Base Metals - Vital Commodities for the Global Economy

Base Metals Webinar Series

Series Moderator


Lauren Zeeck

Colorado School of Mines

Lauren is a Ph.D. candidate at Colorado School of Mines studying ore and gangue mineral textures of high-grade low-sulfidation epithermal deposits. She received her M.Sc. in Geology from CSM in 2018 and her BA in Geology from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Lauren has worked as an exploration geologist in Canada, the southwest US, and Japan. She has served as the President and Vice President of the CSM Society of Economic Geologists (SEG) Student Chapter, the Chair of the SEG Students Committee, and is Digital Media Manager of the Denver Regional Exploration Geologists’ Society (DREGS). Lauren grew up in Longmont, Colorado, and currently resides there.

Panelists for Theme 1


Jamie Brainard


Jamie has been a material flow analyst at the National Minerals Information Center at the U.S. Geological Survey since 2016. Jamie has a background as a geochemist and astrobiologist studying the formation of hydrothermal ore deposits and Archean processes at Penn State, following receiving a B.S. in geosciences from Penn State. His work at the USGS has been on the identification and risk assessment of critical materials, with a focus on the geologic accessibility of by-product commodities and on the international trade flows of commodities.


George Gilchrist

Ivanhoe Mines

George studied geology at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa, and has worked in the mining industry for over 20 years. He specialises in understanding the geological controls on mineralisation and building these controls into geological and resource models used in exploration, mining studies and production environments. He has worked for Ivanhoe Mines for the last 10 years across their platinum group element, zinc and copper projects, and was heavily involved in the discovery, delineation and modelling of the Kakula Copper Deposit in the DRC.

George has lived and worked in both South Africa and Canada, with projects focussed on gold, silver, platinum, copper and nickel deposits across a range of different geological and geographical settings including southern and West Africa, South America, North America and Russia.


Helen Twigg


Helen studied geology at the University of Leeds and received a M.Sc. in geology from Colorado School of Mines. She has worked in exploration for over 15 years, searching for orogenic gold in Western and Central Africa, and sedimentary hosted copper, cobalt, and nickel in the Central African Copperbelt. Her industry experience spans all exploration stages from greenfield to preproduction modelling with junior exploration companies and mid-tier mining companies.

Helen is a Ph.D. candidate in the Science Foundation Ireland Research Centre in Applied Geology (iCRAG) at University College Dublin. She studies basin development and the processes which control sedimentary hosted base metal mineralisation. Her research integrates exploration geophysical and geochemical datasets with petrological and field observational work. The project investigates structural and geochemical vectors to Cu-Zn in the underexplored Southern Congolese Copperbelt.

Panelists for Theme 2


Sarah Gleeson

GFZ - Helmholtz Centre Potsdam

Sarah received a B.A. (mod.) in Geology from Trinity College Dublin and a Ph.D. in geochemistry from the Royal School of Mines, Imperial College London. Subsequently, she held post-doctoral positions at the Natural History Museum, London and the University of Leeds before moving to the University of Alberta, Canada in 2001. As of 2016 she is the W3 Professor in Mineral Resources at the Freie Universität Berlin and leads the Inorganic and Isotope Geochemistry Section at the GFZ, Helmholtz Centre Potsdam.

She is an Associate Editor of the journal Economic Geology and on the Editorial Board of Geochemical Perspectives. She serves on several advisory boards to scientific institutions and on international grant funding panels. Sarah has broad research interests in mineral deposit genesis, hydrothermal fluid flow and water rock interaction. Recently, her research has been focused on base metal deposits in sedimentary basins, sedimentary geochemistry, diagenesis and ore forming processes.


Peter Megaw


Peter is Consulting Exploration Geologist President of IMDEX/Cascabel and co-founder of MAG Silver and Minaurum Gold. His Ph.D. work at the University of Arizona was an exploration-focused geological/geochemical study of the Santa Eulalia Ag-Pb-Zn District, Chihuahua and Carbonate Replacement Deposits (CRDs) of Mexico in general. He has published extensively on CRDs and Epithermal Vein deposits and is a frequent speaker at international academic and technical symposia.

His primary exploration foci are CRDs and Epithermal Vein Deposits, which he has worked on throughout the Cordillera of North and South America, Ireland and Turkey. Peter was awarded the Society of Mining Engineers 2012 Robert M. Dreyer Award for excellence in Applied Economic Geology and the PDAC 2017 Thayer Lindsley Award for Outstanding Exploration Success for the significant discoveries made by his team at Juanicipio-Fresnillo, Zacatecas; Platosa, Durango; and Cinco de Mayo-Pozo Seco, Chihuahua.

