Glacial Geologic Framework and Drift Prospecting for a Portion of the QUEST Project Area (NTS 93G, 93H, 93J)
- Brent Ward, Simon Fraser University

The area of mountain pine beetle infestation in central British Columbia has areas of highly prospective bedrock geology, but exploration has been limited due to thick cover of surficial deposits. Knowledge of the glacial history, specifically the ice flow history and dominant transport direction is vital to interpret geochemical surveys. Significant knowledge gaps exist in the glacial history of the QUEST area and thus pose a significant hindrance on exploration. This project is designed to address these knowledge gaps by providing a Quaternary framework and both regional and detailed till based geochemical surveys. This ambitious project will occur over three years and provide:
Glacial Geologic Framework and Drift Prospecting in QUEST Project area

  1. the regional glacial geologic framework for NTS 93 G, H (west half), and J from the central portion of the Quest area.
  2. a map of approximate drift cover for areas within NTS 93 G, H (west half), and J based on existing terrain, soils, and surficial geology mapping as well as forestry-related terrain mapping.
  3. To carry out terrain mapping of six 1:50,000 scale sheets
  4. Till geochemical (trace, minor and major elements by aqua regia-ICP and INAA) and gold grain counts and heavy mineral separates of these new sheets,
  5. detailed geochemical surveys down ice of two geophysical anomalies from the recently completed geophysical surveys.

This will stimulate exploration in beetle kill affected areas by the release of new surficial geology and geochemical survey data and provide a framework for companies to interpret their own datasets. This project will also provide invaluable training for at least two M.Sc. students and numerous undergraduates.

Posters and Presentations
2012: Drift Prospecting in a Portion of the QUEST Area: Ice Flow, Till Geochemistry and Heavy Mineral Analysis
- Mineral Exploration Roundup Poster (pdf, 19.5 MB)

2011: Drift Prospecting within the QUEST Project Area, Central British Columbia (NTS 093J): Potential for Porphyry Copper-Gold, Volcanogenic Massive Sulphide Mineralization and Gold-Copper Veins
- Mineral Exploration Roundup Poster (pdf, 15.5 MB)

2011: Quaternary geology and ice flow history in the northwest part of the McLeod Lake Map Area (NTS 093J), central British Columbia: Implications for mineral exploration
- Mineral Exploration Roundup Poster (pdf, 6.6 MB)

2010: Till Geochemistry of the Western Portion of 93J, QUEST Area
- Mineral Exploration Roundup Poster (pdf, 4.45MB)

2010: Glacial History and Terrain Mapping in a Portion of the QUEST Project Area (NTS 093G, H [west half], J), Central British Columbia
- Mineral Exploration Roundup Poster (pdf, 4.59MB)

2009: Detailed Geochemical Till Sampling of Two Geophysical Anomalies of the QUEST Area
- Mineral Exploration Roundup Poster (pdf, 5.12MB)

2009: Ice-Flow History, Drift Thickness and Drift Prospecting for a Portion of the QUEST Project Area (NTS 093G, H [west half], J), British Columbia
- Mineral Exploration Roundup Poster (pdf, 17.0MB)

Technical Articles
2012: "Heavy mineral analysis of till samples within the QUEST Project area, central British Columbia"
- Summary of Activities 2011, Report 2012-1 p. 69-68 (pdf, 7.5 MB)

2011: "Drift prospecting within the QUEST Project area, central British Columbia: potential for porphyry copper-gold, volcanogenic massive sulphide mineralization and gold-copper veins"
- Summary of Activities 2010, Report 2011-1 p.73-96 (pdf, 31.8 MB)

2010: "Terrain Mapping, Glacial History and Drift Prospecting in the Northwest Corner of McLeod Lake Map Area (Part of NTS 093J), Central British Columbia"
- Summary of Activities 2009, Report 2010-1 p.33-42 (pdf, 10.3 MB)

2009: "Ice-flow history, drift thickness and drift prospecting for a portion of the QUEST Project area, central British Columbia"
- Summary of Activities 2008, Report 2009-1 p.25-32 (pdf, 11.2MB)

Final Deliverables
Geoscience BC Map 2010-14-1
Relative Drift Thickness Map, North-Central BC (93G, 93H/w & 93J/s)

Geoscience BC Map 2010-14-1 shows relative drift thickness in north-central BC, covering NTS mapsheets 93G, 93H/w and 93J/s. Constructed from previous mapping and recent field-checking, the map is intended as an aid to mineral exploration, providing information on the distribution and relative thickness of surficial sediments and generalized ice flow history. This will help to determine areas that are more suited for drift prospecting and bedrock prospecting, as well as provide guidance as to the dominant transport direction when interpreting the results of geochemical surveys. The map in PDF format, the ESRI ArcGIS map document and data used to produce the map are included in this release. The datasets include ice flow indicators, drift thickness and outcrop locations, along with base map features providing background context. The report is by D.M. Maynard, B.C. Ward, M. Geertsema, N. Roberts and D. Sacco.

