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Department of Earth Sciences

Staff Profile

Mr Joshua Hughes

PhD Student in the Department of Earth Sciences

Contact Mr Joshua Hughes (email at joshua.w.hughes@durham.ac.uk)

PhD Project

Ph.D Title: “Crystallisation, Melt Infiltration and Trace Element Enrichment at the Klokken Intrusion, South Greenland”

Supervisors:

A member of the department’s Volcanology & Magmatism Research Group, Josh’s Ph.D focusses upon the formation of igneous layering, the migration and infiltration of evolved magmatic liquids, the rheology of crystal mushes, and volatile and trace element variations within the Klokken syenite intrusion. Klokken is located within the Mesoproterozoic Gardar Igneous Province of South Greenland. Magmas within the province are typically enriched in LILE, HFSE and F and a number of intrusions host Tier 1 REE-Nb-Ta-Zr ± U deposits (e.g. Kvanefjeld, Kringlerne and Motzfeldt).

Melt infiltration through, and interaction with, a crystal mush is a poorly understood part of the magmatic system, yet has a fundamental bearing on volcanic, magmatic and ore-forming processes at a range of scales. The Klokken intrusion provides a remarkable natural laboratory in which to study melt-mush interaction processes at a micro- to macro-scale. Improved characterisation of reactive liquid flow has wider implications for our understanding of ore forming processes in magmatic environments for a range of commodities (including Cr, PGE, Au, REE, Nb, Ta, Zr and U).

Biography

A graduate of Cardiff University (UK), Josh holds a First Class Masters degree (MESci (Hons)) in Exploration and Resource Geology, with a thesis on unconventional diamond host rocks within the North Atlantic Craton. 

Josh has significant expertise in the exploration and targeting of gold, base and specialists metals, and diamonds in Proterozoic and Archaean terranes, including seven years of experience throughout Greenland. He was employed by Greenland's partially state owned national mineral exploration company, NASDAQ-listed NunaMinerals A/S (“NUNA”) for six years, most recently as the company’s Chief Geologist, managing an annual exploration budget of up to £2.2 million GBP.

As Chief Geologist at NUNA he was responsible for the most significant gold discovery in Greenland to date (e.g. 11 metres at 80.2 g/t gold) at the company’s Vagar gold project. Vagar is located within the Palaeoproterozoic Nanortalik Gold Belt of South Greenland that also hosts the Nalunaq gold deposit (Greenland’s first gold mine which produced 10.65 tonnes gold between 2004 – 2013 at an average grade of 15 g/t). Josh was also responsible for a Joint Exploration Agreement between NUNA and the Korean state-owned, Korea Resources Corporation (KORES) for a REE-Nb project in West Greenland, an Option and Joint Venture Agreement between NUNA and Greenland Rare Earth Projects Ltd for a REE-Nb-Ta-Zr project in South East Greenland, and an Alliance Agreement between NUNA and Rio Tinto Mining & Exploration Ltd.

Josh was Founder and Managing Director of Nanoq Resources Ltd during which time he developed the Tartoq gold project (Archaean greenstone-hosted gold) in SW Greenland, which was sold to Alopex Gold Inc. (CVE:AEX) in 2016. He has also managed brown field exploration projects on behalf of Angel Mining PLC at Nalunaq gold mine and provided consultancy to SRK Exploration Services (UK) Ltd and Arctic Resources Capital on gold and graphite exploration projects in Greenland. He is currently External Senior Consultant to Helvetica Exploration Services GmbH, Switzerland.

Josh has been a guest speaker and expert panelist at the British Government’s Department of Trade and Industry, advising policy makers and UK businesses on foreign direct investment in the Arctic’s emerging exploration and mining industry. Recently he was an expert panelist at several Mineral Assessment Workshops co-hosted by the Greenland Government’s Ministry of Mineral Resources and the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, on orogenic gold, titanium-vanadium and uranium deposits in Greenland.

