Modular Course Curriculum
The Harquail School of Earth Sciences at Laurentian University offers some of the most comprehensive field- and laboratory-based Earth Science graduate research and education courses in the world.
The modular courses are designed for geoscientists employed full-time in the mineral exploration industry, industry professionals needing professional development and accreditation, and graduate students (HES students enrolled in 1-year and 2-year coursework-based Applied MSc programs and thesis-based MSc and PhD programs, as well students from other universities).
Live Webcast Option
Several of the modules are available to industry professionals/non-students via live webcast from our state-of-the-art Executive Learning Centre, which provides an immersive experience if remote participants have high-speed fibre connections and use high-quality headsets. Students enrolling for credit must enrol in the on-campus course so that they can complete the laboratory exercises, but the remote option may be preferable for non-students. Contact the course coordinator if you are interested in this option.
*Find course details, registration and contact information under course details below. You can also download our Modular Courses brochure (pdf).
GEOL 5326 - Mineral Exploration in Volcanic Terrains - August 20 - 29, 2020
(field-based) - 3 credits (taught in Aug-Sept in even-numbered years)
GEOL 5806 - Exploration Geochemistry - December 8 - 18, 2020
(classroom-based) - 3 credits (taught in December in even-numbered years)
GEOL 5607 - Exploration for Hydrothermal Ore Deposits: Genesis & Exploration - April 6 - 16, 2021 -
3 credits (taught in April in odd-numbered years)
GEOL 5307 - Structure, Tectonics and Mineral Exploration - September 8 - 19, 2021
(field-based) - 3 credits (taught in Aug-Sept in odd-numbered years)
GEO 5306 - Topics in Hydrothermal Ore Deposits - October 2021
(at U Ottawa) - 3 credits (taught at U Ottawa in October in odd-numbered years)
GEOL 5956 - Exploration Geophysics - December 2021
(classroom-based) - 3 credits (taught in December in odd-numbered years)
GEOL 5606 - Exploration for Magmatic Ore Deposits - April 2022
(classroom-based) - 3 credits (taught in April in even-numbered years)
GEOL 5055 - Applied Research Project -
6 credits (taught annually)
All course participants (LU students, other students, and industry/government participants) must register with email@example.com so that we can send you information about the course and provide you with access to the course website, which you must be able to do before you arrive.
GEOL 5326 (field-based)
August 20 - 29, 2020
This 10- day course focuses on recognizing, describing, and mapping volcanic lithofacies, alteration types, mineralization, and deformation in a well-exposed Precambrian volcanic succession hosting base and precious metal deposits. The course is delivered as a mapping project with evening lectures and discussion following a one-day introductory field trip. An introduction to graphic core logging is provided. Mapping is conducted in teams, and grades are based on the map, structural cross-sections, and a final report, which includes a description and interpretation of the geology and structure and an assessment of exploration potential with recommendations. All field costs are borne by the student.
Non-student cost: $2500 plus HST (includes field transport, but does not include accommodation/meals).
December 8, 2020 ioGAS Tutorial (optional)
December 9-18, 2020 (course)
This 10-day course addresses the principles and methods of lithogeochemical and surficial geochemical exploration, including planning, sampling, analysis, QAQC, data handling, plotting (using ioGAS), and interpretation. It includes case histories, applications to magmatic Cr and Ni-Cu-(PGE) sulfide deposits, porphyry Cu deposits, volcanic-associated Cu-Zn-(Pb) deposits, Archean lode gold deposits, sedimentary-exhalative Pb-Zn-Cu deposits, and diamond deposits, and a variety of exploration-elevant laboratory exercises.
Non-student cost: Full Course: CDN $2750 + 13% HST. Individual Days: CDN $300 + 13% HST. Individual Lectures: CDN $75 + 13% HST (90-minute lecture). 10% discount for MERC members. Mix and match group rates are also available. Videoconference participation is available only for non-students.
April 6 - 16, 2021
On site (3 cr.) and webcasting delivery (non-credit). This 10-day course focuses on the geology, alteration, and origin of hydrothermal ore deposits. Deposit types include epithermal and mesothermal precious metal, porphyry Cu-Mo-Au, IOCG, sediment- and volcanic hosted base-metal deposits, and U and REE deposits. Emphasis is placed on the processes responsible for their formation, the recognition of alteration halos, and features pertinent to exploration.
