Geochemical Models for BC Porphyry Deposits: Outcropping, Blind and Buried Examples

Key Researcher(s):  C. J. R. Hart

Project ID:  2009-048

Key Research Organization(s):  University of British Columbia - MDRU

Project Location:  British Columbia

Focus Area:  Minerals


Geochemistry is an essential tool in mineral exploration. Research in the development of techniques and the understanding of geochemical processes and resultant exploration applications in Canada has lagged behind other parts of the world, particularly Australia. The objective of this project is to create a comprehensive set of geochemical models for BC porphyry systems. These models will be developed to determine the surficial geochemical responses of known deposits in known geological and geomorphic settings where different processes may be affecting the response. These models will be empirically determined, and advance our understanding of the expected responses of different systems (e.g. alkalic Cu–Au) in different settings (e.g. blind, heavily vegetated). These models will assist explorers in developing interpretations and making decisions about exploration strategies in situations with variably complex geochemical responses.

The final products will be a journal style publication of the models, a stand alone CD including raw and processed data layers, and a series of workshops. The knowledge generated from this project will better facilitate exploration efforts in BC, encourage increased investment in the province by improving the success rates of geochemical surveys. This project will also serve as a pilot study that will develop a template and framework for successive projects on other deposit models.Show more


  • Posters and Presentations

    2012: Geochemical Exploration Models of BC Porphyry Deposits
    – Mineral Exploration Roundup Conference 2012 Poster (pdf, 2.0 MB)

    2011: Geochemical Exploration Models for Porphyry Deposits in British Columbia
    – Mineral Exploration Roundup Conference 2011 Poster (pdf, 2.1 MB)

  • Technical Articles

    2012: “Geochemical-exploration models for porphyry deposits in British Columbia”
    – Summary of Activities 2011, Report 2012-1 p. 29-40 (pdf, 1.9 MB)

  • Final Deliverables

    Geoscience BC Report 2016-15

    Surficial Geochemical Exploration Data for British Columbia Porphyry Copper Deposits

    The purpose of this project and these results is to provide the mineral-exploration community with easy access to surficial geochemistry data and related information to facilitate exploration and discovery of BC porphyry deposits.

    For a selected group of 15 porphyry deposits, geochemical information available in print form has been compiled, digitized and updated to meet modern geospatial standards, and paired with spatial datasets related to the physiographic setting, glacial history, surficial materials and other geological factors that may influence geochemical distributions. These data packages are presented as 15 self-extracting data archives in ArcGIS(r) .mpk map package format that allow the user a high degree of flexibility to visualize the data with their own constraints. Users can thus visually and mathematically interrogate data to reveal relationships within the datasets, and potentially develop new models of geochemical dispersion in postglacial environments.

    Examples of how such data can be utilized to understand the relative importance of surficial processes, terrain and climate in producing modern geochemical signals in these types of environments are briefly discussed.