Josh is currently a postgraduate demonstrator on the modules "Volcanology and Magmatism" and "Igneous and Metamorphic Geochemistry and Petrology". He has also lectured on a Masters-level module in Metallogeny at the University of St Andrews where he was a Tutor in Earth Sciences (2014 - 2015), and has co-supervised BSc and MGeol level research projects with Prof. Adrian Finch, on mineralisation associated with alkaline magmatism.

Josh is a member of the North Atlantic Craton Conference organising committee - held in St Andrews in 2014 and Edinburgh in 2016. The NAC conference has successfully promoted and cemented mutual co-operation internationally between academia, industry, learned societies and policy makers regarding mineral deposits associated with the Archaean North Atlantic Craton and adjoining Proterozoic Mobile Belts and has the wider aim of coagulating exploration efforts across Canada, Greenland and Fennoscandina.

Fellowships and Awards

  • Elected Fellow of the Geological Society, London
  • Graduate Fellowship of the Society of Economic Geologists
  • “SRK Consulting Prize” for best thesis, presented at the 36th Mineral Deposits Studies Group (MDSG) Conference
  • Regional Winner (Scotland) of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3) Young Persons Lecture Awards
  • Pam Edgar Fellowship of the IOM3
  • IOM3 funded Scholarship to attend the "Major Elements of Sustainable Development" Conference, St Petersburg Mining University, Russia (October 2017)
  • Samaneh Kansar Zamin (SKZ) and Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization (IMIDRO) Scholarship to attend the IR-ODEX short courses and fieldtrips (October 2017)

Membership of Organisations and Socities

Professional Development Courses

  • Society of Geology Applied to Mineral Deposits (SGA) Gold Short Course by Prof. David Groves (May 2018, 2 days, Prague, Czech Republic)
  • IR-ODEX short course “Regional controls, geology, geochemical expression and geophysical signature of global porphyry Cu-Au deposits” by Prof. Steven Garwin (October 2017, one day short course in Tehran, Iran, followed by a one day fieldtrip to the Sungun porphyry copper mine in NW Iran)
  • IR-ODEX short course “Epithermal gold deposits - formation and exploration” by Prof. Jeffrey Hedenquist (October 2017, two day short course in Tehran, Iran, followed by a one day fieldtrip to the Zailig epithermal gold deposit in NW Iran)
  • IR-ODEX short course “Magnetite-apatite and IOCG deposits (unconventional magmatic-hydrothermal systems)” by Prof. Fernando Tornos (October 2017, one day short course, Tehran, Iran)
  • NERC Advanced Training Course "Multidisciplinary fieldwork and modelling skills for the mining industry" (October 2016, twelve day field training course, Milos, Greece)
  • NERC Advanced Training Course "Fundamentals of Electron Probe Micro Analysis (EPMA)" (September 2016, four day short course at the University of Bristol, and three days instrument training at the University of Cambridge)
  • “Geological mapping training on orogenic gold deposits” by Dr Warren Pratt, mapping on Medgold Resources’ Lagares gold project near Porto and their Boticas gold project near Chaves (May 2016, five day field course, Portugal)
  • Ph.D course in Structural Geology by Dr Tobias Bauer (March 2016, six day short course, Lulea University of Technology, Sweden)
  • “Orogenic gold deposits” by Prof. Jochen Kolb (2016, one day short course, University of St Andrews, followed by a one day fieldtrip to the Coronish gold deposit, Scotland)
  • NERC SoS RARE “The thermodynamics of Rare Earth Element (REE) systems” (January 2016, two day short course, University of Leeds)
  • “Geochemical Exploration” (April 2014, three day short course, Helvetica Exploration Services Ltd)
  • “Magmatic Nickel Deposits of the Fennoscandian Shield: Geology, Petrogenesis and Exploration Criteria” by Prof. Wolfgang Maier (October 2013, FEM Conference two day short course, Finland)
  • “Ni-Cu-PGE Deposits in Mafic/Ultramafic Rocks: Insights and New Discoveries” (March 2013, Society of Economic Geology two day short Course, Canada)

Publications & Conference Contributions

Hutchison, M. T., Faithfull, J. W., Barford, D. N., Hughes, J. W., and Upton, B. G. J. (2018) The mantle of Scotland viewed through the Glen Gollaidh aillikite. Mineralogy and Petrology, in review.

