Smithers Exploration Group Restoration of the Collection of Cordilleran Rock Suites

Key Researcher(s):  A. Ledwon

Project ID:  2018-012

Key Research Organization(s):  Smithers Exploration Group Society

Project Location:  Smithers

Strategic Focus Area:  Minerals


This project is promoting and preserving the Smithers Exploration Group’s (SEG) existing 2,000-piece collection of rock samples from northwest and northcentral British Columbia – the SEG ‘Rock Room’. The current collection contains samples of various Cordilleran rock suites and examples of ore deposit types from more than 20 ore deposits, including Mount Milligan, Bell Copper and BC’s newest gold mine, Brucejack. In 2019 and 2020, the SEG will complete the collection with new samples from additional locations and deposits; promote the collection at conferences; and preserve it online and in a permanent physical location.

Visit the Rock Room home page

Chalcopyrite Vein
from Smithers Exploration Group Rock Room


Quartz-Sulphide (Galena) Vein
from Smithers Exploration Group Rock Room


The Need

More than half of the money spent on mineral exploration in BC is spent in the northwest and north-central parts of the province. Located in Smithers, SEG’s purpose-designed Rock Room hosts more than 2,000 rock samples from the deposits and important rock units in this highly prospective mineral exploration area.

Although the extensive collection contains a wealth of geological knowledge of the area, new samples are needed to complete the collection and work is required to store and promote its value to the audiences that will benefit from accessing the collection, including exploration geologists, students and community members.

Project Goals

This project fits under Geoscience BC’s Strategic Objective of ‘Advancing Science & Innovative Geoscience Technologies’ and the goal to:

  • Support the preservation and curation of significant geological rock suites, core samples, archived government and museum samples, data and other important materials that form reference or historical records to complement efforts of other organizations.

Project Benefits

Access to the complete, curated collection will help to train field geologists and prospectors updating their regional knowledge; under-graduates and high school students as part of earth science studies; and First Nations. The collection is currently available through the annual Rock Talk conference or by booking a visit to the collection. By digitizing samples in the collection, access to the Rock Room will be expanded online to connect with a wider audience.

Survey Area

The Rock Room is in Smithers, BC and the samples have been collected from across northcentral and northwest BC, including Kitimat Stikine Regional District, Bulkley-Nechako Regional District and Fraser Fort George Regional District.