Digging Deep: Geoscience BC 2021 Minerals Projects – February 2022

By: Christa Pellett, Vice President, Minerals

Geoscience BC recently released the Summary of Activities 2021: Minerals volume, which contains nine papers from Geoscience BC-funded projects or scholarship recipients. The papers contribute to meeting two strategic objectives from the Geoscience BC Strategic Plan 2018-2022: identifying new natural resource opportunities; and advancing science and innovative geoscience technologies.

Links to projects and scholarship website pages, where copies of each paper can be found, are provided. Alternatively, the complete Summary of Activities 2021: Minerals document can be downloaded as one document.

Identifying New Natural Resource Opportunities
The first paper in Summary of Activities 2021: Minerals focuses on the Central Interior Copper-Gold Research series of projects and provides an update on the Surficial Exploration Project (Sacco, Janzen and Jackaman), with a focus on the innovative use of the Talon Drill™ that has been modified with custom purpose-built tooling to sample subglacial till.

The two papers under the ‘Identifying New Natural Resource Opportunities’ section are led by recent Geoscience BC Scholarship recipients. Kade Damant of the University of Calgary considers the burial and exhumation history of the Intermontane Belt and related implications for preservation of porphyry deposits. The University of Alberta’s Pascal Voegeli examines the spatial distribution of the hydrothermal system at the Lawyers property, as well as the broader structural/lithological controls within the Toodoggone region. Finally, Vinoth Kuppusamy of the University of British Columbia presents an update on ongoing research into extracting rare-earth elements from southeastern British Columbia coals.

Advancing Science and Innovative Geoscience Technologies
The ‘Advancing Science and Innovative Geoscience Technologies’ section features five papers led by recent Geoscience BC Scholarship recipients. Bianca Iulianella Phillips of the University of British Columbia describes continuing research into using microbial-community fingerprinting to explore for mineral deposits. Brandon Williams of Thompson Rivers University considers both traditional Indigenous knowledge and contemporary ecological theory, as they relate to using fire, as a tool in post-mining reclamation activities. Three students from the University of British Columbia provide the last three papers in this section and include: Beverly Yang examining rock-engineering standards and the feasibility of integrating them with machine learning, Sepide Hendi presenting results from an investigation on the response of fibre optic cables used in monitoring geological stresses underground and Daniel Adria exploring the application of the parametric-breach method for modelling two tailings-dam breaches and the resultant flows.

Published Reports in 2021
Geoscience BC also released interim and final Geoscience BC reports and maps in 2021.