Precambrian Research Center

BIF Wkshp Title

October 10 – 16, 2010

University of Minnesota Duluth

Duluth, Minnesota

Participant Limit: WORKSHOP IS FULL!
          Currently Registered: 38 professionals; 6 students (updated 9/23/10)

Registration Fees: $1450 - Professional ($1650 after 8/30)
$900- Graduate Student (limit 7)
                                  $800- Partial Workshop (Sun-Wed only)

Early Registration Deadline: August 30, 2010


Information Circular

Registration Form
(Word, pdf)

Workshop Information:

About the Workshop
Workshop Schedule
Workshop Instructors and Field Trip Leaders
Short Course Lectures
Field Excursions
Registration and Fees
Notice of Acceptance and Cancellation Policy
Graduate Student Registration
About Duluth
Air and Ground Transportation to Duluth
Hotel Accommodations
More Information

Become a PRC member and reserve a workshop slot today!!

Click Here

About the Workshop
The workshop is designed for professional geologists, academic researchers, and graduate students working with Precambrian iron formations.  The goal of the workshop is to familiarize participants with the stratigraphy, mineralogy, textures, internal structures, geochemistry, and geometallurgy of both Lake Superior-type and Algoman-type iron formations, as well as with current genetic models proposed for their formation. 

The workshop includes two days of short course lectures by internationally and regionally renowned experts on Precambrian iron formations.  It will also include four days of field excursions on the classic iron formations of the Lake Superior area led by local experts.  The short course lectures will be conducted on the campus of the University of Minnesota Duluth

Workshop Schedule (tentative)

Sunday, October 10
     6-9 PM         Welcoming Reception (Inn on Lake Superior, Canal Park)

Monday, October  11 
AM:  Classification, Geologic Setting, and Genesis of Iron Formations
     7:30              Participants transported by van to UMD; depart from Inn on Lake                                          Superior lobby
     8:00-9:00      Lecture 1: Classification of Precambrian Iron Formations
                                    B. Simonson, Oberlin College, OH
     9:00-10:00    Lecture 2: Depositional Environments and Geodynamic                                                   Settings of Iron Formations
                                    P. Fralick, Lakehead University, ON
     10:00-10:30   Coffee Break
     10:30-11:30   Lecture 3: Biogenetic Influences on Iron Formation Genesis
                                    R. Shapiro, California State-Chico
     11:30-12:30   Lecture 4: Hydrothermal Influences on Iron Formation                                                   Genesis
                                    J. Peter, Geological Survey of Canada
     12:30-1:30    Lunch at UMD

PM:  Geology and Stratigraphy of Iron Formations in the Lake Superior Area

     1:30-2:15      Lecture 5: Stratigraphic Place and Economic Role of                                          Algoman-type Iron Formation
                                     P. Thurston, Laurentian University, ON
     2:15-3:00      Lecture 6: Overview of Lake Superior-type Iron Formations
                                    R. Ojakangas, University of Minnesota-Duluth
     3:00-3:15      Break
     3:15-4:00      Lecture 7: Geology and Stratigraphy of the Biwabik Iron Fm
                                    M. Severson, Natural Resources Research Institute, UMD
     4:00-4:45      Lecture 8: Geology and Stratigraphy of the Negaunee Iron Fm
                                    T. Waggoner, Consultant, Negaunee, MI
     4:45-5:30      Lecture 9: Geology and Stratigraphy of the Gogebic Iron Fm
                                    W. Cannon, US Geological Survey, Reston, VA
     5:30             Participants return to Inn on Lake Superior

Tuesday, October 12
     7:30-4:00      Field Trip 1 – Geology of the Gogebic Iron Formation,                                     Western Upper Michigan & Northwestern Wisconsin     
                          Leaders:  W. Cannon,
US Geological Survey
                                          P. Fralick, Lakehead University

     6:30             Participants return to Inn on Lake Superior

Wednesday, October 13
AM: Mineralogy, Metamorphism, and Alteration of Iron Formations
     8:00             Participants transported by van to UMD; depart from Inn on Lake                                              Superior lobby
     8:30-9:30      Lecture 10: Mineralogy of Iron Formations: Primary,                                                        Diagenetic, and Metamorphic
                                    C. Klein, University of New Mexico
     9:30-10:00    Coffee Break
     10:00-11:00   Lecture 11: Thermal Metamorphism of Iron Formations
                                    P. McSwiggen, Consultant, Minneapolis, MN
     11:00-12:00   Lecture 12: Origin of High-grade Iron and Manganese Ore                                              Deposits by Supergene and Hydrothermal Processes
                                    N. Beukes, University of Johannesburg, SA
     12:00-1:00    Lunch at UMD

