Cheyenne Sica

MSc graduate
University of Toronto

I completed my undergraduate degree in Geological Sciences from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario in 2010. Since graduating I have been working in the gold exploration and mining industry in Canada and in Myanmar, giving me 4+ years industry experience as an economic (exploration and mine) geologist.

My academic history in geochemistry began in the last two years of my undergraduate degree. I worked during the summer at Western University in London, Ontario as a field and research assistant in the Laboratory of Stable Isotope Science. I researched clays and conducted x-ray diffraction analysis of their lattice structure which was later published in the journal Geology (John et al. 2012). The following summer (2009), I was given funds from the Canadian Space Agency and NSERC to design my own undergraduate thesis project. This project let me combine my interests in field work, geochemistry, and ore geology to study Archaean hydrothermal systems. My undergraduate thesis work included field mapping and map digitization, petrographic analysis, stable oxygen isotope analysis, and geochemistry and rare earth element analysis.

My passion for ore deposits, hydrothermal fluids, as well as the Precambrian era, led to the formation of my MSc project. I worked with Barbara Sherwood Lollar’s lab studying quartz-carbonate veins within Precambrian rocks from the Kidd Creek mine. The veins host gold throughout the Timmins area in the Abitibi greenstone belt including the Dome and Hoyle mines. The aim of the study was to learn about fluid paragenesis and isotope composition of the ore-forming hydrothermal system. The study included geothermometry and δ18O, δ13C isotope analysis of the fracture-fill quartz and carbonate veins.

I am grateful to the MAGNET program for enhancing my graduate studies and providing exciting opportunities. In particular, the MAGNET-run field trip to the Stillwater Complex and Beartooth Mountains in Montana and Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming was an incredible experience. I learned so much from my MAGNET peers about a broad series of topics from geomicrobiology to volcanology. It was amazing to learn from and meet such smart lovely people, and see some stunning geological sites. My other highlight of the MAGNET program was attending the GACMAC conference in Whitehorse. I was able to present my MSc research and get feedback at the conference, meet some of my science idols, and see the Yukon. This trip was made possible by the travel stipend provided by MAGNET. I was also able to attend a short course on hydrothermal alteration and ore deposits in Ottawa with my stipend, a short-course I use in my exploration and mining jobs regularly. I also attended PDAC, an important networking conference for the industry. Now that I have graduated, I am working for a geological consulting company based out of Cranbrook, British Columbia. I will forever be grateful to MAGNET for the opportunities it gave me, and the relationships I built through the program.