The courses and descriptions laid out below are for 2020. Our goals it to have the same courses for 2022. This page will be updated as information becomes available.


Pre-Symposium Short Courses

SC1: Best Practices in Mineral Resource Estimation: A Two Day Refresher Course

Presenters: Abani Samal, GeoGlobal LLC
Dates: May 16-17, 2020

Composition: Lectures and Discussion (2-days)

Attendees: 6 minimum, 20 maximum

Price: $600 Professional, $300 Student

Requirements: A simple calculator or computer, a short straight edge and maybe a couple of colored pencils. Attendees will receive all other instructional materials.

Objective: This course will allow participants to gain knowledge on typical steps followed in resource estimation and application of linear geostatistics in this process. They will learn the critical aspects of the applications of geostatistics in mineral estimation. Emphasis will be given to the best practices. Participants will learn about software tools used in resource estimation, but this class is not specific to a single software package.

Prospective Participants: Geologists, mining engineers, project managers currently involved in resource modeling in exploration and mining projects.

Day 1

1. Fundamentals:
1.1. Mineral deposit development
1.2. Resource estimation: Definitions and concepts
2. Geostatistics: Theories
2.1. Interpolation techniques
2.2. Geostatistical and non-geostatistical techniques
3. Variogram fitting: The participants will learn the concepts and will gain hands on experience on variogram
3.1. Components of a variogram: Nugget, Sill, Range and their implications

Hands on exercises and Q&A sessions

Day 2

4. Kriging: Fundamentals
4.1. Importance of use of kriging technique
4.2. Kriging parameters
5. Model validation: Tools to validate the estimated resources
6. Resource Classification: The concept of the ‘eventual economic extraction’ will be discussed.

Hands on exercises and Q&A sessions

SC2: Analytical Data Management, Quality Assurance, and Reporting

Presenters: Lynda Bloom and Chantal Jolette

Date: May 16, 2020

Composition: Lectures, Exercises and Discussion

Attendees: 6 minimum, 30 maximum

Price: $400 Professional, $200 Student

Requirements: Basic background in geology

Objective: This class will introduce the concepts of geochemical/assay quality control and provide an introduction to advanced concepts including sample representivity, QA/QC programs for regulatory compliance, detection and correction of quality control failures and communicating data quality.

Prospective Participants: Geologists, engineers or database managers using assay or geochemical information for exploration, resource calculation, or environmental monitoring.

SC3: Introduction to US Mining Law

Presenters: R. Craig Johnson, Parsons, Behle, and Latimer, Salt Lake City, Utah

Date: May 17, 2020

Composition: Lectures and Discussion

Attendees: 6 minimum, 25 maximum

Price: $400 Professional, $200 Student

Requirements: None.

Objective: This class contains a comprehensive overview of the mining law in the United States relating to the acquisition, exploration, development, operation and closure of hard rock mining projects. The course provides in-depth coverage of types of land and mineral ownership in the U.S., types of mineral claims, historical and current issues under the General Mining Law of 1872, the process and issues involved in obtaining, holding, financing mineral tenures, an overview of environmental permitting, acquiring power, and an overview of water law in the western U.S. The course also includes an overview of the typical methods for entering into exploration and development joint venture arrangements, including the revised Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation “Form 5” limited liability company agreement, lease, purchase and sale of exploration and mining project issues, and a discussion of the standard royalty mechanisms including net smelter return and net profits interest royalties. The course also covers current significant environmental issues in exploration and development including key air and water discharge issues, environmental impact statements, permitting of tailings facilities, bonding, and mine closure and reclamation issues.

Prospective Participants: The course is ideal for persons who are interested in acquiring mining projects in the U.S. or simply wish to have a refresher on key concepts.

