Dr Koen Torremans
- iCRAG Investigator
Koen Torremans is a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in the iCRAG raw material research spoke. Koen pursued his PhD in geology at KU Leuven university in Belgium. His research focused on fracture and seal vein forming processes in mid-crustal environments, which involved discrete element numerical modelling, structural analysis of Cu-Co deposits in the Central African Copperbelt and investigation of vein microstructures. At iCRAG, Koen’s research will focus on 3D modelling of the Irish Carboniferous Basin on a regional and deposit scale, with a special interest into the structural evolution of Lower Carboniferous faulting and its links to fluid flow and mineralization.
Sustainable access to mineral resources is of critical importance to our society. Ireland is a major producer of zinc and lead metal in Europe. These metals are essential components in car batteries, construction alloys or dyes and are extracted from the subsurface. But because the depth at which we find these resources increases year after year, we have to get smarter at finding them. My research attempts to understand where these metal can be found in the Irish subsurface. For this, we use 3D visualisations of many different types of subsurface data.
Project title: Structural evolution of Lower Carboniferous faulting and its links to fluid flow and mineralization
The world-class Irish Zn-Pb-(Ag) deposits comprise one of the major metallogenic provinces in the world, with over 25 deposits and prospects containing 20+ Mt of Zn+Pb metal. The majority of the Zn-Pb ore in the Irish Lower Carboniferous replaces reef or reef-equivalent limestones and dolomite breccias in the hanging wall of major normal faults. However, despite the societal and economic importance of Irish Zn-Pb mineralisation, the links between the spatial organisation of orebodies and the stratigraphic and structural framework is still very poorly understood.
Understanding the first-order structural controls on these ore deposits is of great economic importance for exploitation of existing deposits and critical for predicting new deposits, given the importance of a well-connected plumbing system for metal-bearing fluids to reach their basinal traps from basement source. The aim of my research project is therefore to unravel the structural controls on Irish Lower Carboniferous (ILC) base metal deposits. For this we are using an integrated multidisciplinary approach of (1) 3D geological modelling, (2) kinematic restoration, (3) discrete element modelling and (4) flexural backstripping techniques. These methods are combined with fieldwork and structural analysis at selected mine sites and I collaborate closely with the 3D platform and geochemists at iCRAG.
- iCRAG Investigator
- Earth Resources
- Mineral Exploration