Clay-Fraction Till Geochemistry of the TREK Project Area, Central British Columbia (Parts of NTS 093B, C, F, G)

Project code: 2016-036

Project type: Minerals and Mining

Principal Proponent: REFLEX Geosciences. Authors: P.W.G. van Geffen, E.B. Bluemel

Project location: Cariboo Chilcotin Region, British Columbia

The study analyses very fine 'clay fraction' materials (i.e. grains less than 0.002 mm) in previously-collected samples to see if this method is more effective than traditional because clay fractions do not contain carbonates or organic matters which may complicate results. If successful, clay fraction analysis may provide more reliable information about potential mineralization.

The work relates to the area of Geoscience BC's Targeting Resources for Exploration and Knowledge (TREK) series of projects. View TREK project page.

The Need
Large parts of BC's mineral potential remains poorly understood due to thick ground cover that obscures much of the geology. Till sample surveys are an effective way to determine potential of an area through analyses of each sample for relevant elements. This project will determine if the additional cost and effort of extracting clay fractions leads to better data about till covered areas such as the Chilcotin.

Project Goals
The Clay-Fraction Till Geochemistry project was designed to:

  • Analyze clay-sized fractions from samples taken earlier in the TREK survey area
  • Determine if better accuracy in identifying trace element chemistry in clay can be achieved
  • Build greater confidence in the characteristics of the bedrock in the TREK survey area

Project Benefits
Studies of till geochemistry can increase confidence in the characteristics of the underlying bedrock, and better characterize areas for prospective mineralization.

Survey Area
The project was located within the Interior Plateau, south of Vanderhoof and approximately 60 kilometres west of Quesnel. It is in the territory of First Nations such as the Tsilhqot'in and other neighbouring communities. This is within the area of Geoscience BC's TREK (Targeting Resources for Exploration and Knowledge) project, which covers 25,000km2.

How was the data collected?
Till samples collected in 2013 and 2014 were archived by the BC Geological Survey (BCGS) in Victoria. Clay fractions were extracted using a clay-fraction separation process, and the samples were submitted to a mineral laboratory in Vancouver for later analysis. Clay fraction data published by the Geological Survey of Canada in 2001 will be used for reference and where appropriate, will be included in the final data set.

What was found?
Project in progress

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