August 2023 – Monthly Talk

Speaker: Brendan Howe, Teck Resources Limited

Title: An Empirical Geophysical Model for Porphyry Copper Deposits in the Laramide Copper Province

Date: Thurs, August 24, 2023

Time: 4:30pm to 5:30pm PDT

Location: Room 111 – 409 Granville Street, Vancouver, BC, V6C 1T2


The Laramide copper province is located in southwestern North America, covering parts of Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas in the U.S, in addition to Sonora, Chihuahua, Sinaloa and Baja California in Mexico. Porphyry copper mineralization is associated with Laramide age (~80-45 Ma) magmatism and has been estimated to represent ~300 million tonnes of copper metal, making it a globally significant accumulation of the red metal. The geological and geochemical manifestation of these mineralizing systems have been well documented. Specifically, exploration models based on alteration zonation and trace element geochemistry have been developed and successfully deployed in the province since the late 1960’s. As a result of post Laramide extension and deposition, much of the province is covered by post-mineral rocks or sediments, and it can be argued that the greatest residual potential for future discoveries is located within the covered regions. Consequently, geophysical datasets are playing a more prominent role in integrated targeting of porphyry systems. In this extended abstract, we present a series of observations and interpretations of geophysical data from various deposits in the province with the goal of developing an empirical model to guide selection of geophysical method, interpret subsequent results and ultimately contribute to future exploration success.


Brendan Howe is the Technical Manager of Exploration at Teck Resources. Prior to joining Teck he worked for Barrick Gold as a Senior Geophysicist. He completed a combined BSc. / B.Comm in Geology-Finance from the Australian National University. Brendan is a past chair of the BC Geophysical Society.