Schlatter, D. M., Schlöglova, K., Fettweis, F., Bark, G., and Hughes, J. W. (2018) Lithogeochemical classification of hydrothermally altered Paleoproterozoic plutonic rocks associated with gold mineralization: examples from the Nanortalik Gold Belt of South Greenland and the “Gold Line” of Northern Sweden. EXPLORE (Newsletter for the Association of Applied Geochemists), in review.

Schlatter, D. M., Hughes, J. W., and Christiansen, O. (2018) The search for gold in Greenland. EXPLORE (Newsletter for the Association of Applied Geochemists), v. 178, p. 13-17.

Hughes, J. W., Hughes, H. S. R., Schlatter, D. M., Saintilan, N. J., Kolb, J., Goodenough, K. M., Bell, R., Spikings, R., Bark, G., Selby, D., Corrigan, D., Finch, A. A., Murphy, K., and Štembera, J. (2017) Discovering the undiscovered: the role and value of industry-academia collaboration (case studies from Greenlandic gold exploration). Geological Society of London 2017 Bryan Lovell Meeting ("Mining for the Future") Abstract Volume, London, 23-24 November 2017.

Schlatter, D. M., Schlöglova, K., Fettweis, F., Bark, G., and Hughes, J. W. (2017) Lithogeochemical classification of hydrothermally altered Paleoproterozoic plutonic rocks associated with gold mineralisation: examples from South Greenland and Northern Sweden. 15th Swiss Geoscience Meeting Abstract Volume, Davos, 17-18 November 2017.

Hughes, J. W., Humphreys, M. C. S., Holness, M. B., and Cooper, G. F. (2017) Crystal mush infiltration and reactive liquid flow: insights from the Klokken intrusion, South Greenland. Geological Society of London 2017 Fermor Meeting ("Factory Earth") Abstract Volume, London, 25-27 September 2017.

Hutchison, M. T., Hughes, J. W., and Faithfull, J. W. (2017) The mantle of Scotland viewed through the Glen Gollaidh aillikite. 11th International Kimberlite Conference Abstract Volume, Botswana, 18-22 September 2017.

Hughes, J. W., Humphreys, M. C. S., Cooper, G. F., and Holness, M. B. (2017) Infiltration of a syenitic crystal mush by evolved, late-stage, volatile-rich melts. In: TSG-VMSG-BGA Joint Assembly Abstracts Volume, Liverpool, 4-6 January 2017.

Schlatter, D. M., Schlöglova, K., and Hughes, J. W. (2016) Comparisons of the Paleoproterozoic orogenic gold deposits / occurrences of Nalunaq and Vagar in South Greenland and Svartliden in Northern Sweden. In: Reusser, E., and Pilet, S. (eds) 14th Swiss Geoscience Meeting Abstract Volume, Geneva, 18-19 November 2016.

Schlatter, D. M., Schlöglova, K., and Hughes, J. W. (2016) Is it possible to correlate the Paleoproterozoic gold belts of the Nanortalik (southern Greenland) and Lycksele-Storuman (northern Sweden)? In: North Atlantic Craton Conference Abstracts Volume, Edinburgh, UK, 21-23 March 2016.

Hughes, J. W., Schlatter, D. M., and Kolb, J. (2016) Mesoarchaean orogenic gold mineralization within the Nuuluk Linear Belt, Tartoq Gold Province, South West Greenland. In: North Atlantic Craton Conference Abstracts Volume, Edinburgh, UK, 21-23 March 2016.

Hughes, J. W., Finch, A. A., Andersen, T., and Goodenough, K. M. (2016) Carbonatite magmatism within the Fiskefjord Block of the West Greenland North Atlantic Craton: Hf isotope systematics. In: North Atlantic Craton Conference Abstracts Volume, Edinburgh, UK, 21-23 March 2016.

