- Senior Research Geologist
John joined iCRAG in late 2015 where he is a senior geological researcher in the iCRAG 3D model of Ireland research platform under the supervision of Prof. John Walsh. John graduated with a BSc honours in Geology in 1993 from Trinity College Dublin before conducting post-graduate research there on the Navan deposit. John took up a position as mine geologist at the Lisheen mine in 1997. Involved initially with mine geology and grade-control John progressed into resource estimation and in 2008 stepped into the role of Chief Geologist where he remained until the mine closed in late 2015. John’s main area of research interest is the controls on mineralisation of the Irish Zn\Pb deposits from the regional to the mine scale
Rocks sometimes contain metals, like gold, silver, copper and zinc, in large enough quantities that make them economic to mine. The vast majority of rocks, however, contain no metals in economic proportions. This is because, in order to concentrate enough metal into a mass of rock requires a very special combination of events. This happens very rarely but over geological time it has occurred many times. As a Mineral Deposit Geologist, I am interested in understanding how, why, where and when these events happen. This ultimately assists us in finding new deposits even though they may be buried hundreds of metres beneath our feet.
My main research interest is in the genesis of the Irish, carbonate-hosted, Zn\Pb deposits. This extends to all geological aspects including: the structural control on the development of the basins and the host-rock lithologies, the temporal physical control and chemical evolution of the mineralisation fluids and the post-ore structural and mineralogical events.
My work at iCRAG is focused on generating a holistic genetic geological understanding for the Irish Zn\Pb Orefield. This incorporates generating 3D ore deposit and regional models using legacy and industry partner data. From this, structural models will be developed and combined with existing and new, targeted, geochemical data to provide insights into the processes at play. Commonality between the various deposits will help determine the major controls. Differences will give insight into the sensitivity of some processes to local controls. As a supposed source of metals, the geochemistry and configuration of basement structures has likely a first order control on the location and geochemistry of deposits and will consequently also be studied.
Having worked previously for many years at the Lisheen mine in Ireland, I am also interested in the application of geological study and best-practice at both the pre-feasibility and operational stages of mining projects to maximise the resource base and economic extraction.
- Specialist Staff
- Enabling Methodologies
- 3D Ireland, Mineral Exploration, Economic Geology, 3D modelling