Julie Selway

B.Sc. (hons), M.Sc. in geology, Ph.D. in mineralogy, P.Geo.
VP of Exploration
Power Metals Corp and J-J Minerals

Why a career in mining?

I decided to major in geology during my first year of my undergraduate degree at Saint Mary’s University, Nova Scotia. I really enjoyed learning about rocks in my Introductory Geology lab. My love of geology was solidified when I took a second year Mineralogy course. Rocks tell a story from the macroscopic outcrops to the microscopic thin sections. The petrogenesis of how they formed millions of years ago is fascinating.   

After I completed my Bachelor’s degree, I wanted to know more, so I moved from the Meguma Terrane of Nova Scotia to the Precambrian Shield in Thunder Bay. I completed a M.Sc. thesis on Platinum-Group Minerals in ultramafic rocks at Lakehead University. I deliberately choose to move to the Precambrian Shield and work on PGE’s to prepare for a career in exploration. 

After I completed my M.Sc. degree, I went to the University of Manitoba to work on a completely different economic commodity: Li-Cs-Ta in granitic pegmatites. There are multiple commodities for exploration geologists to work on. I have been fortunate to work in Li-Cs-Ta, gold and Cu-Ni-PGE deposits for most of my career. 

Why do I love my job?

I love my job because exploration geology is a treasure hunt. You never know when the next rock or drill core that you look at will lead to a discovery. Every exploration geologist wants to find the big deposit that becomes a mine. I have been fortunate to lead an exploration team to discover the West Joe pegmatite dyke on Case Lake Property, northeastern Ontario in an area with no previous exploration. Based on geological instincts that there must be pegmatites in the area, I had a 2 km drill trail built and during the drilling of the first hole in the area, my senior geologist found spodumene (Li ore mineral) in outcrop. Two days later, Power Metals was drilling the West Joe Dyke. Assays showed that the pegmatite dyke contained ore grade Cs which only has three mines globally. This rare discovery has attracted attention of major Li-Cs-Ta mining companies. 

In addition to my job as VP of Exploration, I also work as a Qualified Person for J-J Minerals consulting firm writing press releases and NI 43-101 Reports for junior exploration companies. I love learning about new mineral occurrences as each 43-101 Report is a different commodity, deposit type and location.

Benefits to a career in mining:

One of the benefits of a career in exploration is spending quality time walking in the bush looking at rocks. Another benefit is working on a drill program where the next hole could be a bonanza of massive sulfides or gold nuggets. An exploration geologist’s office is beautiful remote parts of northern Canada. Your social group becomes the bears, the bugs and rarely the moose. Every day is something new in exploration.