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)
by Brent Ward, Dept. of Earth Sciences, SFU; Matthew Leybourne, ALS Geochemistry; David Sacco, Dept. of Earth Sciences, SFU; Ray Lett, BCGS Emeritus; and Lambertus Struik, GSC.
Thick surficial deposits within the QUEST Project area have hindered mineral exploration activity. Regional-scale till sampling followed by detailed surveys around samples with elevated or anomalous values was carried out to assess the mineral potential of this area, 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 because it is commonly considered a first derivative of bedrock and has been shown to aid in identifying potentially mineralized bedrock units covered by thick glacial deposits.
The results include aqua-regia ICP-MS analysis on the clay fraction, INAA on the silt plus clay fraction, INAA on heavy mineral separates and mineralogical data including counts of gold grains, pyrite grains and cinnabar grains from the heavy mineral fraction. The clay fraction, digested by aqua regia with an ICP-MS finish, provides a more robust data set with lower detection limits than the coarser fraction by INAA.
All raw data is attached in appendices, which give exploration geochemists regional data sets to compare with property-scale geochemical results. The geochemical data are also graphically displayed and some broad interpretations are made in terms of potential mineralization, such as porphyry Cu-Au, VMS, precious and base metal veins and mercury. Many of the geochemical anomalies suggested by the mapped data are not explained by known mineral showings.
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