Key Researcher(s):  M. Seabrook, P. W. Ransom, S. Kennedy, T. Sanders

Project ID(s):  2011-SK02, 2013-SK04, 2013-SK05, 2014-SK06, 2014-SK07

Key Research Organization(s):  Independent Consultant

Project Location:  Kootenay

Strategic Focus Area:  Minerals


Geoscience BC, in partnership with the East Kootenay Chamber of Mines, is pleased to announce the launch of the SEEK (Stimulating Exploration in the East Kootenays) Project. The goal of the SEEK Project is to increase economic activity related to mineral exploration by acquiring, compiling and adding value to public and private sector mineral exploration information.

"There are many indications of significant undiscovered potential and under-explored prospects in the East Kootenays," said Ross Stanfield, President of the East Kootenay Chamber of Mines. "The SEEK Project will help attract interest to our area and provide new information on mineral potential to support and increase exploration activity and investment and hopefully lead to new discoveries and developments in the region."

The East Kootenays have a long and successful history of mineral exploration and mining. One of the world's largest lead-zinc mines, the former Sullivan Mine, sustained the economy of Kimberley and the East Kootenay region for almost 100 years. The initial phase of the SEEK Project will capitalize on the region's rich exploration history, concentrating on compiling existing mineral prospect and exploration information with a particular focus on capturing knowledge from local prospectors and exploration geologists. This local knowledge represents invaluable information that is not yet in the public domain.

"The component of the SEEK Project to capture local exploration knowledge represents an innovative approach to increasing the mineral information database in the public geoscience record," said 'Lyn Anglin, President and CEO of Geoscience BC. "The wealth of information that resides in the local exploration community is an invaluable resource and we look forward to the results of the SEEK Project as a test case of this type of approach."

A major project goal is to attract new interest in East Kootenay exploration projects. To help accomplish this, project results will be highlighted and distributed with new marketing materials that target investors and active exploration companies. In addition, it is anticipated that this project will identify future geoscience and mineral exploration research projects that will further contribute to economic development in the region.

Dr. Russell Hartlaub, faculty member in the Department of Mining and Mineral Exploration at BCIT, will manage all activities as project coordinator. He will be working closely with Geoscience BC staff and the East Kootenay Chamber of Mines to deliver this project. Geoscience BC's Minerals Technical Advisory Committee will provide technical oversight on the project. More details on specific project activities will be posted as they become available.

Project Updates

Ted Sanders completed Geoscience BC Report 2012-12 (the East Kootenay Gravity Database, see below) in December 2012 and Geoscience BC Report 2013-23 in November 2013, which adds new ground gravity survey data to the East Kootenay Region. This survey, called the St. Mary Gravity Survey, can potentially facilitate new interpretive geological studies at the Matthew Creek pegmatite stock and metamorphic zone.

The Hughes Range Paleomagnetic Study began in the summer of 2013 and wrapped in late 2014, with the final report to be released in early 2015. This project tested a new interpretation of faulting in the northern Hughes Range, which is the location of two past-producing mines. Paleomagnetic samples were collected and analyzed at Okanagan College’s newly established research lab. These samples appear to validate the new geological interpretation, which leads to several interesting theories about the local base metal and gold occurrences and their geological setting. It is hoped that this study will lead to an improved geological understanding of the area and lead to future mineral discoveries.

One of the two new projects funded in 2014 aims to highlight the potential for undiscovered massive-sulphide mineralization in the Purcell Basin. Similar geological settings to the past-producing Sullivan mine exist elsewhere in southeast BC, making these other areas prime exploration candidates for new deposits. Field mapping and sampling in the Cranbrook area was undertaken in summer 2014. Results of this study may outline the characteristics of specific settings that have higher potential to host massive-sulphide silver-lead-zinc deposits. A final report for this project is expected in June 2015.

The second of the two new projects will study the Kimberly Gold Trend, focusing on the Purcell Mountains west-southwest of the town of Cranbrook. The Kimberly gold trend hosts four rich placer-gold streams discovered in the late 1800s, on which mining activities still continue today. Many small gold deposits and occurrences have been discovered in the area; however, a significant source for the rich placer deposits has not yet been discovered.

In order to identify characteristics associated with known gold occurrences in and around the project area, geological mapping and historical data compilation will be undertaken. In 2011 and 2013, the project proponents conducted mapping programs for industry clients within the project area, and this industry work will also be included to enhance the project outputs. From this combination of new and historical data, a model will be developed that describes the emplacement of gold within the Kimberly gold trend and hopefully stimulate grassroots exploration and development of known gold targets in southeast BC.


