EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Re-evaluating Caledonian magmatism and associated base metal mineralisation: a case study of the Black Stockarton Moor porphyry copper system 

Chloe Gemmell1, David Currie2, Iain Neill1, Josh Einsle1, and Careen MacRae1
Chloe Gemmell et al.
  • 1University of Glasgow, Geography and Earth Sciences, Glasgow, United Kingdom of Great Britain – England, Scotland, Wales (
  • 2Critical Minerals Intelligence Centre, British Geological Survey, Keyworth, United Kingdom

Following the British Geological Survey’s (BGS) 1970s – 1990s Mineral Reconnaissance Programme (MRP), there has been limited characterisation and quantification of base and precious metal mineralisation in the UK, with the notable exception of Au. Data gaps still exist regarding mineral paragenesis, geochronology, deportment of critical raw materials (CRM), and ore forming processes. With increased focus on CRM, NetZero, and supply risk we must improve our knowledge of deportment in base metal systems. The BGS Critical Minerals Intelligence Centre (CMIC) was recently established to aid the UK in meeting projected future CRM demand and will act as a nexus for industry and academia. Here, we establish a workflow and document a case study where academia and the CMIC have partnered to re-evaluate a potential mineral resource, a starting point for renewed studies elsewhere in the UK. 

The Black Stockarton Moor (BSM) post-subduction porphyry Cu system is thought to have formed by interaction of Devonian plutonic to sub-volcanic complexes with Silurian turbidites in the Southern Uplands of Scotland. No study of the BSM has been undertaken since the 1979 MRP report, thus whether it is of any modern value remains unproven. Field sampling and utilising the National Geological Repository at BGS will allow for optical and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) to quantitatively establish paragenesis and primary mineralogy. Sites will then be identified for chemical mapping to quantify CRM deportment in base metals using SEM-energy dispersive X-ray analysis (EDX), with areas of particular interest further quantified by laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS). Focused ion beam (FIB) nano-tomography will be used to identify the cm to nano-scale distribution of CRM. Finally, magmatism and mineralisation will be fully temporally constrained using U-Pb analysis of zircon, titanite, calcite and epidote and/or Re-Os analysis of sulphides as appropriate. On a large scale, this study will address one set of data gaps by re-invigorating our knowledge of the geology and geodynamic associations of mineralisation. However, by also identifying the quantities and associations of metals at the cm to micron scale, it addresses another, by constraining the extent and nature of processes responsible for the distribution of metals in such deposits. This workflow is to be refined for application to mineralisation elsewhere in the UK including work underway on the Strontian Caledonian granite and associated Pb-Zn mineralisation in the Northern Scottish Highlands.

How to cite: Gemmell, C., Currie, D., Neill, I., Einsle, J., and MacRae, C.: Re-evaluating Caledonian magmatism and associated base metal mineralisation: a case study of the Black Stockarton Moor porphyry copper system , EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-15445,, 2023.

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