Economic Geology

As we transition to a green economy, a vast amount of critical and traditional metals will be needed to create new infrastructure. At U of T, we take an all-inclusive view of economic geology, tackling questions about how deposits form, how they can be found, and how the footprint of resource extraction should be managed:

  • a photo of an open pit mine, a conveyor belt, ore minerals, and a thin section showing the breadth of economic geologyWhat critical metals can be found on the ocean floor and continents? 
  • What can modern seafloor systems tell us about the tectonic placement of ancient metal deposits? 
  • How do critical metal deposits in sedimentary rocks form? 
  • What can sulfide chemistry tell us about ore deposit formation? 
  • How do orogenic gold deposits form? 
  • What are the origins of rare earth element deposits? 
  • How do we develop a sustainable lifecycle for resource extraction? 
  • What are the novel sources and targets for hydrogen, helium, and lithium? 
  • How can geophysical imaging techniques assist in the discovery of deeply buried mineral deposits? 
  • How can machine learning techniques and diverse geoscientific datasets be used to develop regional-scale mineral prospectivity maps? 
  • What can timing and rate of development of critical mineral deposits tell us about how they formed?


Faculty Areas of Interest
Melissa Anderson economic geology, metallogeny, marine science
Neil Bennett experimental petrology, element and isotope fractionation, planetary differentiation
Dan Gregory hydrothermal ore systems
Sandra Kamo radio-isotopic dating (geochronology), timing and rates of geologic processes, time scale issues, large igneous province events, impacts, mass extinction events
Barbara Sherwood Lollar stable isotope geochemistry, hydrogeology