Chris Lawley, MSc student, University of Alberta


After completing high school in Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia, I moved to London, Ontario to obtain a BSc. in geology at the University of Western Ontario (UWO). During my third year at UWO I accepted an internship at Inco Exploration in Thompson, Manitoba. I worked in Thompson for 16 months and learned the fundamentals of exploration. After returning to UWO, I worked part-time at the Advanced Mineral Technology Laboratory as an ore microscopist and completed my undergraduate thesis on the South Mystery nickel sulphide deposit at the Thompson Nickel Belt. I graduated from UWO and was accepted into the Masters program at the University of Alberta where I am currently developing a metallogenic model for the MAX molybdenum deposit. My time outside of school is typically split between traveling, mountain biking, and photography.


The MAX molybdenum deposit is located in the Selkirk Mountains of southeastern British Columbia in a broad northwest-trending belt of Early Cambrian metasedimentary rocks bordering the northern end of the Kootenay Arc. Molybdenite mineralization is associated with a Late Cretaceous aged granodiorite intrusion, and concentrated within several steeply plunging granodiorite apophyses that root into a larger underlying pluton. Previous work in the 1980s at the MAX molybdenum project focused on evaluating the structural evolution of the deposit, characterizing the hydrothermal alteration patterns, and quantifying the evolving chemistry of the mineralizing fluids (Linnen and Williams-Jones, 1987; Linnen and Williams-Jones, 1990; Boyle and Leitch, 1983).

The current study will develop a chronological and evolutionary framework for the formation of the MAX deposit incorporating trace element geochemistry of the host intrusion, field observations, fluid inclusion analysis, and previous studies to establish a comprehensive metallogenic model. Underground mapping and analysis of diamond drill holes will place samples within a geologic context. High precision TIMS U-Pb dating of selected samples will be used to determine when the host intrusions were formed, and Re-Os dating of molybdenite from various paragenetic stages of the deposit will constrain the time span of ore formation. Conclusions generated from the current project will directly contribute to ongoing exploration efforts in and around the MAX property for similar style molybdenum deposits.