronological and isotopic methods; (3) an assessment of basin size, shape and origin, and consideration of stratigraphic correlations, and (4) examination and characterization of the underlying regolith, which shows evidence of supergene enrichment of underlying IOCG occurrences.
This project allows me to gain invaluable field experience encompassing multiple aspects of geology while learning from exceptional geologists. Along with further development of my geological skills in the field, I will gain experience managing a scientific program in Canada’s North. This experience will benefit me as I continue to work on field related projects and broaden my exposure and understanding of Cordilleran geology

Rosie Cobbett - 2009 Recipient

Rosie is enrolled in the Earth and Ocean Sciences department at the University of British Columbia (UBC) working to complete a Master of Science degree.  Under the guidance of Jim Mortensen at UBC, Steve Israel at the Yukon Geological Survey and Cees Van Staal at the Geological Survey of Canada, Rosie is determining the timing and kinematic evolution of the Duke River fault located in southwest Yukon. A synopsis of her work is outlined below:

The timing and kinematic evolution of the Duke River fault, southwest Yukon: Insights into the formation of the western Canadian Cordillera. 

Two of the outermost terranes in the Canadian Cordillera, Wrangellia and the
Alexander terrane, are exotic to North America and were accreted in the Cretaceous. This study is focused on the Duke River fault, which separates Wrangellia and the Alexander terrane in southwest Yukon.  The exposure of the fault over much of its strike length provides excellent opportunity to assess the geological relationship between the two terranes.   One result of my research is refined stratigraphic knowledge and new kinematic and temporal details of regional metamorphism in the previously poorly understood Alexander terrane.  The new knowledge is guiding new collaborative research of the Alexander terrane, where there is good potential to find  ‘Windy Craggy’ style Volcanogenic Massive Sulphide deposits and several other base and precious metal deposits.  Extensive mapping of the Duke River fault is allowing comprehensive analysis of the kinematics and timing of the fault in the Alexander terrane (as well as Wrangellia).  The U-Pb ages from magmatic bodies indicate intrusions into the Alexander terrane rocks that do not correlate with any known intrusive suites; therefore, the study is defining new lithologic units in the Alexander terrane.  Last, the 40Ar/39Ar ages from muscovite grains within deformed Alexander terrane rocks are providing time constraints on regional deformation events that have affected the terrane. Data such as these are crucial to defining a tectonic model for the evolution of the Alexander terrane.

Derek Turner – 2008 Bradshaw Memorial Scholarship 


 The 2008 Bradshaw Memorial scholarship was awarded to Derek Turner. Derek is enrolled in a joint PhD program between the Earth Science departments of Simon Fraser University (SFU) and the University of Alberta (UA). Under the guidance of Dr. Brent Ward (SFU) and Dr. Duane Froese (UA), Derek is reconstructing the mid to late Pleistocene history of southwest Yukon. A synopsis of his work is outlined below:
Middle to Late Pleistocene Stratigraphy and Tephrochronology of Southwest Yukon
Yukon has been repeatedly affected by the northern Cordilleran ice sheet (CIS), resulting in three mapped glacial limits and a large unglaciated area. Recent work using new dating techniques suggest the glacial limits and timings are far more complicated than previously thought. The purpose of this study is to address these knowledge gaps by examining the exceptional stratigraphic record and interbedded tephras (volcanic ash) of the White River and Silver Creek region in southwest Yukon to constrain the northern CIS during the Middle and Late Pleistocene. This multidisciplinary research will reconstruct the paleoenvironment and timing of glacial and non-glacial intervals in southwest Yukon Territory during the past 200 000 years. The knowledge of past climatic cycles and environmental conditions gained through this project will assist our understanding of the evolution of pre-last glacial placer deposits in Yukon and Alaska and give us knowledge of future climate cycles. Understanding the glacial history of these locations is also useful for exploration companies working in the large unglaciated areas of western Yukon