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Current News

UBC receives over $2.3M funding contribution from PacifiCan for critical minerals R&D and a step towards the clean-energy transition

January 22, 2024

Posted by PCIGR

The Pacific Centre for Isotopic and Geochemical Research (PCIGR) and the Mineral Deposit Research Unit (MDRU) at the University of British Columbia (UBC) are pleased to announce a funding contribution of $2,321,672 from the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada (PacifiCan). The project was announced by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) as part of the First Regional Energy and Resource Table Collaboration Framework for Accelerating a Low-Carbon Economy.

The contribution provides PCIGR and MDRU with new instrumentation and geochemistry analytical capabilities to assist the mineral exploration and mining sector in British Columbia in unlocking its critical minerals supply. Supported in part by Newcrest Mining (acquired by Newmont Corporation) and the Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences (EOAS) at UBC, the project will focus on copper porphyry deposits in the “Golden Triangle” of northwest B.C., which are the most prospective for precious and critical mineral-rich volcanic-hosted massive sulphide and epithermal deposits.

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Bits of Bennu asteroid to arrive at UBC

September 24, 2023

This weekend, samples collected from the Bennu asteroid successfully touched down in the Utah Test and Training Range—a milestone for NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission and partners at the Canadian Space Agency. UBC has already made major contributions to the mission – a team including UBC planetary scientist Dr. Catherine Johnston used data from the Canadian-designed OSIRIS-REx laser altimeter to help select a safe sampling site. 

Now, after evaluation, a portion of that material—potentially dating back to the birth of the solar system roughly 4.5 billion years ago—will be delivered to UBC’s Pacific Centre for Isotopic and Geochemical Research (PCIGR) for analysis. Dr. Dominique Weis, director of the facility, discusses the challenges of providing high-precision, low-level isotopic and geochemical analysis of rock and dust samples from what’s been described as a rubble pile of an asteroid.

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PCIGR to collaborate with MDRU on $1M NSERC Alliance-Mitacs project in the Golden Triangle, British Columbia

Posted by the Mineral Deposit Research Unit | June 8, 2022

The Mineral Deposit Research Unit (MDRU) at the University of British Columbia (UBC) is pleased to announce the award of $1,042,923 from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Alliance-Mitacs Accelerate program (matching $450,000 in industry cash contributions).

This project aims to define a chemical and temporal “fingerprint” for volcanic rocks in the “Golden Triangle” of northwest British Columbia, which are most prospective for precious-and critical metal rich VHMS and epithermal deposits.

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PCIGR welcomes NSERC President

May 26, 2022

PCIGR Director Dr. Dominique Weis, along with team members and graduate students, welcomed NSERC President Dr. Alejandro Adem and an entourage of UBC Science and Applied Science faculty members for a tour of the labs and a discussion about research, HQP support and funding.

The entourage included Mark MacLachlan (Chemistry; Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies), Rachel Fernandez (Microbiology; Associate Vice President Research and Innovation), Matthew Evenden (Geography), Purang Abolmaesumi (Electrical Engineering), Warren Poole (Materials Engineering), Walter Merida (Mechanical Engineering), and Megan Griffith (NSERC Pacific regional office).

L-R: Marg Amini, Dave Daquioag, Brooke Hoppstock-Mattson (PhD candidate), Alice Chang, Corey Wall, President Alejandro Adem, Dominique Weis, Kathy Gordon, Vivian Lai, Dylan Spence (PhD candidate)
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Listen to On Earth, with Dr. Dominique Weis

February 24, 2022

In this episode of the podcast On Earth, Dr. Dominique Weis, Director of PCIGR, gives insights into the world of geochemistry and how she got into it, some of the exciting research being conducted at the facility, how the facility was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and on being a woman in science. She also provides advice to students who are interested in geochemistry.

Listen here.

Hosted by Daniel Gowryluk. Produced by the Pacific Museum of Earth.