SC4: Carlin Type Mineral Deposits

Presenters: MDRU – Craig Hart, Ken Hickey, Shaun Barker, Dave Rhys, and Mike Ressel

Date: May 17, 2020

Composition: Lectures and Discussion

Attendees: 6 minimum, no maximum

Requirements: Basic background in geology

Price: $400 Professional, $200 Student

Objective: This course will focus on regional to local-scale controls on Carlin-type gold deposits in Nevada. In particular, there will be a focus on exploration approaches and tools that are able to recognize the cryptic but large hydrothermal alteration footprint of Carlin-type gold deposits. This will be a hands-on course, with rock samples and instrumentation made available which we will use during the workshop. The workshop is built on more than 15 years of research on Carlin-type gold deposits in Nevada and the Yukon.

Prospective Participants: Exploration, mining, and academic geologists who want to learn more about this very economically important deposit type

SC5: Spectral Geology: Remote Sensing to Spectral Petrology, Exploration through Life of Mine

Presenters: Richard Bedell, Technical Advisor Renaissance Gold, Professor Benoit Rivard, University of Alberta, and various spectral experts.

Date: May 17, 2020

Composition: Lectures and Discussion

Attendees: 6 minimum, no maximum

Price: $400 Professional, $200 Student

Requirements: Basic background in geology

Objective: This course will involve a number of contributors from around the world in Spectral Geology. The morning session of this course will provide background in the physics and practical knowledge of signal to noise and what can be found throughout the visible through thermal infrared. This will be followed by a discussion of the latest technologies such as new satellites and new frontiers such as the mid-wave infrared. Case studies from remote sensing exploration to metallurgy and mine production will be a key focus.

SC6: NEPA for Mining Geologists

Presenters: Matt Peterson

Date: May 16-17, 2020

Composition: Lectures and Discussion

Attendees: 6 minimum, no maximum

Price: $795 Professional, $400 Student

Requirements: Optional: Participants can bring their own NEPA document (EA or EIS) to work on during class exercises if they wish. If a participant does not have a NEPA document, example NEPA documents will be provided by the instructor.

Objective: This course will provide participants a working knowledge of NEPA and the tools to navigate the new Department of Interior requirements related to page limitations and schedule requirements for Environmental Assessments (EAs) and Environmental Impact Statements (EISs). Emphasis will be on practical and proven techniques to streamline the NEPA process while still providing a NEPA document that will stand up to public and judicial scrutiny. Instruction will emphasize the relationship between NEPA, BLM permitting, the Mining Law of 1872, and the 43 CFR 3809 – Surface Management regulations. Course will include concise mini-lectures followed by workshops using real-world projects. Participants will have the option of bringing their own example projects/NEPA documents to use for course workshops or use instructor-provided case studies.

Prospective Participants: Geologists, mining engineers, project managers currently involved with proposed mining or other projects involving federal permitting

Day 1

  • Overview of NEPA and relationship with mining law and regulations
  • Streamlining Tools
  • Using Issue-Based Analysis for Concise, Defensible Documents
  • Identifying and Eliminating Issues for Detailed Analysis – Instructor-provided case study
  • Identifying and Eliminating Issues from Detailed Analysis – Participant’s projects

Day 2

  • Planning Concise Analysis – Participants’ projects (Instructor-provided example for students who do not have their own)
    • Identifying Impact Indicators
    • Methods
    • Revisiting eliminating issues via design features/best management practices
  • Writing Concise Analysis – Participant’s Projects
  • Concise and Defensible Cumulative Impacts Analysis – Participant’s projects


Post-Symposium Short Courses

SC7: Geologic and Resource Modeling in Leapfrog

Presenters: Matthew Hastings and Peter Oshust

Date: May 22-23, 2020

Composition: Lectures, Discussion, and Hands-on Exercises (2-Day)

Attendees: 5 minimum, 20 maximum

Requirements: Background in geology, geological modeling, and general mining software packages. Laptop computer suitable for 3D modeling and processing of large datasets (Leapfrog system requirements).

Recommendations: Leapfrog Geo Fundamentals training or previous applied experience with Leapfrog implicit modeling tools.

Price: $400 Professional, $200 Student

Objective: This course is designed for professionals with some exposure to Leapfrog to learn principles of geological domaining for the purposes of mineral resource estimation. Attendees will use real-world examples of evaluating and modeling complex geologic problems using a variety of geologic and analytical data inputs. Over this two-day course, attendees will generate a geological model, assess domains, and estimate tonnage and grade for reporting.

