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TitleThe glacial transport and physical partitioning of mercury and gold in till: implications for mineral exploration with examples from central British Columbia, Canada
AuthorPlouffe, A
SourceDrift exploration in glaciated terrain; by McClenaghan, M B (ed.); Bobrowsky, P T (ed.); Hall, G E M (ed.); Cook, S J (ed.); Geological Society, Special Publication 185, 2001 p. 287-299,
Alt SeriesGeological Survey of Canada, Contribution Series 1999193
PublisherGeological Society of London
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
File formatpdf
ProvinceBritish Columbia
NTS93K; 93N
AreaCentral British Columbia; Cariboo Mountains; Chilcotin Plateau; Skeena Mountains; Omineca Mountains; Nechako Plateau; Fraser Basin; Canadian Cordillera; Coast Mountains; Chuchi Lake; Tchentlo Lake; Inzana Lake; Germansen Landing; Trembleur Lake; Takatoot Lake; Stuart Lake; Tezzeron Lake; Fish Lake
Lat/Long WENS-126.0000 -124.0000 56.0000 54.0000
Subjectsgeochemistry; surficial geology/geomorphology; economic geology; mercury; gold; tills; sediment transport; glacial deposits; dispersal patterns; cinnabar; source rocks; size fractionation; anomalies; geochemical analyses; mineralogical analyses; till geochemistry; mineral exploration; drift prospecting; environmental studies; geochemical surveys; sedimentary rocks; volcanic rocks; plutonic rocks; porphyries; breccia zones; limestones; sulphides; Wisconsinian glacial stage; glaciation; glaciofluvial deposits; glaciolacustrine deposits; sands; gravels; silts; clays; organic deposits; till samples; antimony; spectrometric analyses; neutron activation analyses; placer deposits; stibnite; topography; mineralization, secondary; mineralization, primary; goethite; Pinchi Fault; Cache Creek terrane; Quesnellia terrane; Pinchi Lake mercury deposit; Bralorne Takla mercury deposit; Late Wisconsinan; Manson Fault; Dem Lake Fault; Prince George Fault; heavy mineral concentrates; grain size fractions; density fraction; physical partitioning; granules; coarse fraction; fine fraction; cinnabar grains; ice flow patterns; bedrock mineralization; dispersal trains; nugget effect
Illustrationslocation maps; sketch maps; graphs; profiles
ProgramNechako NATMAP Project
ProgramCanada-British Columbia Agreement on Mineral Development
Released2001 01 01
AbstractMercury glacial dispersal was measured in the clay-sized fraction (< 0.002 mm) and heavy mineral concentrate (0.063-0.250 mm, specific gravity > 3.3 g/cm3) of till in a region of bedrock cinnabar occurrences, in central British Columbia, Canada. Most of the Hg in till occurs as sand-sized cinnabar (HgS) grains. A longer dispersal train was measured with the heavy mineral concentrates because Hg concentrations in heavy minerals yielded a higher ratio between anomalous and background concentrations when compared to the clay-sized material. It is proposed that geochemical or mineralogical analyses on a specific grain size fraction or density fraction of till, where the desired metal resides, result in a higher contrast between anomalous and background concentrations. Such a great contrast translates into a longer detectable dispersal train and hence, a larger target for mineral exploration. Therefore, in drift exploration programs, it is crucial to identify the mode of occurrence of a sought commodity in till; this can be achieved in part with a simple partitioning study whereby metal concentrations are measured in specific grain size fractions of till. Physical partitioning results for Au in the study area indicate that close to the bedrock source, large metal concentrations in some cases are present in the sand- (0.063-2 mm) and granule-sized (2-4 mm) fractions. Therefore, the significance of a regional Au anomaly, commonly defined in the silt plus clay-sized fraction of till could be evaluated by further determining the Au content of coarser size fractions (sand and granule).