A.E. Williams-Jones

Professor and Logan Chair

Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences
3450 University St.
Montreal, Quebec
Canada H3A 0E8

Email: anthony.williams-jones [at] mcgill.ca

Tel: 514.398.1676







EPSC 452 Mineral Deposits 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

EPSC 590 Applied Geochemistry Seminar 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer


My research is devoted mainly to understanding the genesis of hydrothermal mineral deposits through a combination of field-based, experimental and theoretical methods. Deposits investigated include porphyry Cu and Mo, pegmatite-, greisen- and vein-hosted Sn-W, epithermal/mesothermal Au-Ag, epithermal Sb and Hg, and granite/pegmatite- and carbonatite-hosted rare metals (REE, Li, Be, Zr, Y). An important objective of the research is to help improve exploration strategies for such deposits and, where possible, develop new exploration tools. The research focus concerns the understanding of physico-chemical controls of mineralization, and the starting point is the careful geological mapping of deposits, with emphasis on the relationships between alteration and mineralization.

In addition to petrography, and mineral and whole-rock chemistry, fluid inclusion studies are an important component of laboratory research, and are supported by a facility equipped with heating/freezing and infrared stages for microthermometry, and a chromatographic system for measuring gas compositions. Experimental studies emphasise determinations of metal solubility and speciation in hydrothermal systems, and simulations of hydrothermal alteration. These studies are conducted in a laboratory equipped with conventional high temperature autoclaves and ovens, hydrothermal flow-through autoclaves, and a UV-visible spectrophotometer modified for high temperature spectroscopy. Theoretical research is divided between estimating conditions of ore/alteration mineral stabilities, and corresponding solubility and computer simulations of mineralization processes.

Projects in progress include: investigations of the genesis of Archean gold deposits in high grade metamorphic rocks at Hemlo, Ontario (supported by CAMIRO), Troilus, Quebec (supported by Inmet), and Onaman, Ontario (supported by Cameco); experimental studies of the solubility of metals in aqueous vapours, and measurements of their partitioning between aqueous liquid and vapour; experimental investigations of the solubility of mercury and other metals in liquid alkanes; development of laser-ablation ICP-MS as a new micro-analytical tool for fluid inclusion analysis; a study of links between porphyry Cu and high-sulphidation epithermal Au mineralization at Pascua, Chile (supported by Barrick); reconstruction of the Sn mineralizing system at San Rafael, Peru (supported by Minsur), and of the geological and geochemical environment responsible for zinc skarn mineralization at El Mochito, Honduras (supported by Breakwater); experimental and computer simulations of serpentinization, and evaluation of controls on amphibole distribution (the main cause of mesothelioma) in chrysotile asbestos deposits (supported by JM Asbestos).

Recent Publications

Migdisov, A., Guo, X., Nisbet, H., Xu, H., and Williams-Jones, A.E., (2019). Fractionation of REE, U, and Th in natural ore-forming hydrothermal systems: Thermodynamic modeling. Journal of Chemical Thermodynamics, 128, 305-319, doi:10.1016/j.jct.2018.08.032.

Abdallah, S.A. and Williams-Jones, A.E., (2018). The rare metal deposits of the El Garra El Hamra syenites, South Western Desert, Egypt. Ore Geology Reviews, 101, 609-628, doi:10.1016/j.oregeorev.2018.08.001.

Gaillard, N., Williams-Jones, A.E., Clark, J.R., Lypaczewski, P., Salvi, S., Perrouty, S., Piette-Lauzière, N., Guilmette, C., and Linnen, R.L., (2018). Mica composition as a vector to gold mineralization: Deciphering hydrothermal and metamorphic effects in the Malartic District, Québec. Ore Geology Reviews, 95, 789-820.

Li, X.-C., Zhou, M.-F., Williams-Jones, A.E., Yang, Y.-H., and Gao, J.-F., (2018). Timing and genesis of Cu–(Au) mineralization in the Khetri Copper Belt, northwestern India: constraints from in situ U–Pb ages and Sm–Nd isotopes of monazite-(Ce). Mineralium Deposita, in press, doi:/10.1007/s00126-018-0823-3.

Mahmoud, S.A.E.A. and Williams-Jones, A.E., (2018). The rare metal deposits of the El Garra El Hamra syenites, South Western Desert, Egypt. Ore Geology Reviews, 101, 609-628, doi:10.1016/j.oregeorev.2018.08.001.

Mahmoud, S.A.E.A. and Williams-Jones, A.E., (2018). Mineralogy and geochemistry studies on the Nusab El Balgum granitic batches, South Western Desert, Egypt. Arabian Journal of Geosciences, 11(18), 556.

