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ThermoCon 2024: Hydrothermal geochemistry and critical minerals Meeting


Socorro, New Mexico — June 3-7, 2024


Alex Gysi, Nicole Hurtig, Laura Waters
New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology

Meeting goals

Welcome to our ThermoCon meeting! The aim of this meeting is to bring together fans of thermodynamics, hence the name “ThermoCon”, and form a community across disciplines to advance cutting-edge science on critical minerals and hydrothermal geochemistry. The field of thermodynamics touches many aspects of geosciences, chemistry, material sciences, and much more, and is currently seeing a renewed interest because of critical minerals.

A major goal of this conference is to build a new network of scientists and professionals from different expertise including but not limited to: experimental geochemistry/chemistry; thermodynamic/geochemical modeling, databases; reactive mass transport modeling; molecular dynamic simulations; element extraction/separation technologies; theoretical thermodynamics and equations of state; mineralogy, ore deposits, and processes in natural systems. Another important aspect is the participation of students and training the next generation of leaders in the field of critical minerals and thermodynamics.

Conference Venue and Logistics

This is a smaller cozy conference located in the middle of the high desert plains, hosted at New Mexico Tech in Socorro, New Mexico, USA. The meeting will be held between June 3-7. The talks will be hosted in the New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources, the poster sessions will be hosted at the Deju House at New Mexico Tech. We expect about 40 people at the venue and is partly sponsored by the US Department of Energy (Office of Science), the National Science Foundation (EAR), and the New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources.

Your final destination by plane is Albuquerque in New Mexico. We will ask participants to arrive on Sunday June 2 so we can organize shuttles to pick you up in groups as Socorro is an hour away from ABQ. At least two shuttles in morning/afternoon will be organized on June 2 to Socorro, and on June 7 to Albuquerque.If you like to arrive earlier, there are options to book a car at the airport, and there are also hotels in Socorro, but these are not covered through the conference fees. Lodging during the conference will include campus dorms and apartments, single rooms for senior researchers and shared rooms for students.


Registration is now closed!

The registration for invited participants includes meals, lodging, shuttles, a social catered dinner, field excursion, coffee breaks, venue costs, free wifi, abstract/printing fees, and poster setup. We tried to keep the conference costs minimal, but participants will need to book their own flights. Financial support is available for students to travel and attend the conference sponsored through a NSF CAREER grant, with preference given to undergraduate and US-based students. Number of available spots is for ~10 students.

Presentations and Schedule

Download a detailed ThermoCon schedule and presentation list.

This five-day meeting includes daily talks, keynotes, small workshops, discussion sessions, and two evenings of poster sessions for students. One day includes an excursion to the nearby Lemitar Mountains ( carbonatites REE deposit to discover the geology of New Mexico and allow participants to link geosciences with other areas of basic energy sciences. We will also organize a geochemical modeling workshop using our “in-house” MINES thermodynamic database ( to show an application of thermodynamics to modeling critical mineral deposits. Participants at this meeting include scientists from academia and national laboratories, graduate and undergraduate students, as well as liaisons from the industry and government agencies and geological surveys.

  • Topics:
    Key to the meeting is to engage each participant into active discussions and find new synergies between different disciplines. Focus of the meeting is on thermodynamics and the chemistry/geochemistry of critical minerals. Attendees and speakers are from all over the world and include experimentalists, geochemical modelers (molecular, reactive transport, etc.), geoscientists working in natural ore forming and geothermal systems, and government/industry representatives.

  • Oral presentations:
    Participants are assigned an invited oral presentation of 45 min; please plan 5-10 min for discussions. All the talkss are in the New Mexico Bureau of Geology conference room NMBG-253. Presentation file formats are .pdf or power point, and participants can connect either their laptop via HDMI or use the available windows computer. Please see the schedule for presentation times and the full talk list (attached pdf).

  • Poster sessions (Monday/Tuesday 7-9pm) and speed talks (Monday 3:30-4:30pm):
    We will organize two poster sessions of 2 hours each for an opportunity for active research discussions. The poster sessions will be in the Deju House at New Mexico Tech. If any of the participants likes to print their poster on site please contact us. Each poster presenter is given one panel with an effective usable space of 5´ wide by 4´ high (actual panel size is 5' wide by 6' high). The speed talks are allocated a 3 min presentation on Monday to introduce their research before the poster presentation. Please see the schedule for the full poster list (attached pdf).

  • Abstract Volume:
    The abstract submission is now closed. All the abstracts will be published in the New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources Bulletin 166, 2024. Participants will receive a printed version and an online PDF version will be available after the conference. For more information, please contact Frank Sholedice ( from our publications group.


Conference support is provided through sponsorship by the New Mexico Bureau of Geology, grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE):

  • Office of Science, U.S. Department of Energy, Basic Energy Science, Grant DE-SC0022269 to Dr. Alexander Gysi, Dr. Nicole Hurtig, Dr. Laura Waters
  • NSF CAREER EAR-2039674 to Dr. Alexander Gysi
  • NSF-EAR 2039271 to Dr. Gordon Moore and NSF-EAR 2022465 to Dr. Laura Waters