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PEG 2024 Conference

The attendees of the pegmatite symposium at Brandon University.

Environmental Research (NERC DTP) – Lot Koopmans (2021 DPhil Earth Sciences)

In May 2024, I travelled to Manitoba, Canada, for the GAC-MAC-PEG conference. I specifically attended the PEG component, which was the 11th international pegmatite symposium, the only conference of its kind globally. At this conference I presented on my research and attended a field trip to various lithium deposits around the region.

A man presenting at a conference

Presenting my research at the PEG2024 Conference

The conference started at the University of Brandon, and I presented a talk titled; Structural controls on the emplacement and mineralization of lithium-bearing pegmatites. Lithium- bearing pegmatites are the world’s main source of lithium, a metal that is critical to batteries used in technology, electric cars, and storage systems for electric grids. Because of the growing demand of electric cars and the transition to renewable energies which require larger storage systems (for when there is no wind or sun), global demand for lithium has increased significantly over the past decade. As such we need to find more lithium, which requires a better understanding of where we can find it in the ground. My talk covered a key aspect of this search, which is my main research focus at the moment.

One of the field sites visited during the conference field trip

Following the talks which spanned three days, I attended a conference field trip to several lithium deposits in Ontario and Manitoba. During this trip I had the opportunity to visit the world-famous Tanco mine, which is an underground mine that has been active for over 60 years. I was able to meet an discuss with world experts in the field, both in academia and in industry, which was an invaluable part of the trip. I made connections which will hopefully lead to collaboration in the future, and learned a lot about aspects of lithium deposits which I had not considered previously.

Find out more about the range of travel grants and scholarships available to assist Univ students on our Travel Grants page or read further travel reports.

Published: 28 June 2024

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