The technical program will address the major challenges presented by the accelerated consumption of energy transition and other strategic metals. The program will be broad ranging with sessions covering six major themes:

SEG 2023 Themes

Copper – Red Metal for a Green Future

Chairs: Matt Loader (Natural History Museum), Nicole Januszczak (BHP)

Demand for copper is set to more than triple by 2050, driven by a growing population, increasing global affluence, and industrialization and the energy transition. The geoscience of copper metallogenesis is advancing rapidly and helping the exploration industry discover new resources. The production of copper from new or expanding deposits remains challenging, with long lead times and sensitivities to some key Environmental, Social, and Governance issues, including water demand and tailings management. This theme will explore crosscutting issues across the whole supply chain of copper, from genesis to the circular economy.

Gold – Responsible Discovery and Mining in the 21st Century

Chairs: Tim Baker (Eldorado Gold Corp.), Jeffrey Steadman (University of Tasmania), Liz Stock (Barrick Gold Corporation)

Gold remains a valuable target, with significant sums invested in exploration programs in 2022. Despite this expenditure, there has been a decline in both the rate and quality of new discoveries. Gold is also under scrutiny for environmental and social impacts, with companies increasingly needing to justify their business models in the context of climate change and net zero carbon emissions policies. Evolving metallogenic models for gold deposits are advancing our understanding of processes from the nano- to regional scale—enrichment, transport, precipitation, and by-product co-mineralization. This theme will cover the genesis and exploration of gold, its production, Environmental, Social, and Governance issues, and markets.

Battery Metals – the Drivers of Future Energy Supply

Chairs: Kathryn Goodenough (British Geological Survey), Jessica Roberts (Benchmark Mineral Intelligence)

A transition to Net Zero Carbon will see a greater demand for renewable energy generation and storage. The battery metals, including Li, Ni, and Co, and other critical metals related to our production and storage of electricity (PGE, REE, Te) will likely see dramatically increasing demand in the next few decades. This demand can be met by increased exploration and mining and more circular and resource-efficient use of existing mines and waste streams. New geological models are needed to understand the formation of economic deposits of the battery metals and to better inform challenging mineral processing steps.

Europe’s Metals – Historic Districts; New Opportunities

Chairs: Laura Lauri (LKAB), Jo Miles (LKAB), Fernando Tornos (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas)

Europe is home to a number of world-class ore districts, such as tin, tungsten, and kaolin in the southwest UK; and deposits of Fe, Au, Cu and PGE in Scandinavia. Many of Europe's mining areas have long histories, with evidence of mining extending back for several millennia. Growing demand for more resources and an increasing awareness of the geopolitics, security of supply, and Environmental, Social, and Governance issues are driving new interest in European resources. This session will cover the genesis of major orefields in Europe and the exploration for new resources both in the established mining districts and in new, previously understudied regions.

Transformational Science, Engineering, and Governance in Economic Geology

Chairs: Karin Hoal (Cornell University), James Cleverley (Imdex Limited)

Addressing the substantial resource supply challenges that face society in its transition to net zero will require creative and novel solutions across the mining cycle and will involve close collaboration between academic researchers, government agencies, and industry. In this theme, we invite presentations that present transformational advances in exploration geoscience, resource evaluation, geometallurgy, mining, mineral processing, remediation, and in the overarching governance and underpinning technology as applied to any of these topics.

Advances in Mineral Deposit Geoscience

Chairs: Steven Hollis (University of Edinburgh), Hannah Hughes (Camborne School of Mines)

The volume of economic geology research both within industry and in academic and government institutions is at an all-time high. This theme aims to explore the cutting edge of mineral deposit geoscience across the full range of commodities, with a focus on those areas not covered within the rest of the conference program.