George Stonadge, Postgraduate Researcher

George StonadgeAccessory Minerals as Fertility Indicators in Copper Porphyry Deposit Formation

Contact Details

Project Overview

Porphyry copper deposits host three quarters of the worlds copper resources. Such resources are becoming increasingly difficult to find and greater in demand. Despite generally greater agreement on the processes leading to mineralization, it is still debated what makes a magmatic system 'fertile', possessing the ability to form large porphyry copper resources.

My project aims to compare the geochemistry of several accessory minerals within 'fertile' and 'barren' magmatic systems, weak potential for mineralisation. Analysing robust accessory minerals e.g. zircon, grants the unique opportunity to see through alteration and investigate the previously active magmatic conditions during formation of a porphyry copper deposit.  I will study pre-, syn- and post-mineralization rocks from the world class Santo Thomas II Cu-Au deposit, Luzon, Philippines. The geochemical signatures throughout mineralization will then be compared with modern analogues of 'fertile' (Pinatubo) and 'barren' (Taal) magmatic systems. This will allow the investigation of key magmatic processes leading to the, still ambiguous, generation of porphyry copper fertility.

Research Theme

Solid Earth

Research Questions

  • What are the key mid-upper crustal processes that determine copper porphyry fertility?
  • How important is the later addition of mafic magma to a porphyry system?
  • What are the key changes in a magmas geochemistry during pre-,syn- and post mineralization?
  • How do the magmatic systems of Taal and Pinatubo compare with the Santo Thomas Porphyry copper deposit?
  • Is there any evidence for a volatile brine reservoir above the magma chamber of Taal?
  • What is the tipping point where a magma becomes a fertile porphyry system and not a volcano?

Academic Awards

Outstanding 1st Year Student (2016), Most outstanding 2nd Year Applied and Env. Student (2017), Aggregate Industry Bursary (2017), MicroMine Exploration Award (2018), Department Award for Academic Excellence (2018), ZEISS Scholarship (2018), Institute of Mining Metals and Minerals Prize for Academic Achievement (2019), Geology Alumni Society Prize for Academic Excellence (2019)

Further Links

This project is affiliated with the FAMOS consortium

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