PM:  Geochemistry, Metallurgy  and Economic Geology of Iron Formations
     1:00-1:45      Lecture 13: Geochemical Models for the Genesis of                                                     Algoman-type Iron Formation
                                    G.Baldwin, Laurentian University, ON
     1:45-2:30      Lecture 14: Geochemistry of Iron Formations
                                    B. Beard, University of Wisconsin-Madison
     2:30-3:15      Lecture 15: Geometallurgy of Iron Formations
                                    R. Johnson, Consultant, Negaunee, MI
     3:15-3:45      Break
     3:45-4:30      Lecture 16: Economic Geology of Iron Formations
                                    R. Fink, Cliffs Natural Resources, Cleveland, OH
     5:15              Participants return to Inn on Lake Superior

Thursday, October 14
     8:00-5:00      Field Trip 2 – Geology of the Central Mesabi Range, Minnesota
                                    Leaders: M. Severson, Univ. Minnesota-Duluth
                                                   R. Ojakangas, Univ. Minnesota-Duluth
                                                   P. Jongewaard, Cliffs Natural Resources
                                                   M. Campbell, Cliffs Natural Resources
                           Overnight in Biwabik, MN                              
     6:30-9:00      Banquet and Talk–Development History of the Mesabi Range
                                                   M. Jirsa, Minnesota Geological Survey           

Friday, October 15
     8:00-3:30      Field Trip 3 – Geology of the Eastern Mesabi Range and the                                                 Soudan Iron Formation, Northern Minnesota
                                     Leaders: M. Severson, U Minnesota-Duluth
                                                   T. Campbell, Cliffs Natural Resources
                                                   D. Halverson, Cliffs Natural Resources
                                                   D. Peterson, Duluth Metals Ltd.
                        Overnight in Grand Marais, MN  

Saturday, October 16
     8:00-3:00      Field Trip 4 – Geology of the Gunflint Iron Formation and the                                             Sudbury Impact Layer, Northeastern Minnesota
                                     Leaders: M. Jirsa, Minnesota Geological Survey
                                                   P. Fralick, Lakehead University, ON
     6:00             Return to Inn on Lake Superior

Workshop Instructors and Principal Field Trip Leaders

The short course lectures will be given by a preeminent group of scientists and researchers who have devoted much of their careers to the study of Precambrian iron formations.   The field trips will be led by local geologists who are renown experts on the geology and stratigraphy of Lake Superior-type iron formations.

Geoffrey Baldwin – Ph.D. Candidate, Laurentian University, Sudbury, ON - Reseach Interests

Brian Beard  - Associate Research Professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison - Reseach Interests

Nicholas Beukes – Professor, University of Johannesburg - Reseach Interests

Thomas Campbell – Manager - Resource Analysis, Cliffs Natural Resources, Hibbing, MN - Reseach Interests

William F. Cannon – Geologist, U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, VA - Reseach Interests

Richard Fink– Vice President, Technical Business Development, Cliffs Natural Resources, Cleveland, OH - Reseach Interests

Philip  Fralick – Professor, Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, ON - Reseach Interests

Mark Jirsa  – Senior Geologist, Minnesota Geological Survey, St. Paul, MN - Reseach Interests

Rodney Johnson – Chief Scientist, Rod Johnson & Associates, Negaunee, MI - Reseach Interests

Peter Jongewaard – Minnesota District Geologist, Cliffs Mining Services, Eveleth, MN - Reseach Interests

Cornelis (Kase) Klein – Professor, University of New Mexico - Reseach Interests

Peter McSwiggen – Consulting Geologist/Microscopist, McSwiggen & Associates, Minneapolis, MN - Reseach Interests

Richard Ojakangas – Emeritus Professor, University of Minnesota-Duluth - Reseach Interests

Jan Peter – Research Economic Geologist, Geological Survey of Canada, Ottawa, ON - Reseach Interests

Dean Peterson – Senior Vice President of Exploration, Duluth Metals Ltd, Duluth, MN - Reseach Interests

Mark Severson – Senior Research Fellow, UMD Natural Resources Research Institute, Duluth, MN - Reseach Interests

Russell Shapiro – Associate Professor, California State University- Chico - Reseach Interests

Bruce Simonson – Professor, Oberlin College, Oberlin, OH - Reseach Interests

Phil Thurston -  Adjunct Professor, Laurentian University, Sudbury, ON - Reseach Interests

Tom Waggoner -  Consultant, Negaunee, MI - Reseach Interests

Short Course Lectures
A total of 16 Powerpoint lectures will be presented on a variety of iron formation topics during the two days of short course instruction (see workshop schedule for topics).   Participants will be presented with a short course notebook that will include extended abstracts, Powerpoint lecture handouts, and related articles and handouts.  After the workshop, participants will be mailed a CD copy of the short course notes.

Extended abstracts for each lecture will be posted here by mid-September.

Field Excursions
Four days of the workshop will be devoted to field excursions that highlight the geology, stratigraphy, mineralogy, deformation, and metamorphism of iron formations in the Lake Superior region.   Most of the trips will visit active mine sites and classic outcrops of Lake Superior-type iron formations in the Gogebic, Mesabi, and Gunflint ranges (Fig. 1).  The trip to the Gunflint range will include a visit to exposures of the Sudbury impact layer (a breccia capping the iron formation related to the 1.85 Ga Sudbury impact event).  In addition, Neoarchean-aged (Algoman-type) iron formation of the Vermilion Range will be visited at Soudan Iron Mine State Park and will include an underground tour of the 2700’ level.

