Meeting/Event Information

Technical Talks: The Minnesota Section of AIPG holds technical talks September through May, generally the first Tuesday of the month. The talks are designed to fulfill 1 Professional Development Hour (PDH). Professional Geologists, as licensed in the State of Minnesota, are required to complete 24 PDHs every biennium licensing period, including 2 PDHs of ethics.  The technical talks feature important subjects of interest to professional geologists.

The cost includes a buffet lunch and is $21 for non-members, $16 for members, and $0 for students when registering in advance.  We have limited same-day registration for $25. 

As always, non-members and non-geologists are welcome to attend!

AIPG MN Feb Meeting - Industrial Minerals Exploration Strategies!

February 04, 2020
11:30 AM - 1:00 PM

DoubleTree by Hilton Roseville
2540 North Clevelenad Avenue
Roseville, MN 55113

Registration for the AIPG MN Section's February meeting is now open online! The cost is $21 for non-members and $16 for members when registering before Monday, February 3, 2020 at 11:00 AM. Students may attend free of charge by registering in advance.  Same day registration is $25.  As always, non-members and non-geologists are welcome to attend!   *Please note that the Radisson hotel has changed to a DoubleTree hotel. 


Industrial Minerals Exploration Strategies

by Leif Johnson, PG, Big Rock Exploration


Presentation Abstract

To the layman, the definition of exploration geology could be described as "scientific prospecting."  It is the pursuit of finding, identifying, and quantifying a mineral deposit with economic value or, as geologists would call it, economic geology.  Traditionally, economic geology has focused on precious or base metals deposits, such as gold, copper, or zinc.  However, the same techniques used to locate an economic metal deposit are applicable to locating an economic industrial mineral deposit.  Industrial minerals generally are non-metallic, non-fuel minerals that are used for their physical or chemical properties without significant processing requirements.

So, why are industrial minerals important?  The first reason is their economic impact.  In 2018, the USGS estimated that the U.S. produced about $82.2 billion of non-fuel minerals, of which nearly 70% ($56.3 billion) could be classified as industrial minerals.  The second reason is their strategic value and usage in many modern societal applications, from construction to agriculture to green energy.

The strategies to achieve a successful exploration program follow similar guidelines for any targeted mineral resource; be it metal or non-metal.  This talk will present examples from industrial minerals projects where a successful outcome was guided by strategic exploration investments.



Leif Johnson, PG, grew up in northern Minnesota and graduated from the University of Minnesota-Duluth with a BS in Geology and the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology with an MS in Geology and Geological Engineering.  Leif has worked as a geologist for over 15 years, beginning his career with Cleveland- Cliffs, working in Michigan and eastern Canada.  For over 10 years, he has worked in technical consulting.  With Barr Engineering Company, he worked on geotechnical and geological investigations for renewable energy projects and exploration geology projects for mining clients. 

Currently, he works for Big Rock Exploration, based in Minneapolis.  In 2017, through Big Rock, Leif worked as a construction coordinator at Diavik Diamond Mines in The Northwest Territories, Canada, assisting with the A21 project, which involved building a massive dike into Lac De Gras, prior to construction of the A21 open pit.  He has also assisted industrial mineral clients with exploration drilling, resource evaluation, and resource estimation.  He is a licensed Professional Geologist in MN and current serves on the board of directors for the Twin Cities Chapter of the Society of Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration. 


$16.00 AIPG Member

$21.00 Non-Member

$0.00 Student


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