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TitleA novel approach using detrital apatite and till geochemistry to identify covered mineralization in the TREK area of the Nechako Plateau, British Columbia
AuthorMao, M; Rukhlov, A S; Rowins, S M; Hickin, A S; Ferbey, T; Bustard, A; Spence, J; Coogan, L A
SourceIndicator minerals in till and stream sediments of the Canadian Cordillera; by Ferbey, T (ed.); Plouffe, AORCID logo (ed.); Hickin, A S (ed.); Geological Association of Canada, Special Paper vol. 50, 2017 p. 191-243
Alt SeriesMineralogical Association of Canada, Topics in Mineral Sciences 47
PublisherGeological Association of Canada
PublisherMineralogical Association of Canada
RelatedThis publication is contained in Indicator minerals in till and stream sediments of the Canadian Cordillera
ProvinceBritish Columbia
NTS93B/12; 93B/13; 93C/05; 93C/06; 93C/07; 93C/09; 93C/10; 93C/11; 93C/12; 93C/13; 93C/14; 93C/15; 93C/16; 93F/01; 93F/02; 93F/03; 93F/04; 93F/06; 93F/07; 93F/08; 93F/09; 93F/10; 93F/11; 93F/14; 93F/15; 93F/16; 93G/04; 93G/05; 93G/12; 93G/13
AreaNechako Plateau
Lat/Long WENS-125.8333 -123.5000 54.0000 52.2500
Subjectseconomic geology; surficial geology/geomorphology; geochemistry; mineral deposits; mineral exploration; prospecting techniques; drift prospecting; porphyry deposits; copper; gold; molybdenum; breccia deposits; skarn deposits; tungsten; nickel; iron oxides; source areas; source rocks; glacial deposits; tills; till samples; till geochemistry; detrital minerals; apatite; chalcopyrite; gold; glacial history; glaciation; deglaciation; sediment transport; sediment dispersal; electron probe analyses; mass spectrometer analysis; discriminant analyses; scanning electron microscope analyses; mineral occurrences; bedrock geology; lithology; igneous rocks; intrusive rocks; diorites; intrusions; plutons; batholiths; volcanic rocks; sedimentary rocks; metamorphic rocks; structural features; faults; Canadian Cordillera; Anahim Volcanics; Chilcotin Group; Nechako Plateau Group; Ootsa Lake Formation; Endako Formation; Kasalka Group; Skeena Group; Bowser Lake Group; Hazelton Group; Takla Group; Cache Creek Complex; Frank Lake Pluton; Chutanli Lake Pluton; Quanchus Assemblage; Holy Cross Pluton; Cabin Lake Pluton; Capoose Pluton; Endako Batholith; Laidman Batholith; Brooks Diorite; Dean River Metamorphic Belt; Vanderhoof Metamorphic Complex; ice-flow directions; Methodology; Phanerozoic; Cenozoic; Quaternary; Tertiary; Mesozoic; Cretaceous; Jurassic; Triassic; Paleozoic; Permian
Illustrationsgeoscientific sketch maps; tables; ternary diagrams; flow diagrams; diagrams
ProgramTargeted Geoscience Initiative (TGI-5) Porphyry systems
Released2017 01 01
AbstractResistant indicator minerals (RIM) have been used in mineral exploration in recent years to help identify and locate buried deposits because their compositions reflect their source rocks and, in some cases, specific types of mineral deposits. Apatite is a potential RIM because, in addition to its resistance to physical and chemical weathering, it is widespread in most rocks and mineral deposits. Our previous work discriminated the major types of mainly magmatic-hydrothermal mineral deposits in terms of linear discriminant functions using the Mg, V, Mn, Sr, Y, La, Ce, Eu, Dy, Tb, Pb, Th and U contents of apatites. Step-wise discrimination diagrams permit subdividing apatites by origin. We have analyzed detrital apatite grains recovered from till in ten study areas from the glaciated and underexplored Nechako Plateau of central British Columbia by electron probe microanalysis and laser ablation-inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. To aid interpreting these apatite data, we also used till geochemistry, and detrital chalcopyrite and gold grain counts. A total of 342 apatite grains (344 analyses) were classified as associated with mineralization, whereas 41 apatite grains were classified as derived from barren rocks, and two grains were classified as 'unknown'. Mineralization-related apatite grains were classified as alkalic porphyry Cu-Au (80), porphyry Cu-Mo-Au (28), porphyry Mo (72), porphyry-related Cu-Au breccia (16), W skarn (112), orogenic Au (26), orogenic Ni-Cu (7), and Kiruna-type IOA (3) deposit-types. Detrital apatite grains in till down-ice from developed mineral prospects in brownfield areas were correctly identified by the discriminant method. Detrital apatites also helped to generate many new exploration targets in greenfield areas lacking known mineralization or hosting only minor mineral occurrences. These findings validate the apatite discriminant method and demonstrate its usefulness as a practical exploration tool in grassroots programs.

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