Christopher Beckett-Brown completed his BSc (2016) at the Harquail School of Earth Sciences, Laurentian University (Canada). His BSc research was supervised by Dr. Andrew McDonald and was on the incorporation of nickel in spinel-group minerals. This resulted in the publication, “The Crystal-Chemistry of Ni-bearing Spinel-Group Minerals: Chemical, Geological, and Exploration Implications” (The Canadian Mineralogist, 2018, v56 pp 77-94). Chris then began an MSc at Laurentian which he later upgraded to a PhD in 2018. His current research is on testing tourmaline’s potential as an indicator mineral for detecting porphyry Cu–Mo–Au systems.
This research is in collaboration with the Geological Survey of Canada’s Targeted Geoscience Initiative 5 project, along with numerous exploration companies. The project will focus not only on tourmaline occurring in known deposits but also when found surrounding known deposits in the surficial environment (i.e., till and stream sediments). This research will develop physical criteria (e.g., morphology, color, inclusions, internal textures), and chemical criteria (e.g., major, minor, trace, isotopic) characteristics that will, hopefully, be useful in distinguishing porphyry-related tourmaline from other ore and non-ore environments.