Geoscience BC Report 2013-08
Ice Flow Patterns in NTS 93G, H (west half), & J, and Detailed Ice Flow History for NTS 093J/05, /06, /11, /12, /13 & /14

The maps contained within this report show ice flow patterns for NTS 093G, H (west) and J, and detailed ice flow history for parts of NTS 093J (near Prince George, BC). The report also contains a regional ice flow model for the northern Interior Plateau region. Constructed from previous mapping and recent field studies, the report is intended as an aid to mineral exploration in central BC. The report consists of one PDF sheet, and the ESRI ArcGIS shapefiles of striations, regional ice flow and detailed ice flow data.

Geoscience BC Report 2013-10
New Terrain Maps in the McLeod Lake Map area (NTS 093J), British Columbia

Geoscience BC Report 2013-10 comprises six 1:50,000 terrain maps in the McLeod Lake map sheet (NTS 093J), as well as a digital data package. The maps are hybrid surficial geology / terrain maps that were produced using standardized terrain mapping methods. Surficial material, surface expression and geomorphological processes were used to delineate terrain polygons on 1:40,000 black-and-white aerial photographs. The map legend is a closed, surficial geology format based on the dominant surficial material and is used to assign polygon colours. Individual polygon labels can contain more detailed terrain information based on the terrain classification system. Where applicable, additional polygon information such as sediment descriptions and minor surficial materials and surface expressions are recorded in the terrain database.

The maps will be useful to the resource industry by indicating areas that contain till and therefore can be used in drift prospecting. The maps can also be used to identify various types of granular resources, such as aggregate for road building, fine grained (clay) material for lining tailings ponds, and bulk fill.

Geoscience BC Report 2013-15
Drift Prospecting for Porphyry Copper-Gold, Volcanogenic Massive Sulphide Mineralization and Precious and Base Metal Veins within the QUEST Project Area, Central British Columbia (NTS 093J)

Geoscience BC Report 2013-15 presents a large dataset and summarizes the results of regional till surveys and Quaternary studies conducted in the heart of the QUEST Project area. Regional-scale till sampling followed by detailed surveys around samples with elevated or anomalous values were carried out to assess the mineral potential, specifically targeting Cu-Au porphyry and volcanogenic massive sulphide (VMS) mineralization. Till is the preferred sampling medium for geochemical and mineralogical surveys in glaciated terrain such as in the QUEST area, because it is considered a first derivative of bedrock and has been shown to aid in identifying potentially mineralized bedrock units covered by thick glacial deposits. Along with the analytical data, this report describes these till sampling surveys and graphically displays the results from detailed aqua-regia ICP-MS and INAA analyses to help vector exploration efforts.

M.Sc. Thesis - D.Sacco
Quaternary geology in part of the McLeod Lake map-area (NTS 093J), central British Columbia - Simon Fraser University, 2012 - Available digitally through Simon Fraser University (pdf, 9 MB)

Abstract: The Quaternary geology in part of the McLeod Lake map-area was studied through the production and analysis of 1:50 000-scale terrain maps and the examination of stratigraphic exposures and landforms. The surficial geology is dominated by thick, streamlined till that thins where relief is high. Glaciofluvial outwash and ice-contact deposits occur throughout the area and extensive glaciolacustrine deposits blanket low-lying regions. The glacial stratigraphic record spans the Fraser Glaciation and is represented by a sequence of advance glaciolacustrine sediments, till and retreat glaciolacustrine and glaciofluvial sediments. Ice initially flowed into the study area from the northwest and retreated before the arrival of ice from the west and south. Ice-flow during the glacial maximum was northeast and transitioned to the east during deglaciation. Ground penetrating radar suggests that post-glacial aeolian activity was brief. Optical dating on K-feldspar from aeolian material suggests this activity occurred around 9.35 0.64, 9.94 0.77 and 13.3 1 ka and provides minimum ages for ice retreat.


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