The Andean Porphyries 2017-18 International Study Tour has been designed to visit a selection of the most significant porphyry Cu-Mo, Cu-Mo-Zn, Cu-Au and Au systems and provinces, from Cretaceous to Pliocene in age and from Chile to northern Ecuador, including 'classic' porphyry, porphyry-breccia, porphyry-skarn, porphyry-lithocaps-epithermal deposits and their supergene oxide and sulphide derivatives.
Because of the time required to visit all of the deposits involved, the tour has been split into two modules in 2017 in 2018 as follows:
The first part was conducted as Andean Porphyries 2017, between Sunday 23 and Saturday 29 April, 2017 and only included the Chilean segment of the tour.
The second part, covers the remainder of the tour in Peru and Ecuador, in June 2018 as Andean Porphyries 2018 - if the mines/projects involved (or alternatives) confirm approval for the visits requested.
Those commencing at the beginning of Andean Porphyries 2017, assembled in central Santiago, Chile, at Noon on Sunday 23 April, 2017, at the meeting point designated by PGC prior to the start of the tour. The Tour technical program ended in Antofagasta, Chile, on the morning of Saturday 29 April, 2017.
Those who register for the planned Andean Porphyries 2018 will rendezvous in Lima, Peru, on 4 June 2018. The full tour technical program will end in Quito, Ecuador, on the morning of Tuesday 19 June, 2018.
Tour participants have the option of taking either the full tour -or- any block of 3 or more days up to the full tour, as suits their budget, availability and interest.
For those who take less than the full tour, start and end points and dates are advised on confirmation of registration. Alternate start and/or end points included Iquique, Calama and Antofagasta in Chile in 2017 (although all took the full module), while in 2018, will include Lima or Cusco in Peru, Quito in Ecuador, or other locations en route, by arrangement.
During the tour, PGC arranges all surface travel and books all scheduled airline flights, i.e., between the start and end points of the block of days or full tour nominated by the participant.
Before and after the tour, each participant will be responsible for all of their own accommodation and travel arrangements and costs to get to the specified start point and from the end point.
Closing date - Registrations for Andean Porphyries 2018 will close on Friday 4 May, 2018, although late registrations will be considered up to 21 May. The same conditions regarding medical approvals and consequent lead times will apply as was the case for the tour in 2017, as explained in the note immediately below.
Registrations for Andean Porphyries 2017 closed on Friday 31st March, 2017, although late registrations were considered up to 11 April. Note however, that a number of the mines on the itinerary require a comprehensive medical examination to be undergone prior to the visit (see below), and the results forwarded (via PGC) for consideration by mine medical officers. Some of these examinations involve laboratory pathology tests that may take several days to complete. This will mean that for much of the tour, late registration will only be practical up to 2 weeks prior to the start of the tour.
Mine/project visits - what is involved ? - each mine/operation is asked to provide a geological briefing on the deposit to be visited, its regional to local setting, geology, structure, alteration and mineralisation, but also the opportunity to study the alteration, ore, hosts, structure and country rocks, both in the mine (or exposure if not yet in operation) and in drill core, and at surface peripheral to the deposit, as appropriate and practical. In rare cases, host company safety policy may not allow an 'in pit' visit, but instead a geological overview from the pit lookout, but this is usually compensated by a thorough inspection of core from a representative selection of drill holes through the deposit. In the even rarer occasion where core is not available, a more thorough pit visit is provided. The content and emphasis of the visit and degree of access is at the discretion of the host company.
Tour Fees include the cost of all surface travel from when each participant joins the tour to when they leave, as well as all other costs associated with the tour, including development, organisation, escorting the tour, professional fees and costs for the geological translators, workshop venues, audio-visual equipment, mine visits, background literature, tour packs, introductory dinners, etc.
Air Fares for scheduled airline flights booked by PGC and flown by each participant between when the participant joins and leaves the tour are additional to the tour fee.
Note: The scheduled airline fares charged by PGC are estimated at the time of budgeting, with allowance for fuel surcharges, currency fluctuations and fare variations by the time of flying. Where the final fare paid by PGC is less than the estimated amount charged, the difference will be refunded at the end of the tour. Conversely, if the actual fares are higher than those charged, the difference will be invoiced after the tour.
Fares listed on the registration form and invoiced are based on a flexible, refundable economy fare for reservations that may be cancelled should participants withdraw after the booking is made, or parts of the tour do not proceed through lack of interest, or cancellation by mines. However, if discounted airfares are available when the tour is confirmed and PGC tickets the travel, these may be purchased and the difference refunded to you at the end of the tour.