A guidebook for all field trip stops will be presented to both partial and full workshop participants.


   Figure 1: Iron ranges of the western Lake Superior region.  Areas to be visited during the workshop are shown in bold type.

Registration and Fees

Participants have the choice of registering for the full six days of the workshop or for only the short course lectures and one-day field trip to the Gogebic Range.  Registration for the complete workshop is limited to 40 participants with preference given to PRC members*.  Up to seven students enrolled in MS or PhD programs may register at a discounted rate. Registrations will be begin to be accepted after MARCH 22.   After that date, participants will be accepted to the workshop on a first come – first serve basis contingent upon receipt of the registration form and full payment of the workshop fee.  After August 30, registration costs will increase by $200 for the full workshop.

*To learn about PRC membership, visit the website:

Professional Registration for Full Workshop (Sun-Sat)           $1450   before 8/30/10
                                                                                           $1650   after 8/30/10

Student Registration
for Full Workshop                                 $ 900   (limited to maximum of 7)

Partial Workshop
(Sun-Wed)                                                $ 800

The workshop registration includes:

  • Short course notebook and CD of extended abstracts, lecture Powerpoints, handouts, and reprints
  • Field trip guidebook
  • Certificate of attendance indicating contact hours
  • Van transport between Downtown Duluth/Canal Park hotels and UMD
  • Welcoming reception Sunday evening (10/10)
  • Lunches and morning coffee breaks throughout workshop and field trips
  • Banquet dinner Thursday evening (10/14; full workshop registrants only)
  • Field trip transportation (by coach bus)

Participants will be responsible for all other meals not indicated above, as well as their hotel accommodations in Duluth and transportation to and from Duluth.

Notice of Acceptance and Cancellation Policy

Upon receipt of a completed registration form and full payment, a preliminary notice of acceptance will be sent.  If the course fills before the early registration deadline (Aug. 30), registrants can request to be put on a waiting list and have their check held.  Because a limited number of PRC members have priority for the course at any time before the early registration deadline, it is possible to be bumped from the workshop by a PRC member, especially for late registrants.  

A full course refund will be given if notice of cancellation is received by Friday, October 1.  Our program obligations make it necessary to assess a charge equal to one-half of the course fee for later cancellations.  No course refund is possible after the course begins on October 10.

Graduate Student Registration
Up to seven graduate students enrolled in accredited M.S. or Ph.D. programs in Canadian or US colleges during the 2010-2011 academic year may attend the workshop at a discounted registration rate of $900.  Student registrations must be accompanied by:

  • a letter by the student briefly describing how the workshop pertains to their thesis research and career goals.
  • a letter of recommendation from their thesis advisor commenting on the qualifications of the student and the usefulness of this workshop to the student’s thesis research.

Student registrations do not initially require payment of fees.   If more than 7 students register, the most qualified students will be chosen and notified on August 30th.  Upon notification of acceptance into the workshop, students must pay the registration fee by September 24th.

About Duluth
Duluth, the world’s largest freshwater inland port, is located at the western tip of Lake Superior, midway between the Twin Cities of Minneapolis / St. Paul and the Canadian border.  Nestled in the hills overlooking the largest of the Great Lakes, the city offers breathtaking scenery and serves as the gateway to abundant recreational opportunities.
Persons desiring additional information about Duluth can call the Duluth Convention and Visitors Bureau at 1-800-4-DULUTH (438-5884) or visit their website ( For additional information about Minnesota, call the Minnesota Office of Tourism at 888-TOURISM (868-7476) or visit their website at

Air and Ground Transportation to Duluth
Daily flights into Duluth International Airport ( are provided by Delta, United, and Allegiant Airlines with arriving from Minneapolis-St. Paul, Detroit, and Chicago.  Transportation from the airport to area hotels and motels is available by taxi at reasonable rates and some hotels provide shuttle service (check with your hotel).  Rental cars may also be obtained at the airport from Alamo, Avis, Budget, Hertz, and National.

Hotel Accommodations
Participants are expected to reserve and pay for their own hotel accommodations for the first 4 days of the workshop (Sun-Wed). For ease of collecting and transporting people to and from UMD by van, participants should book accommodations in one of the Downtown/Canal Park area hotels listed below and shown on the attached map.  Participants are encouraged to book rooms at the Inn on Lake Superior, where the welcoming reception will be held on Sunday (10/10).  A total of 30 rooms have been reserved at a special rate of $99 (+tx; good until 9/10).  Request the “PRC Workshop Rate” when making a reservation.         

Downtown/Canal Park Hotels (see map)


Inn on Lake Superior





Canal Park Lodge





Hampton Inn





The Suites





Comfort Suites










Holiday Inn





 Google Dowtown


For More Information
                         Workshop Information - Jim Miller
                                                                           218-726-6582 (UMD office) or 218-720-4355 (NRRI office)

                        Field Trip Information -   George Hudak

Registration, Lodging -   Julie Anne Heinz