  • Final Deliverables

    • Geoscience BC Report 2017-09: Paleomagnetic evidence for extreme block faulting east of the Rocky Mountain Trench near Kimberley, BC , by P.W. Ransom, T. Day and R.J. Enkin (PDF, 6.4 MB) Updated July 2017 – Low-angle normal faults just east of the Rocky Mountain Trench (northern Hughes range) have been suggested as originally steeply dipping and subsequently rotated through block faulting. This study uses new paleomagnetic measurements to suggest the area of block faulting along the Rocky Mountain Trench may be much wider than previously thought, and may have affected the Sullivan orebody.

    • Geoscience BC Report 2016-19: Mud Volcanoes in the Purcell Basin and Their Relevance to Middle Proterozoic Massive-Sulphide Ag-Pb-Zn Deposits, Southeastern British Columbia, by J.S. Kennedy and T. Höy (PDF, 6.8 MB) – Fragmental rocks related to mud/sediment volcanism and venting were developed episodically during deposition of the Aldridge Formation and may be genetically related to the giant Sullivan Pb-Zn-Ag deposit at Kimberley. The goal of this project was to determine if it was possible to differentiate the favourability of various fragmental complexes to host base metal mineralization, or vector within the complexes to areas of higher mineralization potential, by cataloguing fragmental facies, defining controlling structures and alteration zones, and determining geochemical signatures as they may relate to the venting process. Five previously identified fragmental occurrences were selected as study areas based on access, current level of exploration interest, and stratigraphic location. Geological mapping of fragmental alteration assemblages was shown to be an effective tool for evaluating fragmental facies and their potential for base metal mineralization. Additionally, mapping of mud/sediment volcano facies and structural trends was shown to be a useful tool for interpreting the local sedimentary environment. Geochemical variations between sample sites were identified and further whole rock and trace element analyses should help identify the geochemical signature of mineralized fragmental complexes.

    • Geoscience BC Report 2012-12: Stimulating Exploration in the East Kootenays (SEEK Project): East Kootenay Gravity Database, by T. Sanders (PDF, 1.5 MB) – This report describes a collection of ground station gravity data. The majority of gravity data in the database was obtained from data listings in assessment reports on the Mineral Titles Online ARIS (Assessment Report Indexing System) website. Other sources include: contributed data from gravity surveys not presently available on the ARIS website, a subset of the Geological Survey of Canada (GSC) database, and a digitized Bouguer Anomaly posting map (obtained from an ARIS file which did not contain raw data). All of the original gravity data listings in the ARIS pdf files include Bouguer Anomaly values for each station. However, Bouguer Anomaly values from different contractors used different data reduction formulae and parameters. Some processing errors were also detected in the raw data listings. As a result, leveling adjustments have been made to some of the ARIS GPS survey data, Observed Gravity values, and Bouguer Anomaly data prior to reprocessing and the creation of a uniform Gravity Database. In addition, 30 km Outer Terrain Corrections were calculated for each station as part of data reduction to Bouguer Anomaly values in the database. This project enables users to download digital (.csv) files of the original ARIS gravity data listings and raw Inner Terrain Correction data. In addition, the complete database (27 fields) of levelled and reprocessed gravity data can be downloaded and includes raw and reduced Bouguer Anomaly values for all stations using three rock densities.

    • Geoscience BC Report 2013-23: Stimulating Exploration in the East Kootenays (SEEK Project): The Updated East Kootenay Gravity Database (EKGD) and The 2013 St. Mary Gravity Survey, by T. Sanders (PDF, 7.4 MB) – This report builds on Geoscience BC Report 2012-12 and presents an updated EKGD which now contains records for over 5300 individual ground gravity stations. The majority of gravity data in the database were obtained from data listings in assessment reports on the Mineral Titles Online ARIS (Assessment Report Indexing System) website. ARIS and contributed data amount to 3888 stations in the EKGD. 485 stations were compiled from Geological Survey of Canada (GSC) data, and data for 735 ground gravity stations were acquired from a digitized Bouguer Anomaly posting map (obtained from an ARIS file which did not contain raw data). 217 new ground gravity stations were collected in 2013 during the st. Mary Gravity Survey. These stations were laid out to complement gravity data already compiled within the EKGD, specifically gathering more information about the Matthew Creek gravity anomaly to infer its relationship to the Matthew Creek Metamorphic Zone. This project enables users to download digital (.csv) files of the original ARIS gravity data listings and raw Inner Terrain Correction data. In addition, the complete database (27 fields) of levelled and reprocessed gravity data can be downloaded and includes raw and reduced Bouguer Anomaly values for all stations using three rock densities.

  • Technical Articles

  • Posters and Presentations