Craig Hart


Craig Hart


J.C. Sproule Northern Exploration Award


CIM Distinguished Lecturers

Dr. Craig J.R. Hart is a mineral deposit geologist with a passion for frontiers.  He is a past Director of MDRU-Mineral Deposit Research Unit and Associate Professor at the University of British Columbia (UBC) (2009-2021) where he initiated industry-sponsored exploration research and training projects across frontier regions of North and South America, Asia and Eastern Europe. He was also a researcher at the University of Western Australia (UWA, 2006-2009) investigating gold deposits across northern China and Mongolia.  Most of his formative career was in the Yukon, and he was a founding geologist with the Yukon Geological Survey (1992-2006) completing regional mapping and mineral deposit projects across Yukon and Alaska.  Here, he developed intrusion-related gold exploration models which are a current exploration focus in Yukon as Chair of Snowline Gold Corp.  He was also a Top-5 finisher and Audience Choice winner of the Integra Gold Rush Challenge (2016).  He has degrees from McMaster University (BSc), UBC (MSc) and UWA (PhD) and is currently an explorer, consultant, advisor and director for several ambitious explorers. 

Distinguished Lecturer 2021-22

Linking Cordilleran Lithospheric Architecture to Mineral Deposits

Lecture Abstract


The provinciality of mineral deposits emphasizes crustal and lithospheric-scale controls on their distribution.  For magmatic-associated deposits, the crust and lithosphere are the primary melt and metal sources so they control the limits of fertility and metal tenor.  The crustal blocks that comprise the North American Cordillera are the fundamental controls to its metallogenic diversity, but the geometry and composition of the ancient western Laurentian margin that formed during late NeoProterozoic rifting of Rodinia dominates as a controlling force on Paleozoic, Mesozoic and even Cenozoic, tectonic, magmatic and metallogenic events.  Asymmetric Neoproterozoic rifting formed a continental margin architecture of exposed upper plate promontories and lower plate basins that are juxtaposed across transform zones.   The lower plate is characterized by stratiform base metal and barite deposits that formed during punctuated periods of Paleozoic extension, but is underlain by a previously metasomatized lithospheric mantle that contributed Mesozoic alkaline to peraluminous magmas that generated widespread gold and tungsten metal provinces.  These same lower plate packages subsequently formed Carlin-type gold districts during the Cenozoic that were controlled by the locations of reactivated continental margin rift structures.  Yukon and Nevada share similar metallogenic tenors because they are both hosted by lower plate components of the ancient rifted margin.