Seeing through Chilcotin basalts: the geochemical signal of what is hidden underneath
(NTS 092P, 093A, 093C)
- Thomas Bissig, Mineral Deposit Research Unit, UBC; David R. Heberlein, Heberlein Geoconsulting; Kelly Russell, Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences, UBC; Colin Dunn, Colin Dunn Consulting Inc.; and Craig J. R. Hart, Mineral Deposit Research Unit, UBC
In Central British Columbia, rock units prospective for porphyry and other styles of base and precious metal mineralization are covered by extensive regions of barren Neogene basalt flows, most importantly the Miocene to Pleistocene Chilcotin Group. Effective exploration of targets covered by Chilcotin Group basalts is challenging because of the masking effect these basalts have in interpreting geophysical data (e.g., high magnetic susceptibility) and regional stream and lake sediment geochemistry.
This is a targeted one-year pilot study to investigate the possibility of detecting a geochemical signal of the geology underlying the basalts. This project partly builds on successful recent Geoscience BC funded projects on geochemistry above mineralization deeply buried under fluvioglacial material. We will use a variety of sample media including soils developed on basalts, paleosoils between basalt flows, vegetation, and oxidized fractures or weathering surfaces on the basalts. Several partial and selective extraction analytical techniques will be applied and soil pH will routinely be measured. Study areas may include the locally basalt-covered Woodjam district, the Rayfield River deposit and the Chilcotin River E and W showings. A final selection of the study site will be made after an initial field visit. We expect this project to lead to a geochemical sampling and analytical strategy that will make exploration in basalt-covered areas significantly more effective.
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