Of all the mornings we were blessed to wake up to, this one was particularly cold. There was less conversation at the breakfast tables because we were all slightly upset about this being the last day of adventure in Chile. Over the past week, we all saw and experienced things that were beyond imagination. The thing about traveling anywhere is that you leave a piece of yourself somewhere that might not see again but you do bring with you, a part of you that is brand new. This morning’s ambiance understood that trade off. The smell of excitement brought on…


Day 9 of the SEG trip to Chile was all about the volcanism associated with the subduction of the Nazca plate beneath the South American plate.

Hard Core Geology: Subduction zones create volcanism by a process called flux melting. Rock that is created at mid ocean ridges interacts with sea water and goes though a process of metamorphism, incorporating OH or H2O into their crystal structure creating hydrous minerals. In subduction, due to the increase heat and pressure, these minerals dehydrate, releasing this water, and induce magma generation. This magma rises via buoyancy to the surface, creating volcanos.

The first…


On Day 8 of the 2018 SEG Chile trip, our group took another scenic mountain drive to visit El Teniente, the world’s LARGEST subterranean copper mine, hosting the LARGEST porphyry copper deposit. Upon arriving at the entrance gates, some members of our group enthusiastically and accidentally bi-passed security to enter the Codelco mine property.

At the Entrance Centre, we a presentation on the geology, history, and safety of the mine, then geared up and went to visit the underground complex. We were required to wear safety uniforms with helmets, emergency kits, lights, and respirators.


We woke up early for our second breakfast at the Hostal Santuario de las Penuelas, where we’d been enjoying some picturesque views of the seaside town of Coquimbo and relaxing with the owners of the house.

Once everyone was ready, we set off in our trucks towards the Carmen de Andacollo mine, 90% of which is owned by the Canadian company Teck, and 10% of which is owned by ENAMI, Chile’s national mine company. This mine is the largest Cu-Au porphyry mine in the 80 km-wide Cretaceous belt in the Mesozoic Coastal Cordillera of northern Chile, and it’s also the…


Our day began later than the past few. We spent the morning running errands and, with the help of Christian, repairing the flat tire from the long, rugged drive the night before. Afterwards, we set off towards Bosque de Fray Jorge National Park — a break from the typical geological field day to experience an exceptionally unique part of natural Chile.

Fray Jorge is a UNESCO Biosphere reserve and Chilean national park located along the Pacific coast at the southern end of the Cordillera de Tallinay. The park is home to relict Olivillo (Aextoxicon punctatum) forests. The woody flora have…


After a long night in Huasco, we packed up our bags, hopped into our trucks and got back on the road. Following our fearless leader, Christian The Great, we creeped up some dusty switch backs and rolled down some rocky roads to the sites of the day. Along the road we were able to see small abandoned mine holes giving us a glimpse in to past mining life. During our first pee stop, Christian gave us a quick breakdown of the Fortuna property owned by MASGLAS. …


We set off on our journey to the desert from our hotel in Copiapó and were welcomed by the Camanchaca: a dense fog that forms in the mountains along the coastal regions of the Atacama.

What already looked like a dry, arid setting took on the surreal appearance of a post-apocalyptic wasteland or a Martian landscape.

Within an hour or two, the fog had lifted, and it was as sunny as you would expect a desert to be.


We made it to Chile! After a long flight and almost as long a drive, we arrived in Copiapo, Chile very late at night ready to sleep.

While there were the long airport waits, we managed to make the best of it.


Hi everyone! SEG is excited to announce that after lots of planning and fundraising, our trip to Chile is about to get underway. Twelve lucky students will be going to Chile from February 15th to the 25th for an unforgettable trip! This time tomorrow we should be in the air on our way to Santiago.

This trip would not have been possible without our sponsors: University of Toronto Agnico Eagle Mines Limited Kinross Gold Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) and the Toronto Geological Discussion Group (TGDG)

We also extend our thanks to Lundin Group of Companies CODELCO CHILE Teck and Masglas for allowing us to come visit their mines and properties when we are there.

We are all very excited!

UofT SEG

Stay tuned for updates on our field trip to chile!

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