Geoscience BC Report 2013-20

Use of Organic Media in the Geochemical Detection of Blind Porphyry Copper-Gold Mineralization in the Woodjam Property Area, South-Central British Columbia (NTS 093A/03, 06)
by David R. Heberlein, Heberlein Geoconsulting; Colin Dunn, Colin Dunn Consulting Inc; and Bill MacFarlane, Acme Analytical Laboratories

Report Components

Report Description

Plant exudates can contain metals that have been transported from underlying mineralization. These materials include saps, transpired fluids, salts and particulates on leaf surfaces and may offer simple and cost-effective sample media for detecting mineralization under cover.

Geoscience BC Report 2013-20 describes a "proof of concept" study carried out at the Woodjam project in central BC that tested the geochemical response of exudates and spruce tissues collected over the "blind", or covered Deerhorn and Three Firs porphyry Cu-Au systems. Both systems are concealed beneath glacial cover and/or basalt. HR-ICP-MS (High Resolution ICP-MS) was required to obtain low detection limits for some ore and pathfinder elements in the exudates. Results are compared with data from Ah horizon and soil charcoal samples.

Extensive analyses proved that each sample medium had a signature that could be related to the buried porphyry mineralization, though several "responsive" elements common to most sample media were not always the same. This was likely due to the fact that different components of the geochemical cycle are collected, stored and discarded by each sample medium.

Field components of this study were undertaken in conjunction with Geoscience BC Project 2011-016 entitled: "Seeing through Chilcotin basalts: the geochemical signal of what is hidden underneath".

Suggested Reference
Heberlein, D.R., Dunn, C., and MacFarlane, B. (2013): Use of Organic Media in the Geochemical Detection of Blind Porphyry Copper-Gold Mineralization in the Woodjam Property Area, South-Central British Columbia (NTS 093A/03, 06); Geoscience BC, Report 2013-20, 97 p.

Additional Links
  • Geoscience BC Report 2013-17: Geochemical Techniques for Detection of Blind Porphyry Copper-Gold Mineralization under Basalt Cover, Woodjam Property, South-Central British Columbia (NTS 093A/03, 06)
  • Project Page - Contains additional information on the project "Evaluation of plant exudates to assist in mineral exploration and the development of simple and cost effective field procedures and analytical methods," including links to a poster and Summary of Activities article.

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