Panelists for Theme 3


Simon Jowitt

University of Nevada, Reno

Simon is currently the tenured Director of the Ralph J. Roberts Center for Research in Economic Geology and the Arthur Brant Chair of Exploration Geology at the University of Nevada Reno, Nevada, USA. He has a B.Sc. (Hons) degree in Geology from the University of Edinburgh, an M.Sc. in Mining Geology from the Camborne School of Mines, and a Ph.D. from the University of Leicester, all in the UK. Simon spent eight years at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, initially as a three-year postdoctoral research fellow working with Anglo American before moving to spend seven years as an Assistant and then tenured Associate Professor of Economic Geology at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. His research focuses on the use of geochemistry to unravel geological processes in a variety of settings with direct application to understanding not only mineralizing systems but also igneous petrology, mineral exploration, global tectonics and the links between magmatism and metallogeny. He has also undertaken extensive research on mineral economics, global metal resources and the security of supply of the critical elements, and the "economic" side of economic geology, as demonstrated by a number of recent publications on global base, precious, and critical metal and mineral resources and the impact of the energy transition and COVID-19 on the global minerals industry. Simon also studies the environmental impact of mining and the potential uses of mining and other wastes for metal production and CO2 sequestration. He has published more than 110 scientific papers and peer-reviewed book chapters since 2010, is currently the Vice-President for Student Affairs for the Society of Economic Geologists (SEG) and was awarded the SEG Waldemar Lindgren Award in 2014.


Rebecca Sproule

Rio Tinto

Rebecca is an Exploration Geoscientist with over 23 years global multi-commodity experience with a specialization in Ni-Cu-PGE. She has a bachelor (honors) from the University of Tasmania and her Ph.D. from Monash University. She has worked on five continents, with diverse experience across the exploration, development, and operations spectrum from project generation and drill outs on advanced projects to M&A on operating assets. Rebecca is currently the Nickel SME for Rio Tinto Exploration setting technical direction and priorities.


C. Michael Lesher

Harquail School of Earth Sciences

C. Michael (B.Sc. and MA Indiana, Ph.D. Western Australia) is Professor Emeritus of Economic Geology in the Mineral Exploration Research Centre and Harquail School of Earth Sciences at Laurentian University, where he was Research Chair in Mineral Exploration, Founding Director of MERC, and Director of Mining Initiatives (designer and founder of the Laurentian School of Mines (now Goodman School of Mines). He has worked on Ni-Cu-PGE deposits in Brazil, China, Manitoba, Ontario, Québec, Russia, and Western Australia; Cr deposits in northern Ontario; the geochemistry of felsic volcanic rocks associated with VMS systems; Au deposits in Ontario, Western Australia, and the southern Appalachians; and sedimentary Fe deposits in Labrador-Québec. He was the Principal Investigator and Director of the $13M NSERC-CMIC-funded Mineral Exploration Footprints project and is currently a Principal Investigator on the $100M Canada First Research Excellence Fund Metal Earth project. He has been an SEG Thayer Lindsay Lecturer, a CIM University Lecturer, and was awarded the GAC-MDD Duncan Derry Medal for his contributions to economic geology.

Panelists for Theme 4


Adam Simon

University of Michigan

Adam is Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Energy and Mineral Resources at the University of Michigan and Co-founder of VectOres Science LLC, a consulting firm that provides expert advisory services in all aspects of energy and mineral supply chains including mineral exploration. Adam has co-authored the books Mineral Resources, Economics and the Environment, and Earth Materials: Components of a Diverse Planet, and published 100 papers in the field of energy and mineral resources. Adam has done research and given invited lectures on all seven continents including a TEDX talk in 2022 and was awarded the University of Michigan Provost's Teaching Innovation Prize for his transdisciplinary pedagogy.


Lucy Crane

Cornish Lithium

Lucy is currently the ESG & Sustainability Manager for Cornish Lithium, a company exploring for lithium in Cornwall, UK. She is a geologist by training with a background in grassroots exploration and started her career exploring for base metals in Morocco and Ethiopia. She is a strong advocate for the standardization of sustainable and responsible practices in mining, promoting these actions to the wider public, and is passionate about making the industry a more diverse place to work. She has been on the committee for Young Mining Professionals London since its inception and is heavily involved in Women in Mining UK. She is invited to speak regularly on lithium and responsible mining, including a previous TEDx talk on "Mining our way to a low carbon future".


Kathryn Goodenough

British Geological Survey

Kathryn is Principal Geologist and International Lead at the British Geological Survey. She has been researching the processes by which critical mineral deposits form for almost 30 years, with a particular focus on rare earth element and lithium deposits across the world.