Janina Micko, PhD student, University of British Columbia


After finalizing my high-school education in Germany in 2001, I took my undergraduate degree in geology at The University of Birmingham, England. During my studies in the UK, I was awarded the Universitas 21 scholarship, and thus received the opportunity to spend an exchange year at the University of Queensland, Australia. There, I had my first contact with Australia’s variable mining industry. Inspired by the manifold opportunities in academic and economic exploration geology, I was determined to continue my studies in the field of mineral exploration. On my return to England I undertook a master’s thesis titled: “The hydrothermal genesis of the Manto Copper Deposit ‘Mantos de la Luna’, Chile.” The primarily lab-based project was carried out in cooperation with the “Universidad de Antofagasta”.

In July 2005 I was awarded the “Master of Science (MSCi) in geology” with 1st class honours. The success of the master’s project and my continuing interest in mineral exploration inspired me to leave Europe and undertake a Ph.D. thesis with MDRU at The University of British Columbia, which commenced in January 2006. The Ph.D. project provided me with a first opportunity to work directly with the industry during the field season in 2006 and 2007. In addition to my academic studies at Galore Creek I was employed by NovaGold Resources Inc. and actively took part in their exploration program. This provided valuable experiences in the economic application of exploration geology. In the future, it is my aim to become an active member of B.C.’s mining industry either as an exploration or research-oriented geologist.


The late Triassic Galore Creek alkalic porphyry district in north-western British Columbia contains five deposits and seven prospects that collectively represent the end-members of the silica-undersaturated alkalic porphyry systems. The district is located about 70km south-east of Juneau, Alaska and is dominantly underlain by volcanic and sedimentary rocks of the Middle to Upper Triassic Stuhini Group that compose part of the Stikine-Quesnell terrane. Of the five known deposits, the Central Zone is the largest and resembles the focus for ongoing studies. The Central Zone exhibits most of the typifying characteristics of classic alkalic porphyry deposits and provides an opportunity to enhance the understanding of these poorly understood but highly prospective deposit types.

In order to fully comprehend the hydrothermal genesis of Galore Creek’s Central Zone deposit, it is necessary to progressively examine and link deposit-scale geological features, such as the lithological and hydrothermal facies architecture, with results of in- depth geochemical analysis. The latter portion of the project will investigate (1) wholerock geochemical patterns, (2) sulphur isotopic distribution and (3) compositional and fluid inclusion analysis of hydrothermal garnets on a deposit-wide scale. The results of the study will be compared with research from other components of the “Alkalic Research Project” and literature from alkalic and calc-alkalic deposits.

My Ph.D. is part of a joint project between MDRU (Mineral Deposit Research Unit, UBC) and CODES (Centre for Ore Deposit Research, UTAS). It is sponsored in part by Geoscience BC, Novagold Resources Inc., NSERC as well as various other members of the industry.