Avee Ya'acoby, MSc student, University of British Columbia



Avee Ya’acoby, an Israeli-born Canadian, developed a strong interest in the natural sciences at a young age. In the years 1996–1999 he served in the Israeli Air Force as a weather forecaster and acquired a military diploma in meteorology. In the following years he moved to Toronto and continued his professional career in meteorology at Canada’s weather channel, The Weather Network. In late 2006 he decided to leave The Weather Network and moved to British Columbia to pursue academic studies. In 2011 he graduated with honours from the University of British Columbia in the Okanagan, and acquired a BSc in Earth and Environmental Sciences. His undergraduate research thesis explores the geochemistry of 13 pristine basaltic meteorites from Mars, and reveals relationships between depth of mantle melting, percentage melting, and mantle composition. The research provides insights into Mars mantle origin and processes, and enhances our understanding about the geologic evolution of the solar system. In light of his excellent academic achievements, he received several scholarships including a prestigious award from the Society of Economic Geologists, sponsored by Gold Fields Exploration Inc.

Avee is currently a Masters student in the department of Earth and Oceanic Sciences at the University of British Columbia’s main campus in Vancouver. He is specializing in geology, petrology, applied mineralogy and geochemistry. His career aspirations include gaining a PhD in Earth and/or Environmental Sciences, exploring new mineral deposits, and studying relationships between magma character, igneous processes and associated mineralizing expressions. He hopes to advance exploration and extraction guidelines that are desirable for economic resources, while applying cost-effective strategies and minimizing environmental impacts.

Project: The Petrology, Mineralogy, Geochemistry and Origin of the Ren Carbonatite, Monashee Complex, Southeastern British Columbia

Carbonatites are relatively rare magmatic rocks that consist of more than 50% carbonate minerals, and are variably enriched in rare earth elements (REEs), high field strength elements (HFSEs) and phosphorous. Their global occurrence is generally limited to continental rifts, and their origin has been the focus of ongoing debates among petrologists.

In that context, supervised by Dr. Lee Groat, the thesis project explores the Ren carbonatite occurrence in the Canadian Cordillera. The carbonatite is found in the Monashee Complex, along the northwestern margin of Frenchman Cap Dome, within the calc-silicate unit. Near Ratchford Creek, the carbonatite is 3 km long and 20–150 m wide. It is variably enriched in REEs and HFSEs at generally low-to-medium grades. The carbonatite appears to comprise additional but discontinuous carbonatite segments, with similar stratigraphic relationships, several km to the south. The Ren carbonatite occurrence therefore encompasses a total large unknown tonnage of mostly unknown REE and HFSE grades, which warrants considerable exploration. Using laboratory techniques, this project will examine the petrology, mineralogy and geochemistry of the carbonatite, to determine its origin, ore type, mineralization and economic potential. Thus the research will not only advance our knowledge on the petrology and origin of carbonatites in the Monashee Complex, but it will also aid in the prediction of economic REE- and HFSE-ore systems elsewhere in the Canadian Cordillera.

Roundup 2013 Poster: Petrogenesis and Geotectonic Evolution of the Ren Carbonatite REE and HFSE deposit in Southeastern British Columbia