At a Glance

Expert discussions on timely topics.
Hear it here, as it happens.

Headliners, the University of Minnesota's popular current events series, is your chance to meet, once a month, with University and community experts as they share firsthand knowledge of today's newsworthy topics. From medical breakthroughs and culture clashes to social trends and foreign affairs, you'll discuss what's making the headlines.

Join us, for the 2014–15 season, from October through May (no event in January) to dive into timely topics and ask questions in a moderated Q&A. 

Headliner tickets are nonrefundable.

Jim Miller

Copper, Nickel, and Precious-Metal Deposits in Northeastern Minnesota: A Geological Perspective

Who: Jim Miller, associate professor, Department of Geological Sciences; administrative director, Precambrian Research Center, University of Minnesota−Duluth

When: Thursday, March 5, 7 p.m.

Where: Continuing Education and Conference Center, St. Paul campus, University of Minnesota

Tickets: $15


Occurring at the northeast end of the Mesabi Iron Range in northeastern Minnesota, are large deposits of copper, nickel, and precious-metal bearing sulfide ore which “arrived” in magma during the state’s active volcanic history 1.1 billion years ago. These igneous rocks are associated with the Duluth Complex. Considered to be one of the world’s largest intrusions of gabbro on earth and one of the largest layered mafic intrusions known, the Complex covers an area of approximately 1820 square miles and includes much of Minnesota's Arrowhead Region north of Lake Superior.

For several years, Minnesotans have been engaged in an impassioned discussion about how to properly steward these world-class mineral deposits. But how can we engage in this discussion with both passion and intelligence? Geology is an ancient science, yet our understanding of the processes that have shaped the earth during its 4.5-billion-year history are surprisingly recent. This special edition of Headliners provides a geological context for the discussion.

Join us March 5, when University of Minnesota associate professor of geology Dr. Jim Miller will summarize the geological circumstances that led to the formation of northeastern Minnesota’s deposits, the mineral and metal composition of the ores, the uses for extracted metals, and the history of exploration that led to their discovery. In addition, he will discuss the methods commonly used in mining and processing metal sulfide ores and the environmental challenges to their extraction.

Dr. Jim Miller is an associate professor in the Department of Geological Sciences at the University of Minnesota−Duluth, where he is also administrative director for the Precambrian Research Center, a field-mapping institute established in 2007. The author/coauthor of more than 50 publications, field guides, and geologic maps, Miller’s primary area of research is geologic mapping, and petrologic and metallogenic studies of northeastern Minnesota geology, particularly the Duluth Complex. He is a former senior geologist with the Minnesota Geological Survey, where he worked for 25 years.


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