Stephanie Wafforn, MSc student, Oregon State University


I am currently a graduate student at Oregon State University under the supervision of Drs. Andrew Meigs and John Dilles. My research is being funded by Imperial Metals and will involve a reinterpretation of the structural geology at the Mount Polley mine, located near Likely, BC. I was drawn to this project by my keen fascination with structural geology, and particularly the role that structures play in the formation of ore deposits. Immediately prior to entering graduate school I completed a bachelor’s degree in geology with honours at Queens University. Throughout the course of completing this degree I was awarded the Principal’s scholarship, the Canadian Mineral Industry Education Fund scholarship, the William E White scholarship, the Medal in Geological Sciences.

During the last three summers I have worked as a student geologist for Pan America Silver Corp. I was given the opportunity to work at the La Preciosa project in Durango, Mexico and at the Navidad project in Chubut, Argentina, where I learned many of the fundamental skills of an exploration geologist. I was also able to complete an undergraduate thesis based off the data that I collected at Navidad. As a result of these experiences I plan to work as an exploration geologist following the completion of my master’s degree.

Project: Reinterpretation of the Structural Geology of the Mount Polley Deposit, Likely, British Columbia

The Late Triassic Mount Polley deposit is located outside of the town of Likely, northeast of Williams Lake. It is an alkalic copper porphyry deposit with significant gold values, found hosted in an intrusive complex in the Central Quesnel Belt, which extends along the eastern border of the Intermontaine Belt in southern British Columbia. The deposit itself formed in association to the intrusion of the Polley Stock, comprising syenite, monzonite, and monzodiorite, into the Nicola Group volcanics and alkali basalts. Significant post-mineralization faulting created mineralized blocks within the deposit. The complex structural geology of the deposit has limited exploration in the northeast zone of the deposit; therefore the purpose of this research project is to reinterpret the structural geology on a local and regional scale. This will be achieved through field mapping, systems analysis of structural orientations, and petrographic analysis of hand samples and drill core. Further research methods will be undertaken as required. It is anticipated that this research will enable a reconstruction of the deposit, leading to the generation of new exploration targets.