Non-student cost: $2750 plus HST for the full course, $300 + HST per day, or $75 plus HST per 90-minute lecture. 10% discount for MERC members. Group rates are also available.
Contact Ms Roxane Mehes firstname.lastname@example.org to register or for additional information.
GEOL 5307 (field-based)
September 8-19, 2021
Course Description: This 14-day field-based course addresses the tectonic and structural controls on gold mineralization at Hemlo, the Beardmore-Geraldton Belt, and Kirkland Lake in the Superior Province, northern Ontario. Kinematic indicators in shear zones will be examined, and fundamentals of structural field analysis will be taught in the field. Mapping exercises will be done to determine the geometry and dynamic significance of quartz vein systems in shear-hosted gold deposits. Classic examples of orogenic and iron formation-hosted epigenetic gold mineralization will be examined and discussed. By the end of the course, participants will have learned: (1) to determine the sense of movement in shear zones, (2) to do a geometrical structural analysis of a multiply deformed area, and (3) to recognize local and regional structural controls on gold mineralization.
Instructors: Bruno Lafrance
Course Costs for Professional participants: CDN$3910 (CDN) + HST. Includes accommodations and transportation during the course but excludes meals.
Students: See enrollment page for further information.
GEO 5306 (taught at U Ottawa)
This 8-day course focuses on different themes related to the geochemistry of hydrothermal ore deposits at a range of crustal levels – from deep orogenic systems to the surficial environment. Leading experts introduce the basic principles of the evolution of ore-forming fluids, the importance of different ore-fluid reservoirs, the interaction of hydrothermal fluids with different rock types, and the causes of mineral precipitation. Case studies are presented for some of the world's most important ore deposit types in both continental and submarine settings, with an emphasis on where ore fluids originate, how and where they derive their metals, and where they end up.
Visit https://science.uottawa.ca/earth/short_course to register or to request more information.
This 10-day course includes an introduction to the physical properties of rocks and how these can be inferred from geophysical data. The role that geophysics plays in mineral exploration programs will also be discussed. Methods covered gravity, magnetics, electrical and induced polarization, electromagnetics, gamma-ray spectrometry, reflection seismology, borehole, and airborne methods. There are daily exercises, many involving computer applications, and the final day will include a regional interpretation of public domain geophysical data.
Non-student cost: $2750 plus HST for the full course, $300 + HST per day. Group rates are also available.
On site (3 cr.) and webcasting delivery (non-credit). 10-day intensive course in magmatic Ni-Cu-(PGE), PGE, Cr, and Ti-V deposits including 3 days of theoretical material, 8 days of exploration applications and case studies, and (weather permitting) a 1/2 to 3/4- day field trip in the Sudbury Igneous Complex. Topics include: S and Cr solubility and metal partitioning in maficultramafic magmas; generation of fertile magmas; applications of stable and radiogenic isotopes (including mass-independent S isotopes) in identifying S and metal sources; sulfide transport and localization mechanisms; textures and deformation of Fe-Ni-Cu sulfide ores, sulfide recalculation and plotting methods; geology/genesis of and exploration for Ni-Cu-(PGE) deposits in mafic-ultramafic lava channels, feeder sills/dikes, and magma conduits; geology/genesis of and exploration for PGE deposits in mafic-ultramafic layered intrusions; geology/genesis of and exploration for stratiform and podiform Cr deposits and Ti-V deposits in anorthosites and mafic-ultramafic intrusions (including those in the “Ring of Fire” district of northern Ontario). Case studies and laboratory practicals will include: Alexo (Ontario), Duke Island (Alaska), Duluth (Minnesota), Kambalda (Western Australia), Noril’sk-Talnakh and Pechenga (Russia), Jinchuan and other deposits in China, Thompson (Manitoba), Raglan (Nunavik), Voisey’s Bay (Labrador), and Sudbury Ni-Cu-PGE; and Bushveld (South Africa) and Stillwater (Montana) PGE and Cr; and ‘Ring of Fire” Cr.
Non-student cost: Full Course: CDN $3304 + 13% HST. Individual Days: CDN $339 + 13% HST.
Mix and match group rates are also available. Videoconference participation is available only for non-students.
This course is required for and limited to students enrolled in the coursework-based Applied MSc in Mineral Exploration program. A research topic relevant to mineral exploration is selected in consultation with a faculty advisor and students submit, in writing, the results of their research at the end of the program. *Students register for this course only in the term they plan to submit their research project paper.
Contact Prof Daniel Kontak email@example.com for additional information