St Andrews visit to Brazil

Adrian Finch, Anouk Borst and Nicky Horsburgh gave invited presentations to the SOS RARE: Brazilian symposium on rare-earth elements, held in São Paolo, 6-10 November 2017. Our hosts were Professor Daniel Atencio  and Professor Marcelo Andrade (both Universidade do São Paolo).

The symposium comprised a series of invited talks followed by field excursions to the CBMM mine near Araxá and the Poços de Caldas alkaline complex.

The group also met with Professor Vinicius Louro, about to take up a position at the Universidade Federal do Paraná. Professor Louro had been a visitor to St Andrews and has worked on the use of geophysics to discover new rare element deposits through the deep laterites that characterise much of the tropics.

The visit also included visits to the labs of Professor Hermi Felinto de Brito (Institute of Chemistry) and Professor Henrique Kahn (LCT-Polytechnic School of USP). A blog of the visit has also been posted on the SoS RARE site by Anouk, which has more details of the individual presentations.

Day 1: Symposium in São Paolo

Presentations were given by Adrian Finch, Anouk Borst and Nicky Horsburgh on the genesis of rare earth deposits in roof zones, the replacement textures formed during cooling of peralkaline rocks and the potential for luminescence in smart sorting of ore. After the formal talks, there was a chance to visit to geological museum in the University. This photo of the São Paolo and St Andrews groups was taken in the museum.

Day 2: Field visit to Poços de Caldos

Visit to the lujavrite locality at Pedra Balão, part of the Poços de Caldas igneous complex. This is the type locality of manganoeudialyte.

Day 3: Field Visit to CBMM mine near Araxá.

This day comprised a meeting with the research team at CBMM in the morning comprising some presentations about CBMM’s interests in Nb and rare earth. This was followed by a visit to the mine and a tour of the extraction plant.

Day 4: Working with the host team studying samples in the São Paolo collections

Professor Atencio provided materials for further research including some materials for the St Andrews teaching collection.

Nicky and Adrian analysing the material in the Sao Paolo collections.

Day 5: Discussion with Professor Vinicius Lauro

Professor Louro and the St Andrews team discussed the possible future for geophysics in exploration. The trip finished with a walk around downtown São Paolo guided by Prof Louro who was a native of the city.

End of the trip and final photo with Vinicius Louro. Left to right: Anouk, Adrian, Vinicius, Nicky.
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