The second ‘Applied Field Techniques in Economic Geology’ (AFTEG) field course for students of economic geology of the Oulu Mining School (OMS) was held in the Kittilä greenstone area, Northern Finland, in 26 – 31 May 2019. The course was arranged as a collaboration between OMS and Muon Solutions Oy and was sponsored by Agnico Eagle Finland Oy. The principal teachers were from the OMS, GTK and Muon Solutions, while also the local team of the Agnico Eagle Finland Oy offered some additional lectures, guidance and technical help. All the fifteen students were either PhD or MSc students and they represent multiple countries and cultures. Besides this, the students represented various disciplines from bedrock and Quaternary geology to mining engineering and hydrogeophysics. The official course language was English.

The AFTEG course is offered as a tailored field course for university students of the OMS and fills the gap between lecture room know-how and actual greenfields exploration techniques as they are applied in the field. This means two things: (1) the exploration techniques demonstrated and variably exercised by the students range from those practiced by geologists (outcrop mapping, boulder hunting, geochemical sampling strategies and various sampling methods, heavy mineral sampling and separation techniques, drilling plans, drill core logging, etc.) to those practiced by geophysicists (demonstrations and actual field tests with various ground geophysical equipment); (2) geological models and science are linked to practice and field work throughout the course.

A major thread of the course was to provide students a real experience how exploration teams work and how integral role safety plays while planning and finally executing the field work. Another important thread was to mix people with different backgrounds to three-person teams, thereafter each representing a small junior exploration company with a pressing task to discover a world-class deposit with minimal resources. High intensity is an integral part of the AFTEG course. Why? Well, the idea is to offer a student a chance to find out whether or not exploration work is something (s)he is looking for and for which her/his personal qualities and interests are fitted to: if the student still likes exploration after six days of hard work, (s)he is likely well suited for a real world exploration team.

As the course was very successful and well liked by the students, the third course will be arranged at some point in the future, no doubt.

PS. Mining and exploration companies feeling growing obsession to act in the role of the next sponsor, please contact Muon Solutions! You will benefit from the sponsorship in various ways (for example, the students will collect lot of samples from your exploration licence area according to your sampling plan).