Biogeochemistry with Colin Dunn

Biogeochemistry, Dr. Colin Dunn, global, mining, geothermal, Craig Dunn, exploration

WellDunn welcomes Dr. Colin Dunn

WellDunn Consulting is excited to be working with Dr. Colin Dunn on projects involving the innovative and low-impact exploration technique  'Biogeochemistry'.  

Dr. Dunn (believe it or not, is no relation to Craig!) is one of the global leaders in his field of expertise and WellDunn is partnering with him on global mining and geothermal exploration projects. Dr. Dunn's breadth of work is a perfect fit with WellDunn's focus on leading-edge solutions for the resource exploration industry. 

What is Biogeochemistry?

Trace elements within plant tissues can reveal valuable insights into the exploration for base metals, gold, platinum group elements, nickel, uranium, a wide variety of other metals, kimberlites (diamonds), and geothermal resources. It is perhaps one of the most underused exploration tools that is both cost effective and non-invasive. 

The key is that different species of plants will concentrate different trace elements in differing quantities and different parts of the plant. Thanks to advances in analyzing biogeochemical samples, we now can use this tool for exploring for various different mining and geothermal applications.

Who is Colin Dunn?

He is considered one of the leading experts on the use of biogeochemical exploration for mining and geothermal applications. His 40 years in biogeochemical research has involved hundreds of thousands of samples, worldwide. 

Dr. Dunn has a BSc and PhD in Geology and Geochemistry from London University, UK. In 1972 he joined the Saskatchewan Geological Survey as a research geologist where he was involved with studies related to oil and gas, potash, and various aspects of geochemical exploration for a wide range of commodities (including uranium, base metals, precious metals and strategic metals). From there, in 1985 he joined the Geological Survey of Canada as a research scientist and head of the Applied Geochemistry Section. In 1998, he established Colin Dunn Consulting  which he operates from Vancouver Island. 

Colin's principal focus over the past 40 years has been on developing surface biogeochemical sampling protocols and analytical methods and interpretation of results that can be directly applied in support of exploration projects to identifying buried minerals. 

View Colin's LinkedIn page

Biogeochemistry in Mineral Exploration by Colin Dunn

Dr. Dunn's book represents an innovative, practical and comprehensive text which refines the biogeochemical methods applied to resource exploration. This book is part field handbook and part office reference volume. Included is the historical development of biogeochemical methods and mineral exploration. It also provides details of what, how, why, and when to collect samples from all major climatic environments with examples from around the world.   

Book Reviewed in Economic Geology (2007) 102 (7): 1354 by Robert G. Eppinger

Learn more about Colin's book here


Colin Dunn has published over 250 professional papers since 1974. Publications include:

  • Economic Geology;
  • Geochemistry: Exploration, Environment, Analysis;
  • Journal of Geochemical Exploration;
  • Chemical Geology 
  • Applied Geochemistry; and
  • Bulletins and Open Files for many government agencies including the Geologic Survey of Canada and several Provincial surveys, Geoscience BC, South Australian Geological Survey, Geological and Nuclear Sciences (New Zealand), International Atomic Energy Agency, Canadian International Development Agency, National Geographic.

A short list of his research titles (primary and co-author) are as follows:

  • Biogeochemical exploration methods in the Canadian Shield and Cordillera;
  • Biogeochemical exploration for gold in tropical rain forest regions of Papua New Guinea;
  • From tree-tops to massive sulphide in the Mabel Lake area, British Columbia, Canada;
  • Biogeochemical exploration using Spinifex (Triodia pungens) in the Tanami desert, Australia;


Uravan Minerals Company:

"Over the last 11 years Colin has worked collaboratively with Uravan's technical group designing and providing technical support on many biogeochemical programs on its exploration projects. Colin is considered one of Uravan's key technical advisors."

Martin Hale, Editor of Biogeochemistry in Mineral Exploration, Volume 9 - First Edition

"Colin Dunn has not only devoted much of his career to the application of biogeochemistry to mineral exploration, but also, in the course of his career, met and worked with almost all of the other scientists who made notable contributions to biogeochemistry during the second half of the 20th century. Not surprising then, that the incisive knowledge and distilled wisdom to be found in this volume are unsurpassable.”

Lessons in Biogeochemistry

Colin Dunn prepared this presentation for Geoscience BC in November 17, 2015.

If you have 18.47 minutes to spare, you can watch Dr. Dunn walk you through a biogeochemistry case study.