From 14 to 18 November 2016, 8 students of Oulu Mining School attended a short course organized by NordMin, a Nordic network of expertise for a sustainable mining and minerals industry that is funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers. The course, held in Reykjavik, was titled ‘The business of exploration, from the ground to the stock market’ and attracted students originating from four different continents, presently studying or working in a Nordic country. While Iceland itself does not have a long history of mining, the country is endowed with at least one valuable natural resource: geothermal energy. Lecturers from the University of Iceland and the Icelandic Geological Survey educated us about how the Icelandic hotspot gives rise to extensive geothermal activity, how the geothermal energy is being used for energy production for both private and industrial use and about its potential for mineralization. Expertise on various mineral deposits and how to find them was brought in by a number of lecturers from the Geological Survey of Finland (GTK), with whom we discussed the origin and examples of orogenic gold deposits, IOCG deposits, VMS deposits and magmatic ore deposits. Other lecturers alluded on how geographical information systems (GIS) can be used to select prospective regions and how mineral resource estimates and models are made according to the latest industrial standards. Each day ended with a group exercise in which the students were asked to use the information of that day to solve a practical problem. Highlight of the week was a visit to the Hellisheiði geothermal power plant and to the Thormodsdalur gold prospect on Wednesday. The latter constitutes a low sulphidation adularia-sericite epithermal Au-Ag deposit that was explored and mined on small scale in the early twentieth century.
The weekend following the course provided an opportunity to enjoy some of Iceland’s spectactular scenery, but a single day proved all but sufficient to fully grasp the island’s beauty. All in all, the NordMin course offered a proper introduction to the exploration business for those of us that were unfamiliar with it and a refresher and update for those with some more background. Further, the course was a good opportunity to expand our international connections amongst students and researchers and to strengthen the connections between the Nordic countries.
Last updated: 25.11.2016