Mei, Y., Liu, W., Migdisov, A.A., Brugger, J., and Williams-Jones, A.E., (2018). CuCl complexation in the vapor phase: Insights from ab initio molecular dynamics simulations. Geofluids, 2018:4279124, doi:10.1155/2018/4279124.

Migdisov, A.A., Boukhalfa, H., Timofeev, A., Runde, W., Roback, R., and Williams-Jones, A.E., (2018). A spectroscopic study of uranyl speciation in chloride-bearing solutions at temperatures up to 250°C. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 222, 130-145.

Migdisov, A.A., Runde, W., Williams-Jones, A.E., Boukhalfa, H., Roback, R., and Timofeev, A., (2018). Response to the comment “Uranyl-chloride speciation and uranium transport in hydrothermal brines: Comment on Migdisov et al. (2018)” by Dargent et al.. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 235, 509-512, doi:10.1016/j.gca.2018.06.015.

Möller, V. and Williams-Jones, A.E., (2018). A hyperspectral study (V-NIR-SWIR) of the Nechalacho REE-Nb-Zr deposit, Canada. Journal of Geochemical Exploration, 188, 194-215, doi: 10.1016/j.gexplo.2018.01.011.

Mulja, T. and Williams-Jones, A.E., (2018). The physical and chemical evolution of fluids in rare-element granitic pegmatites associated with the Lacorne pluton, Québec, Canada. Chemical Geology , 493, 281-297, doi:10.1016/j.chemgeo.2018.06.004.

Nisbet, H., Migdisov, A., Xu, H., Guo, X., van Hinsberg, V., Williams-Jones, A.E., Boukhalfa, H., and Roback, R., (2018). An experimental study of the solubility and speciation of thorium in chloride-bearing aqueous solutions at temperatures up to 250 °C. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 239, 363-373, doi:10.1016/j.gca.2018.08.001.

Qiu, W.J., Zhou, M.F., Li, X., Williams-Jones, A.E., and Yuan, H., (2018). The Genesis of the Giant Dajiangping SEDEX-Type Pyrite Deposit, South China. Economic Geology, 113(6), 1419-1446.

Siegel, K., Vasyukova, O.V., and Williams-Jones, A.E., (2018). Magmatic evolution and controls on rare metal-enrichment of the Strange Lake A-type peralkaline granitic pluton, Québec-Labrador. Lithos, 308-309, 34-52, doi:10.1016/j.lithos.2018.03.003.

Timofeev, A., Migdisov, A.A., Williams-Jones, A.E., Roback, R., Nelson, A.T., and Xu, H., (2018). Uranium transport in acidic brines under reducing conditions. Nature Communications, 9(1), 1469.

Vasyukova, O.V. and Williams-Jones, A.E., (2018). Direct measurement of metal concentrations in fluid inclusions, a tale of hydrothermal alteration and REE ore formation from Strange Lake, Canada. Chemical Geology, 483, 385-396, doi:10.1016/j.chemgeo.2018.03.003.

Williams-Jones, A.E. and Vasyukova, O.V., (2018). The economic geology of scandium, the runt of the rare earth element litter. Economic Geology, 113(4), 973-988, doi:10.5382/econgeo.2018.4579.

Yuan, S., Williams-Jones, A.E., Mao, J., Zhao, P., Yan, C., and Zhang, D., (2018). The origin of the Zhangjialong tungsten deposit, South China: Implications for W-Sn mineralization in large granite batholiths. Economic Geology, 113(5), 1193-1208, doi:10.5382/econgeo.2018.4587.

Zhai, D., Liu, J., Tombros, S., and Williams-Jones, A.E., (2018). The genesis of the Hashitu porphyry molybdenum deposit, Inner Mongolia, NE China: constraints from mineralogical, fluid inclusion, and multiple isotope (H, O, S, Mo, Pb) studies. Mineralium Deposita, 53(3), 377-397.

Zhai, D., Williams-Jones, A.E., Liu, J., Tombros, S.F., and Cook, N.J., (2018). Mineralogical, Fluid Inclusion, and Multiple Isotope (HOS-Pb) Constraints on the Genesis of the Sandaowanzi Epithermal Au-Ag-Te Deposit, NE China. Economic Geology, 113(6), 1359-1382.

Zhao, W.W., Zhou, M.F., Williams-Jones, A.E., and Zhao, Z., (2018). Constraints on the uptake of REE by scheelite in the Baoshan tungsten skarn deposit, South China. Chemical Geology, 477, 123-136.

Complete list