Halogens in Spruce Treetops and Integration with Existing Multi-Element Data – Blackwater and TREK Regions (NTS 083C,F)

Key Researcher(s):  C. Dunn

Project ID:  2018-031

Key Research Organization(s):  Colin Dunn Consulting Inc.

Project Location:  Central Interior

Strategic Focus Area:  Minerals


This project will analyze the halogen elements (fluorine, chlorine, bromine and iodine) in spruce tree top samples collected in central British Columbia during the Geoscience BC-sponsored TREK regional biogeochemical survey in 2015. It will help focus mineral exploration activity in the area by creating the first database of halogen elements in spruce trees and by applying the halogen analytical and sampling techniques developed in previous Geoscience BC-supported projects at a regional scale.

  Related projects:

The Need

British Columbia’s Northern Interior Plateau region south of Vanderhoof and west of Quesnel is covered by a thick cover of glacial sediments and volcanic rock. This cover hides the complex geology of the area, and the potentially untapped mineral wealth and geothermal resources buried below. Geoscience BC launched the TREK project to develop geophysical and geochemical tools to help ‘see through’ the thick cover.

Halogen elements play an important role in the mobilization and transport of metals in ore forming systems and can create detectable anomalies on the surface that may indicate covered mineralization. By analyzing the halogen elements of archived spruce tree top samples from the 2015 TREK program and plotting them on a map, researchers will develop new tools to help mineral explorers and others to better understand covered mineralization.

Project Goals

Analyze the halogen content of approximately 450 spruce tree top samples obtained from the Geoscience BC-sponsored TREK regional biogeochemical survey (~750 km2) in the Blackwater area (Jackaman and Sacco, Geoscience BC Report 2016-05) and integrate the results with the existing multi-element dataset to provide additional focus for exploration activities.

Project Benefits

The resource sectors, academia, communities, Indigenous groups and government need access to reliable earth science information to make informed decisions in the project area, where mineral potential is high. The TREK project has produced reports, data, and interpretations to help mineral explorers identify targets, leading to the discovery of new mines and jobs for people in remote communities. This project will add value to an existing Geoscience BC dataset and use archived samples before they would be discarded.

Survey Area

The TREK tree-top sampling program covers a 1,000 km2 area within the larger TREK project, just south of the Blackwater gold district. It was completed in 2015.

The larger TREK project covers a 28,000 km2 area in BC’s Central Interior Plateau from Anahim Lake in the south west, north and east towards Burns Lake, Vanderhoof and Williams Lake. New Gold’s proposed 8.2 million-ounce Blackwater gold mine is in the middle of the project area, about 160 kilometres southwest of Prince George. The field components of the TREK project, which included an airborne magnetic survey, biogeochemical studies and surficial geology and geochemical initiatives, were undertaken between 2013 and 2015.