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TitleGeochemical, mineralogical, and textural data from tills in the Highland Valley Copper mine area, south-central British Columbia
LicencePlease note the adoption of the Open Government Licence - Canada supersedes any previous licences.
AuthorFerbey, T; Plouffe, AORCID logo; Bustard, A L
SourceGeological Survey of Canada, Open File 8119, 2016, 20 pages, Open Access logo Open Access
Alt SeriesBritish Columbia Geological Survey, Geofile 2016-11
PublisherNatural Resources Canada
Documentopen file
Mediaon-line; digital
File formatreadme
File formatpdf
ProvinceBritish Columbia
NTS92I/05; 92I/06; 92I/09; 92I/10
Lat/Long WENS-121.5000 -120.5000 50.7500 50.2500
Subjectsmetallic minerals; geochemistry; surficial geology/geomorphology; mineralogy; glacial deposits; tills; dispersal patterns; ice movement directions; mineralization; porphyry deposits; mines; copper; molybdenum; glaciation; gold; sulphides; trace element geochemistry; till geochemistry; till analyses; Highland Valley mine; Guichon Creek batholith; Quaternary
Illustrationslocation maps; photographs; ternary diagrams; cross-sections; flow charts; photomicrographs
ProgramTargeted Geoscience Initiative (TGI-4) Intrusion/Porphyry Ore Systems
Released2016 11 02
AbstractAlthough rocks of Quesnel terrane in the Intermontane Belt of south-central British Columbia have long-been known as prolific producers of porphyry mineralization, much of the bedrock in the region is covered by glacial sediments. Nonetheless, geochemical and mineralogical data, particularly from locally derived tills, can help detect deposits buried under Quaternary sediments. We collected till samples from 99 sites near the Highland Valley Copper mine for geochemical, indicator mineral, and grain size determinations to test the utility of the method at a site where the configuration and tenor of ore-grade porphyry Cu mineralization are known. Landform-scale features such as drumlins, flutings, crag-and-tails mapped on aerial photographs, outcrop-scale features such as striations, grooves, and rat tails measured in the field, and data from previous studies indicate a relatively simple regional Late Wisconsinan ice-flow history with generally southward sediment transport, making provenance determinations on subglacial tills relatively straightforward. Commonly a first derivative of bedrock, subglacial till is the ideal sample medium for till geochemical and mineralogical surveys. Most of our samples were taken from a regionally developed till facies interpreted as a subglacial till deposited by moving ice (well compacted, markedly fissile, massive, cobble-boulder diamicton with a relatively clay-rich matrix and abundant faceted and striated clasts). For comparison, we also collected from a more locally developed till facies interpreted as an ablation till (poorly compacted, non-fissile, massive cobble-boulder diamicton with a relatively clay-deficient matrix) that overlies the subglacial till. Quality assurance/quality control results indicate that, uncontrolled by analytical artefact, the geochemical and mineralogical results for the dataset presented herein are suitable for geological interpretations that will be considered in future publications.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
The Highland Valley Copper (HVC) deposit is the largest open-pit copper mine in Canada. There is potential to find more mines like HVC in the Canadian Cordillera but the challenge is that similar potentially economic mineral deposits might be covered by loose sediments left by glaciers which can hinder mineral exploration. On the other hand, the composition of these sediments (their mineral and metal content) can provide information on the composition of the underlying rocks and their potential to host an economic deposit. In this study, we demonstrate that a number of minerals and metals are more abundant in glacial sediments near HVC compared to surrounding areas. The same type of analyses could be conducted on glacial sediments to find mineral deposits covered by glacial sediments.

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