- Research Assistant
James is a geologist from Ballyhaunis, County Mayo, pursuing microanalytical research at Trinity College Dublin on orogeny-associated gold deposits in Ireland and Scotland.
Over 2.5 million ounces of gold have been defined thus far in Ireland, on a SW - NE geological trend extending from County Mayo to County Antrim. It is widely acknowledged that there is potential for the expansion of existing deposit reserves and for new discoveries.
This project is aimed at better understanding the hydrothermal systems which formed these gold deposits, using observations and data collected on a sub-microscopic scale. One of the main aims of the project is to find distinct chemical signatures or ‘fingerprints’ for gold-carrying ‘phases’ within pyrite, a mineral commonly associated with gold in these systems. To achieve this, techniques such as 'laser ablation inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometry' (LA ICP-MS) are being deployed, which enable mineral grains to be examined and analysed at scales of a thousandth of a millimetre.
This work may greatly improve our understanding of gold deposits in our region, and provide vital information which could enhance predictive modelling for commercial explorers.
Multiple samples of drillcore and outcrop have been collected both proximal to, and distal from known orogenic gold occurrences. Microanalytical work is being conducted at the Geochemistry Laboratories and Centre for Microscopy and Analysis (CMA) at Trinity College Dublin.
Project title: Characterizing orogenic vein systems to promote gold exploration across Irish terranes
The objectives of this research are: (1) provide a detailed paragenetic sequence of sulphides for target Irish and Scottish orogenic Au deposits (including presentation of a full mineralogical balance of precious metals and trace elements for selected vein and wall rock samples), (2) to investigate province-scale system relationships, (3) to provide new insights into the sources of metals and fluids, (4) to question and revise where appropriate the timing of mineralisation, and (5) to investigate these hydrothermal systems in the context of metamorphism and rock deformation.
- Specialist Staff
- Earth Resources
- Mineral Exploration