Trace Element Analysis of the Clay-Sized Fraction of Archived Till Samples, Babine, British Columbia (NTS 93L, 93M)
- Travis Ferbey, BC Geological Survey

The Babine porphyry copper district has hosted two producing porphyry copper mines (Bell and Granisle) and, as suggested by numerous showings and prospects, has high potential to host other porphyry copper deposits. Despite this, the district, relative to districts to the east and northwest, remains under-explored. This project will conduct trace element geochemical analyses on the clay-sized fraction (<0.002 mm) of up to an estimated 625 archived till samples collected in the Babine porphyry copper district. Nechako Babine Till Sample Reanalysis Project In the context of base metal exploration, geochemical analyses of this size fraction will increase the contrast between elevated and background element concentrations, as compared to the same analyses using silt plus clay-size fraction (<0.063 mm), therefore enabling geochemical anomalies to be identified with more certainty. These new geochemical data will be used to further constrain and better define the 66 exploration targets identified by Levson (2002) within the district (using analytical determinations on the silt plus clay-size fraction) and to identify additional targets.

This proposed project will provide to the mineral exploration community a new, high-quality, regional-scale, geochemical data set that will help guide exploration efforts in an area with high mineral potential and an extensive cover of glacial drift. These geochemical data will generate new mineral exploration activity, and resultant economic opportunities, in an area adversely affected by the mountain pine infestation. This project will also provide training and job opportunities for students interested in geochemical exploration methods.

Geochemical data produced by this project will be released as a British Columbia Geological Survey (BCGS) Open File, which will also include initial interpretations of those data. The BCGS regional till geochemistry database will be updated and these data will be available through the MapPlace portal. A summary of the project will also be published in the 2008 BCGS Fieldwork Volume and in a poster presentation at Mineral Exploration Roundup 2009.

Posters and Presentations
2009: Refining Geochemical Exploration Targets, Babine Porphyry Copper District, Central British Columbia
- Mineral Exploration Roundup Poster (pdf, 3.30MB)

Technical Articles
2009: "Trace-element analysis of clay-sized fraction of archived till samples, Babine porphyry copper district, west-central British Columbia"
- Summary of Activities 2008, Report 2009-1 p.19-24 (pdf, 3.39MB)

Final Deliverables
Geoscience BC Report 2009-10 / BCGS Open File 2009-4
Till Geochemical Exploration Targets, Babine Porphyry Copper Belt, Central British Columbia


The clay-sized fraction of 533 archived basal till samples collected within the Babine porphyry copper belt was analyzed for 37 elements by aqua regia digestion followed by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). The spatial distribution of samples elevated in Ag, As, Cu, Hg, Mo, Pb, and Zn are the focus of this study. Data presented here confirm and further constrain previously identified till geochemical exploration targets within the Babine porphyry copper belt. These data also outline two new multi-element, multi-site till geochemical exploration targets.

 


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