NAC+ 2016

Meeting report

Programme and Abstract volume

The second North Atlantic Craton Conference (NAC+ 2016) was held at the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh, 21-23rd March 2016. Sixty-four international delegates (from Canada, Greenland, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland, France, Ireland and the UK) representing industry, academia and government surveys, attended this lively and discussion-driven meeting. The first day examined the geology, structure, and magmatic evolution of the North Atlantic Craton and surrounding mobile belts across Canada, Greenland, the UK and Scandinavia; the second day focused on the genesis of mineralisation in these areas, and new tools being used for the study of mineral prospectivity.

The conference was divided into three main themes:

  • Formation and cratonisation of the NAC: from micro-continent to craton
  • Proterozoic orogens: the mobile belts surrounding the NAC
  • Mineral resources of the NAC and adjacent Palaeoproterozoic mobile belts

This is a difficult time for the exploration industry, with prices low across all commodities, although the well-documented cyclicity of the industry suggests that it is only a matter of time before an upturn. With this outlook in mind, the NAC Conferences (first held in 2014 at the University of St Andrews, and now with plans for a future meeting in 2018) are a chance for academics and industry to meet and discuss recent developments in the geological understanding of the North Atlantic Craton and its surrounding mobile belts. Discussions at the 2016 meeting reviewed developing ideas for mineral deposit models and for the overall mineral resource potential of the region, and there was lively debate about issues such as the importance of lithospheric mantle versus crustal sources for metal enrichment. A key focus was to address the latest ideas on correlations between disrupted parts of the previously assembled supercontinents, in order that exploration can be carried out in an efficient and successful way by predicting the spatial distribution of types of deposits. Thus the NAC+2016 conference proved to be a valuable opportunity for knowledge exchange between groups in Canada, Greenland, the UK and Scandinavia, and has stimulated continuing discussion and collaboration

Post-conference field trip report

A group of 17 delegates from Canada, Greenland, Denmark and the UK attended the post-conference field trip (24-28th March 2016) to the Isles of Harris and Lewis, Outer Hebrides of Scotland. A geologist based on the Isle of Lewis also attended the trip. During the course of 4 days, the group traversed many areas across these beautiful islands, taking in the South Harris Igneous Complex, rare metal pegmatites, the Eocene Loch Roag lamprophyre dyke, the West Lewis granite-migmatite complex (and the Abhainn Dearg distillery). Based at the Harris Hotel for the duration (a very comfortable base indeed!) the contingent (including academics, survey and industry geologists and students) enjoyed lively debate over many aspects of this region’s geology and its correlation to the mainland Lewisian and wider NAC.



There are two repositories of photos arising out of the field trip, taken by Hannah Hughes and Kathryn Goodenough.


Future meetings

We are currently in discussion regarding date and location of the next NAC Conference. If you would like to be involved or have some ideas you’d like to put forward, please get in touch at


NAC+ 2016 sponsors

We wish to thank our generous sponsors, both in industry and academia, for making NAC+ 2016 possible.


  • SRK Exploration (icebreaker, poster session drinks and student bursaries)
  • The Applied Mineralogy Group
  • Scotgold Resources Ltd
  • Cold Rock Resources



We’d also like to thank The Society of Economic Geologists (SEG), Society for Geology Applied to Mineral Deposits (SGA), The Association of Applied Geochemists (AAG) and The Mineralogical Society of Great Britain and Ireland for advertising this event. In particular, this meeting would not be able to happen without the continuing and generous support of the Mineralogical Society – thank you!


Thank you to all delegates for attending NAC+ 2016.


Organising committee: H. Hughes, K Goodenough, D. Schlatter, J. Kolb, J. Hughes, D. Corrigan, A. Finch, K. Murphy, H. Stephenson

Keynote speakers: N. Arndt, S. Jowitt, A. Kerr, R. Lahtinen, B. Stensgaard.

Venue assistance: K .Murphy, R. Rajendra, H. Stephenson, and the staff at the RCS.