A-Team Quarterly Update – First Quarter of 2019

It has been another busy and successful time for members of our Research Group which has included two published papers, two grant awards, published abstracts and preparing for the next round of world conferences which will include 9 presentations, a short course on alkaline rocks, a keynote talk and organising a session at Goldschmidt 2019.


Finch AA, McCreath JA, Reekie CDJ, Hutchison W, Ismaila A, Armour-Brown A, Andersen T, Simonsen SL (2019) From Mantle to Motzfeldt: A Genetic Model for Syenite-hosted Ta,Nb-mineralisation. Ore Geology Reviews, 107, 402-416.

Finch AA, Wang Y, Townsend PD, Ingle M (2019) “A High Sensitivity System for Luminescence Measurement of Materials”, Luminescence, 2019 1-9. https://doi.org/10.1002/bio.3606 (Finch et al 2019 RLTLCL system).

Published Abstracts

Chithambo ML, Kalita JM, Finch AA (2019) F- and F+-band radioluminescence and the influence of annealing on its emission spectra in Al2O3:C,Mg. Proceedings of the 19th International Conference on Solid State Dosimetry, Hiroshima, Japan.

Grant Applications and Awards

Finch AA, Heard H, Ashbrook SE, Dawson D (2018) “High-Field 11B NMR Investigation of Boron Speciation in Corals”, successful application to the 850 MHz National NMR Facility, University of Warwick, UK.

Finch AA, Heard H, Ashbrook SE, Dawson D (2019) “High-Field 11B MQMAS NMR Investigation of Boron Speciation in Corals”, successful application to the 850 MHz National NMR Facility, University of Warwick, UK.

Fingers crossed for Nicky Horsburgh and Will Hutchison who have applied for personal fellowships to develop aspects of their work at St Andrews:

Nicky Horsburgh has applied for the Institute of Mining Minerals and Metallurgy “Stanley Elmore Fellowship“. This is a personal fellowship scheme supports “all branches of extractive metallurgy and mineral processing” and Nicky has put together an application based around smart sorting of ore based on luminescence. (Pending)

Will Hutchison has applied for personal fellowships to NERC and UKRI. (Pending)

Presentations and Outreach Activities

Volcanic and Magmatic Studies Group: St Andrews January 2019

VMSG came to St Andrews this year and Anouk Borst was one of the co-organisers. A session was chaired by Adrian on the topic of “Magmatic Ore Deposits“. It included invited talks by Matt Loader of NHM and Anouk Borst of St Andrews. Posters included those by Nicky Horsburgh, Kris Sokol and Charlie Beard.

Borst AM, Finch AA, Friis H, Horsburgh NJ, Gamaletsos NJ, Goettlicher J, Steininger R, Geraki K (2019) Rare earth element partitioning in eudialyte group minerals.
An X-ray absorption study (oral).

Horsburgh NJ, Finch AA (2019) Luminescence of fluorite and fluorcarbonate minerals. (poster)

Sokó­ł K, Finch AA, Cloutier J, Humphreys M (2019) Fenitisation associated with alkaline complexes: Implications for HFSE mobility in laste-stage fluids, Gardar Rift, SW Greenland.

Beard CD, Goodenough KM, Finch AA, Marks MAW, Hutchison W et al. (2019) Geomodels for REE and HFSE mineralisation in carbonatites and nepheline syenites. Poster presentation to VMSG.


Ethiopia Conference on Rift Volcanism

In January Will Hutchison took part in a conference on rift volcanism in  Hawassa, Ethiopia. The meeting celebrated the culmination of the 5-year NERC-funded RiftVolc project on volcanism and geothermal resources in East Africa. Will gave one of the keynote talks on his work in Greenland and compared magmatic processes in active and ancient rift systems. After the conference Will helped lead a field trip to Aluto and Corbetti volcanoes. The group visited young volcanic deposits (obsidian lavas and pyroclastic flows) as well as hot springs and fumaroles, and discussed how these geothermal resources should be developed in light of RiftVolc’s new understanding of volcanic hazards in the region.


EGU 2019

We will be represented at EGU by Martin Smith of Brighton University who is presenting joint synchrotron work on ion adsorption clays.

Smith M, Borst AM, Finch AA et al. (2019) Controls on REE distribution in ion adsorption deposits: Constraints from Madagascar and China. Submitted to GMPV3.3/ERE4.3 – Supergene ore deposits: mineralogy, geochemistry and critical elements deportment (co-organized). EGU2019-17523 accepted as an oral pico presentation.

3rd International Critical Metals Conference, Edinburgh 29 Apr – 3 May 2019

Anouk Borst is a keynote at the above conference, which will also include presentations by Adrian Finch and Nicky Horsburgh.

Borst AM, Finch AA, van de Ven M, Horsburgh NJ, Friis H, Hutchison W, Sokó­ł K (2019) Peralkaline-hosted Critical Metal Deposits: From magmatic enrichment to hydrothermal replacement (invited keynote).

Finch AA, Borst AM, Horsburgh NJ, Hutchison W, Sokó­ł K (2019) Critical Metal Mineralisation Associated with Magmatic Roof Zones.

Smith MP, Estrade G, Marquis W, Goodenough KM, Nason P, Xu C, Kynicky J, Borst AM, Finch AA,Villanova de Benavent C (2019) Ion Adsorption Deposits: A comparison of deposits in Madagascar and China.

SGA2019 Short Course – Resources in Carbonatite and peralkaline rocks: Everything you wanted to know but were too shy to ask.

We will be taking part in this year’s SGA conference in Glasgow in August. As part of the programme Adrian and Frances Wall from Camborne School of Mines will be offering a short course entitled “Resources in Carbonatite and peralkaline rocks: Everything you wanted to know but were too shy to ask“. The purpose of the short course is to provide a background to the geology behind critical metal deposits hosted in these unusual rocks.

Goldschmidt 2019

Will Hutchison is one of the organisers of a session “Alkaline rocks and carbonatites: From mantle to mine (and everything in between)” to be held at the 2019 Goldschmidt Conference in Barcelona (18-23rd August).

Session I.D.: 1417 (06i) Session Title: Alkaline rocks and carbonatites: From mantle to mine (and everything in between) Theme: 06; Magmas and Volcanoes
Conveners: Michael A. W. Marks (Universitat Tuebingen), William Hutchison (University of St. Andrews), Charles D. Beard (British Geological Survey), Gianluigi Rosatelli (Gabriele d’Annunzio University of Chieti-Pescara), Benjamin F. Walter (Universitat Tuebingen).

Additional information on this session can be found here:

Contributions to this year’s Goldschmidt 2019 include:

Beard CD, Goodenough KM, Broom-Fendley S, Borst AM, Roberts NMW, Finch AA, Deady EM (2019) Subducted sediments as a source for REE in mineralised post-collisional alkaline-carbonatite systems.

Hutchison W, Babiel RJ, Finch AA, Marks MAW, Markl G, Boyce AJ, Stuecken EE, Friis H, Borst AM, Horsburgh NJ (2019) Sulphur isotopes of alkaline igneous suites: new insights into magmatic fluid evolution and crustal recycling.

Allison N, Cole C, Hintz C, Hintz K, Rae J, Finch AA (2019) The role of calcification fluid pH in the precipitation of coral aragonite under future climate change scenarios.

Other Activities

Congratulations to PhD student Josh Hughes (enrolled on an Iapetus studentship between Durham and St Andrews Universities) who married his partner Jenika Patel in Woberley Cheshire.