Accommodation - All accommodation reservations for each participant between the start and end dates of their tour will be made by PGC. However, all accommodation costs must be paid by the participants on checkout during the tour and NOT by PGC , and are additional to the tour fees and air fares. Some hotels may require pre-paymment by PGC on confirmation of reservation. These charges will be passed on to affected participants.
Meals - Participants will also be responsible for paying for their own meals (except the Introductory Dinner) and personal incidentals on tour.
Payment - Tour Fees and Air Fares must be paid to PGC at the same time, and by the due date specified on the invoice (which will usually be 14 days after the date of the confirmation letter if within 2 months of tour commencement - but may be longer for early registrations), but no later than one month before the commencement of the Tour. In the event of late registration (if places still remain), fees and fares must to be received before the commencement of the block of days or full tour nominated by the participant.
Language - The official language of the tour will be English. The group will be accompanied by a translator, who will be an experienced geologist fluent in both Spanish and English to translate those presentations and discussions that are in Spanish. It is preferable that participants have at least a professional working proficiency in English. Those Spanish speakers without this level of proficiency must balance what they would learn from those presentations in Spanish and from their own observation of the rocks they are shown in the mines and drill core and asking questions of the host geologists, who will almost universally be able to converse in Spanish, versus what they would miss from those presentations in English.
Medical Examinations - Most of the deposits on the itinerary are at an elevation of >3000 m where altitude sickness may potentially be experienced by susceptible participants. All of these mines require some form of medical examination. A number of the mines on the itinerary, require all participants to undergo comprehensive medical tests before the tour starts. Each of these has provided a form detailing the required medical examination. The appropriate form for each of these mines are forwarded to participants upon confirmation of registration. Participants to visit these specific mines/projects must undergo the medical examinations, which are to be conducted by a registered medical practitioner prior to commencement of the tour. The examining doctor must complete and sign each form separately (if more than one of these mines/projects is to be visited). Participants are to then forward the completed form to PGC by E-mail. For Andean Porphyries 2017, these reports had to be forwarded to PGC by no later than Monday 10 April 2017 for on-forwarding to the mines/projects involved. On arrival at the mines, participants were/will be required to undergo further tests. The same conditions will apply for some of the operations on Andean Porphyries 2018. At most other mines/projects, all participants will be subjected to a less rigorous examination on arrival, involving blood pressure and/or blood oxygen measurements. A number of mines require an acclimatisation period of 12 to 24 hours at ~3000 m, where a medical examination will be conducted, before proceeding to the mine at higher altitudes. Other mines will conduct these tests on arrival on site. If, in the opinion of the mine/project medical staff, a participant is deemed to be at risk of altitude sickness, that participant will not be allowed beyond either the acclimatisation point, or the mine clinic, as applicable.
Safety equipment and apparel (PPE) - Please note that each participant MUST bring wear their own hi-vis shirts or jackets (or reflective hi-vis vest), steel toe capped safety boots and safety glasses. While all mines will provide hard hats, most require participants to wear these other items on site and will refuse a visit for those without these items. Note that the temperature at quite a few of the high altitude mines may mean you will need to wear a jacket. If so that jacket should also be hi-vis, or participants will need to wear their own reflective/hi-vis vest over the jacket. Participants must also wear long trousers (NO skirts), and long-sleeved shirts with collars to gain access to some mines sites. Use of sun screen is strongly advised since there is high UV radiation at the altitudes at which the mines are located.
Tour notes - As part of the tour, each participant will receive a comprehensive collection of literature to read prior to commencement or during the tour. These papers cover the regional geology and distribution of mineralisation in the areas being considered, as well as descriptions of the individual deposits studied and other selected examples in the regions visited.
Final itinerary - Approximately two weeks prior to the commencement of the tour, participants will be forwarded a detailed itinerary with accommodation information, including the street address, e-mail address, phone numbers and tariff for each hotel. All they need bring is their field gear, PPE, personal affects, and credit card/ATM cards or cash to pay for accommodation and meals.
Presentations - One of the requirements of the tour is that each participant should prepare a 30 to 40 minutes duration presentation, illustrated by PowerPoint, on a topic with which he/she is conversant, such as an ore deposit, a mineral province or exploration case history, and is relevant to the main theme of the tour, i.e., copper or gold deposits, preferably of porphyry and/or epithermal mineralisation. Participants should also be prepared to answer questions and discuss your presentation. The purpose of the presentation is that in order to get the most from the tour, the tour group must be willing to exchange information with their hosts, either as part of a mine visit or at professional association meetings after hours. If more than one representative of the same division/company is on the tour at any one time, only one presentation is required from that company during that period, as long as there is a participant of the company able to give a presentation at any time that company is represented on the tour.