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TitleAn integrated approach to search for buried porphyry-style mineralization in central British Columbia using geochemistry and mineralogy: a TGI-4 project
AuthorFerbey, T; Plouffe, A; Anderson, R G
SourceGeological Survey of Canada, Current Research (Online) no. 2014-2, 2014, 15 pages, (Open Access)
PublisherNatural Resources Canada
Mediaon-line; digital
RelatedNRCan photo(s) in this publication
File formatpdf
ProvinceBritish Columbia
NTS92I/06; 92I/07; 93A/03; 93A/05; 93A/06; 93A/11; 93A/12
AreaWilliams Lake; Woodjam; Gibraltar; Highland Valley; Nicola River; Kamloops Lake; Fraser River; Cordillera; Woodjam District; Mount Polley
Lat/Long WENS-121.2500 -120.7500 50.5000 50.3333
Lat/Long WENS-121.2000 -121.2000 52.6667 52.1667
Subjectseconomic geology; surficial geology/geomorphology; metallic minerals; geochemistry; mineralogy; porphyry deposits; porphyry copper; mineral exploration; glacial deposits; tills; till analyses; till geochemistry; drift prospecting; drift deposits; vegetation; ice flow; ice movement directions; biogeochemical surveys; biogeochemistry; molybdenum; mineralization; mineral deposits; alteration; indicator elements; glacial history; Gibraltar Mine; Highland Valley Mine; Mount Polley Mine; Woodjam Mine; Granite Mountain batholith; Guichon Creek batholith; Chilcotin Group; Copper Mountain plutonic suite; Nicola Group; indicator minerals; Tertiary; Triassic; Jurassic; Cenozoic; Quaternary
Illustrationslocation maps; photographs
ProgramIntrusion/Porphyry Ore Systems, Targeted Geoscience Initiative (TGI-4)
Released2014 05 09
AbstractThe Geological Survey of Canada (GSC) and the British Columbia Geological Survey (BCGS) are developing surficial geochemical and mineralogical methods for the detection of buried porphyry-style mineral deposits in drift-covered areas under the federally-funded Targeted Geoscience Initiative 4 Program. One objective is to help define the key components of till that are enriched near such deposits including: 1) porphyry indicator minerals that have survived erosion and transport in the subglacial environment and weathering in an oxidizing surficial environment and 2) trace-element content of the till matrix. Glacial dispersal of both components (heavy minerals and till matrix) is being studied at the Highland Valley, Gibraltar, and Mount Polley mines, and the Woodjam developed prospect which include calc-alkaline Cu-Mo, alkaline Cu-Au, and mixed calc-alkaline and alkaline Cu-Mo-Au porphyry deposits. A second objective is to test biogeochemical methods using spruce and pine tree bark as an exploration tool for buried porphyry-style mineralization.
One key contribution of this project will be the reconstruction of the glacial and ice-flow histories at each of the study sites, based on surficial geological mapping and observations of ice-flow indicators on bedrock outcrop. These ice-flow histories will be applied to the interpretation of geochemical and mineralogical dispersal patterns in till and the spatial distribution of commodity and pathfinder elements in plant tissue.
Between 2011 and 2013, 309 basal till samples were collected for till-matrix geochemical analyses and 302 basal till samples were collected for examination of heavy and mid-density mineral fractions. In total, 487 biogeochemical samples consisting of the outer bark of lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) and Engelmann spruce (Picea engelmannii) were collected for geochemical analyses.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
The Targeted Geoscience Initiative (TGI-4) is a collaborative federal geoscience program that provides industry with the next generation of geoscience knowledge and innovative techniques to better detect buried mineral deposits, thereby reducing some of the risks of exploration. As part of the TGI-4 new exploration methods are being developed for the discovery of mineral resources. This paper presents a method to search for mineral resources (e.g. copper, gold, molybdenum) associated to intrusive rocks like granite. Sediments left by glaciers (glacial sediments) covering rocks with potential to contain mineral resources are being analyzed for their mineral and metal content. Because the glacial sediments have been transported by glaciers, the glacier movements need to be reconstructed to find the origin of the metals and minerals. In addition to glacial sediments, the bark from trees that are growing on top of the glacial sediments is being analyzed for its metal content. Trees are known to be enriched in metals that are present in the substrate on which they are growing.