Hughes, J. W., Abraham-James, T., van Gool, J., and Olaffson, E. (2016) Renewed exploration at Nalunaq gold mine, South Greenland – demonstrating continuity of the Main Vein orebody. In: North Atlantic Craton Conference Abstracts Volume, Edinburgh, UK, 21-23 March 2016.

Schlatter, D. M., Hughes, J. W., and Christiansen, O. (2015) Auf Goldsuche in Grönland /A la recherche de l’or
groenlandais. GeoPanorama; Das Magazin der Schweizer Geowissenschaften, 2/2015, p. 19-24 (published in French and German only).

Goodenough, K. M., Hughes, J. W., and Finch, A. A. (2014) Carbonatites and alkaline magmas at the margins of the North Atlantic Craton in Greenland: a vital resource of the critical metals. In: GAC-MAC Abstracts Volume, New Jersey, USA, 21-23 May 2014.

Schlatter, D. M., and Hughes, J. W. (2014) The gold potential of South East Greenland: new insights into the eastern extension of the >150 km Nanortalik Gold Belt. In: Reusser, E., and Pilet, S. (eds) 12th Swiss Geoscience Meeting, Fribourg, Abstract Volume, p. 81-82.

Stacey, M., Finch, A. A., Hughes, J. W., and Christiansen, O. (2014) Lost Gardar intrusion: critical metal exploration at the Paatusoq syenite complex, South East Greenland. Geophysical Research Abstracts, EGU General Assembly, v. 16 (EGU2014-5666-1)

Faithfull, J. W., Hughes, J. W., Upton, B. J. G., Ellam, R. M., and Ntaflos, T. (2014) An aillikite dyke from Sutherland, Scotland. In: VMSG Abstracts Volume, Edinburgh, 6-8 January 2014.

Hughes, J. W., Schlatter, D. M., Berger, A. and Christiansen, O. (2014) The Paleoproterozoic Nanortalik Gold Belt – A previously unrecognized Intrusion Related Gold System (IRGS) Province in South Greenland? Applied Earth Science (Transactions of the Institute of Mining and Metallurgy B), v. 122 (3), p. 156-157.

Hughes, J. W., Finch, A. A., Stacey, M., and Christiansen, O. (2014) The Final Gardar Frontier: Critical Metal Exploration at the Paatusoq Syenite Complex, South East Greenland. Applied Earth Science (Transactions of the Institute of Mining and Metallurgy B), v. 122 (3), p. 156.

RECORDED LECTURE PUBLISHED IN: Garde, A. A., and Sørensen, L. L. (Editors) Current nickel and base metal exploration in Greenland: the Copenhagen lectures, September 2013. Danmarks og Grønlands Geologiske Undersøgelse Rapport 2013/97, 86 pp. (Inc. DVD)

Hughes, J. W. (2013) Aillikite - an unconventional diamond host rock and its importance in the Greenland-Labrador-(Scotland?) Diamond Province. Applied Earth Science (Transactions of the Institute of Mining and Metallurgy B), v. 121 (4), p. 184.

Hutchison, M. T., Hughes, J. W., and Christiansen, O. (2013) Diamond Exploration in West Greenland - The Qaamasoq Prospect. Applied Earth Science (Transactions of the Institute of Mining and Metallurgy B), v. 121 (4), p. 184-185.

Hughes, J. W., and Christiansen, O. (2012) Rare earth mineralisation of the Qeqertaasaq carbonatite complex, West Greenland. Applied Earth Science (Transactions of the Institute of Mining and Metallurgy B), v. 120 (2), p. 67-68.

Research Groups

Department of Earth Sciences

Research Interests

  • Igneous petrology and geochemistry
  • Alkaline igneous provinces
  • Mineral deposits and exploration
  • Greenlandic geology
  • Textural development and infiltration in crystal mushes
  • Reactive Liquid Flow
  • Orogenic gold