The 2nd LP-SAM* was held on May 25, 2018 (Friday). As stated below, three LP students presented their research results and progress reports in the field of mineral economics, volcanology and paleontology, respectively:
Presenter 1: Larona Sethunya Teseletso (M2)
In Botswana, the country suffers from power outages and therefore aims to develop its abundant coal resources as a potential source of energy and to achieve a diverse mineral portfolio. The Sese coal project, located in the eastern part of Botswana, is selected to undertake an economic evaluation through Real Options Analysis. The project is evaluated under project uncertainty embedded with market volatilities to determine the optimum value of investment or to wait. The underlying project is invested at US $ 1,463 million at a 10% discount rate and a coal price of US $ 65.15/tonne. When it undertakes a static traditional Discounted Cash Flow approach, its net present value (NPV) is calculated to be US $ 1,941 million. The option value of the underlying project is calculated through the stochastic Real Options valuation. At a 40% project volatility, it is valued at US $ 2,530 million. The option premium to wait for investment, which is the difference between the option value and NPV, is US $ 590 million. This justifies that using proper economic valuation methods is necessary to optimize the project value. If management want to achieve immediate investment, the threshold value of US $ 5,280 million should be achieved. This requires a 73.4% change in coal price. The impact that the volatility has on the project shows how much value the project really has. If the project volatility increases, the option value increases, and thereby, bringing it closer to the threshold value. In the event of depressed economic markets, option holders protect themselves from downside risk that they may incur. At that point, they may operate at a break-even point. Though the NPV is positive, the value of waiting is more worthwhile, therefore proving the importance of stochastic processes as a factor for resource development valuations. Having shown that coal resources in Botswana have value, it is imperative that the coal-electricity linkage is established to realize the causal linkage and correlation between the two utilities and to possibly advice policy makers with aim to achieve a sustained energy sector in Botswana.
Presenter 2: Astiti Anggoro Wati (M2)
The 1731 m asl Mt. Kelud is located within three districts in East Java Province, Indonesia, and has a crater lake on its summit. However, the crater lake got drained due to the extrusion of lava dome in early November 2007. On 13 February 2014, Mt. Kelud had its initial eruption, which reached the climactic Plinian event for about 2½ hours later. The 2014 eruption destroyed the 2007 lava dome and emplaced pyroclastic density current deposits, which were distributed in the volcano surroundings.
In September – October 2017, I visited 17 locations surrounding Mt. Kelud to collect and describe tephra samples. To answer my observations, I refined my research objectives:
1.To clarify the initial eruption deposits distribution
2.To determine the characteristics of initial eruption based on the multiple layers of deposits
3.To characterize magma mingling indicator based on banded pumice found in the deposits
Geological survey and field descriptions reveal that the initial eruption deposits are distributed along western flank, southern flank, northern flank, as well as inside the crater. Initial hypothesis based on these current results from petrographic observations of twelve thin sections is that oscillatory zoning and sieved-textures in plagioclase from the western flank deposits, and the different compositions of volcanic glass groundmass in banded pumice from the crater deposits, might indicate magma mingling (newly injected) and/or rapid decompression. Further analyses using petrography and SEM-EDS are being conducted to obtain additional information.
Presenter 3: Fareza Sasongko Yuwono (M2)
Calcareous nannofossil assemblages in sediments from ODP Hole 806B, 805B and 804C in Ontong Java Plateau have been analyzed to reconstruct surface water condition in the western equatorial Pacific throughout the Miocene, based on calcareous nannofossil biostratigraphy analysis (CNBA), sedimentation rates and comparison of three nannofossil parameters for paleoceanographic reconstruction- Reticulofenestra size variations (RSV), Discoaster relative abundance (DRA) and nannofossil accumulation rates (NAR) from three wells. In total, 312 sediment samples were prepared into microscope slide and examined under polarized light microscope at 1500× magnification. The CCNBA resulted in eight zonal boundary datums and two additional biodatums that divided the studied intervals into zone NN3 to NN12, correlating with early to late Miocene, 18-5.6 Ma. Zone NN6 and NN8 were missing in Hole 804C. The sedimentation rates varied throughout the Miocene, with each hole exhibiting high sedimentation rates between 8.8 – 8.5 Ma (NN10, late Miocene). Average sedimentation rate was higher in the shallowest and most west Hole 806B. In contrast, it was lowest in the deeper and most east Hole 804C. Changes in combination of RSV, DRA and NAR suggests that the evolution of the surface water mass can be divided into three episodes. From early to middle Miocene (18 – 14.4Ma), the surface water was warm and oligotrophic with thermocline developed within the photic zone associated with warm condition during the Middle Miocene climatic optimum. From middle to late Miocene (14.4 – 8.8 Ma), the surface water remained in oligotrophic condition with deeper thermocline as the late Miocene warm pool established. During the late Miocene (8.8 – 5.6 Ma), the surface water suddenly shifted into eutrophic condition associated with enhanced upwelling linked to Indian and Asian monsoon intensification. The event was also identified by previous study in the tropical east Indian Ocean.
*LP-SAM: Leading Program Student Activity Meeting
LP-SAM provides a platform for students of different research backgrounds and professors to interact. It is aimed at developing and sharpening students’ organization and communication skills in a global environment. At such meetings, students share the activities that they are/were engaged in during the course of the academic year. These activities include reports on research progress, field survey, conferences and field trips etc.
Assistant Professors Dr. Altansukh Batnasan and Dr. Kofi Adomako-Ansah manage the LP-SAM course.