Surficial Geochemistry and Lithology of the Bulkley River Valley, Central British Columbia (NTS 93L)
- Andrew Stumpf, Illinois Geological Survey

Project Area in Bulkley River Valley

The QUEST-West Project and Mountain Pine Beetle Infestation areas in central British Columbia have high potential for discovery of additional mineral resources. Previously, drift exploration studies have been conducted in region to assist the mineral industry in locating new prospects where traditional exploration techniques have been hindered by the thick cover of glacial sediment that masks the bedrock surface.

The objective of this project is to deliver a geoscience report and digital datasets containing unpublished till geochemistry and clast lithology data from the Bulkley River valley and adjacent areas. The data was collected by the British Columbia Geological Survey (BCGS) in 1996 as part of till geochemistry and Quaternary geology studies in the Babine porphyry copper district. This study was undertaken as part of multidisciplinary and collaborative research conducted by the BCGS, the Geological Survey of Canada, and university researchers for the Nechako National Mapping (NATMAP) project in central British Columbia. The project area contains several active mines and past producers (e.g., Huckleberry, Bell, Granisle, Equity Silver, and Endako) and several advanced projects (Big Onion, Davidson, and Morrison).

The publication of this geoscience data will assist with the identification of new exploration targets and re- evaluation of known mineral occurrences that will promote further investment in resource exploration and development. The project will provide information about the background surficial geochemistry and Quaternary geology that is not currently available for the Bulkley River valley area and expands the geoscience database for central British Columbia.

Posters and Presentations
2012: Development of a database for geoscience field observations, west-central British Columbia
- Mineral Exploration Roundup Poster (pdf, 1.0 MB)

2011: Quaternary Geology and Till Geochemistry of the Bulkley River Valley, West-Central British Columbia
- Mineral Exploration Roundup Poster (pdf, 48.6 MB)

2010: Preliminary Results of Till Geochemistry Sampling from the Bulkley River Area, Central British Columbia, Canada
- Mineral Exploration Roundup Poster (pdf, 3.89MB)
Technical Articles
2012: "Development of a database for geoscience field observations, west-central British Columbia"
- Summary of Activities 2011, Report 2012-1 p. 53-58 (pdf, 1.4 MB)

2011: "Quaternary geology and till geochemistry of the Bulkley River valley, west-central British Columbia"
- Summary of Activities 2010, Report 2011-1 p. 57-64 (pdf, 3.6 MB)
Final Deliverables
Geoscience BC Report 2012-11
Till Geochemistry and Clast Lithology Studies of the Bulkley River Valley, West-Central British Columbia
by A.J. Stumpf

Mineral exploration by traditional exploration techniques has been hindered in west-central BC because of a thick and nearly continuous cover of glacial sediment that masks the bedrock surface. The bedrock in the region has a high mineral potential; several active mines and past producers are located in the project area. Regional till geochemistry surveys have been used to determine the background mineral composition and identify anomalous concentrations that can be traced to bedrock sources. The geochemical composition of till is directly influenced by the bedrock geology and dominant direction of glacier flow during the last glaciation (Late Wisconsinan).

To assist the mining industry in locating new mineral prospects, a two-year project was undertaken in west-central BC in an area approximately 340 km east of Prince Rupert and 400 km west of Prince George. This project was undertaken in an area that is within Geoscience BC's QUEST-West Project area and the Mountain Pine Beetle-Impacted Zone.

Specifically, this project delivers till geochemical and clast lithology data for the Bulkley River valley and adjacent areas (encompassing parts of NTS map areas 093L/07, /08, /09/, /10, /11, /15); information that is not publicly available. The data was collected for the British Columbia Geological Survey (BCGS) in 1996, as part of regional till sampling and Quaternary geology studies in the Babine porphyry copper belt of west-central BC (Levson, 2002). The BCGS project was a component of a program of multi-disciplinary and collaborative research with the Geological Survey of Canada (GSC), universities and the mining industry under the Nechako National Geoscience Mapping Program (NATMAP) in central BC. This till geochemical and clast lithology data has not been previously published. Its release will provide information about the background geochemistry and Quaternary geology of this part of west-central BC.

The goal of this project was to provide the mineral exploration community additional information characterizing the glacial materials, which in this region forms a near-continuous cover masking the bedrock surface. Combined with existing geological and geophysical data collected for Geoscience BC, and historical databases archived at the BCGS and GSC, this information will assist companies in identifying new exploration targets and re-evaluate known mineral occurrences. These activities will promote further investment in the resource exploration and development sector in this part of BC.

 


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