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Stephen M. Rowins

CET Director & Professor of Mineral Geoscience
Centre for Exploration Targeting (CET)

Contact details

Robert Street Building, Rm 117
Centre for Exploration Targeting (CET)
The University of Western Australia (M006)
35 Stirling Highway

+618 6488 2685

+618 6488 1176

Stephen Rowins is Professor of Mineral Geoscience and Director of the Centre for Exploration Targeting in the School of Earth Sciences at UWA. He also serves as an Adjunct Professor in the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences at the University of Victoria (British Columbia, Canada). He holds a doctorate in Geology from UWA (1994) and was a NSERC Post-Doctoral Fellow at McGill University in Canada. In 1996 he joined Westmin Resources Limited (subsequently Boliden Limited) as an Exploration Project Geologist with a focus on the Americas. In 1999, Rowins became an Assistant Professor in the Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences at the University of British Columbia and carried out both fundamental and applied research in collaboration with various mining companies. He returned to industry in 2006 and served as Vice-President of Exploration for Northern Abitibi Mining Corp., which was awarded the 2010 Prospector/Explorer of the Year Award by the Canadian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (Newfoundland Branch) for the discovery and delineation of the Viking gold deposit. In 2009, Rowins joined the British Columbia Geological Survey as the Director of Cordilleran Geoscience and, in 2011, became the Survey’s Executive Director and Chief Geologist. In 2016, he co-authored the paper the that won the Brian J. Skinner Award for the “best paper” in the journal Economic Geology. He is a registered Professional Geologist (P.Geo.) and Past President of the Geological Association of Canada.

Research Interests

• Petrotectonic setting of Paleogene porphyry copper-molybdenum-gold deposits in the Ancestral Cascades arc of the North American Cordillera
• Use of apatite as an indicator mineral, redox proxy and tectonic discriminant
• Role of redox in magmas and fluids for generating magmatic-hydrothermal mineral systems
• Distribution and origin of orogenic gold systems through time 
• Genetic linkages between epithermal and porphyry deposits and understanding why few primitive arc magmas evolve to the point of producing large porphyry-epithermal copper-gold systems.
• Development of innovative tools and methods for mineral exploration


Rowins, S.M., Miller, D., Cui, Y., 2018. A predictive depth-to-bedrock 3D model for the Ootsa Lake area, central British Columbia: An aid to mineral exploration in covered terranes. In: Geological Fieldwork 2017, British Columbia Ministry of Energy and Mines, British Columbia Geological Survey Paper 2018-01, p. 180-192.

Mao, M., Rukhlov, A.S., Rowins, S.M., Hickin, A., Ferbey, T., Bustard, A., Spence, J., and Coogan, L.A., 2017. A novel approach using detrital apatite and till geochemistry to identify covered mineralization in the TREK area of the Nechako Plateau, British Columbia. In: Ferbey, T., Plouffe, A., and Hickin, A.S., (Eds.), Indicator Minerals in Till and Stream Sediments of the Canadian Cordillera, Geological Association of Canada Special Paper Volume 50, and Mineralogical Association of Canada Topics in Mineral Sciences Volume 47, p. 191-243.

Ootes, L., Elliott, J.M., and Rowins, S.M., 2017. Testing the relationship between the Llewellyn fault, gold mineralization, and Eocene volcanism in northwest British Columbia: A preliminary report. In: Geological Fieldwork 2016, British Columbia Ministry of Energy and Mines, British Columbia Geological Survey Paper 2017-1, p. 49-59.

Mao, M., Rukhlov, A.S., Rowins, S.M., Spence, J., and Coogan, L.A., (2016) Apatite trace-element compositions: A robust new tool for mineral exploration. Economic Geology, Volume 111, p. 1187-1222.

Smith, C.M., Canil, D., Rowins, S.M., and Friedman, R., 2012. Reduced granitic magmas in an arc setting: The Catface porphyry Cu-Mo deposit of the Paleogene Cascade arc. Lithos, v. 154, p. 361-373.