Prospective Participants: Geologists and engineers with an interest in developing skill sets in Leapfrog and understanding basic principles in mineral resource domaining and estimation.

SC8: Geometallurgy for Geologists and Metallurgists

Presenters: Thom Seal and Carl Nesbitt

Date: May 22, 2020

Composition: Lectures and Discussion

Attendees: 6 minimum, no maximum

Requirements: Basic background in geology, mineralogy, or extractive metallurgists.

Price: $400 Professional, $200 Student

Objective: Metals are found in the ground in a variety of compounds and states within the compounds. Getting the metal out of the rock is the job of the extractive metallurgist or chemical engineer but it is also the job of the geologist to understand the extractive process to identify profitable deposits. Understanding what minerals are involved and the location of the metals of interest, the host mineral chemistry is very important. Unfortunately, metallurgists and geologists rarely cross paths and often use different terminologies for the same thing. This class is designed to help breach that gap by teaching geologists what the metallurgists need to know and how to communicate it.

Prospective Participants: exploration and mining geologists, extractive metallurgist

SC9: Wilderness Advanced First Aid

Lead Presenter: Susan Purvis

Date: May 21-23, 2020

Composition: 1.5 days classroom, 1 day in the field

Attendees: 20 minimum, no maximum

Requirements: Participants must be over 18

Price: $575 Professional, $575 Student

Objective: Practical, hands-on learning for field geologists and support personnel. For the purposes of this class, “Wilderness” is defined as severe or hostile environments, limited equipment and/or delayed access to medical care. For many geologists, this is also the definition of where we work and play. Wilderness Medical Associates teaches students the body systems approach to medicine. If you understand how the system works, then you can recognize when something goes wrong. Either you have the tools to fix the problem or you need to evacuate. Emphasis is on how to assess a patient, the situation, determine the problems, anticipated problems, and follow through with a plan. Also included are tips on what to carry in the field, what to have in camp, and travel health. The course includes WFA certification, CPR and 2 wilderness protocols. Ms. Purvis is an excellent instructor and has worked in the hottest, highest, and coldest places on the planet. Susan was a gold exploration geologist prior to taking up work as medical practitioner, search dog handler, and expedition medic. Go Find is her bestselling memoir

Prospective Participants: exploration staff, outdoor enthusiasts, anyone with the motto “hope for the best, prepare for the worst”

SC10: Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology Mineral Resource Database Project

Presenter: Lucia Patterson

Date: May 21, 2020

Composition: 1/2 day


Price: Free

Requirements: None

SC11: Geophysical Exploration and Structural Analysis Applied to Gold and Silver Exploration in the Western and Northern Cordillera

Presenters: Simon Craggs, SRK Consulting, Toronto and Stephen Reford, Paterson, Grant & Watson Limited, Toronto

Date: May 22, 2020

Composition: Lectures and Discussion

Attendees: 6 minimum, no maximum

Requirements: Basic background in geology

Price:$400 Professional, $200 Student

Objective: The interpretation of geophysical data is a key exploration tool that augments traditional outcrop mapping. Geophysical interpretations produced with a sound understanding of structural geology help define deposit- to district-scale structural frameworks and identify key structural settings that will be prospective for mineralization. This workshop will address the structural styles and controls on precious-metal deposits, as well as methodologies for their assessment in exploration environments. Workflows for data acquisition and the structural interpretation of geophysical datasets, including airborne magnetic, EM, and gravity data, will be reviewed, and will illustrate structural features that may be used to constrain deposit-scale geological models. Although focused on Au and Ag deposits of different types, the information presented here will be of benefit to workers in other structurally controlled or modified deposits. To complement the structural analysis, recent case histories applied to ore deposits in Nevada, the Western US, and Yukon, Canada will be reviewed. Current developments in 3D inversion and machine learning applied to integrated interpretation, exploration undercover, geological mapping and targeting will be assessed.