Digging Deep: Geoscience BC 2022 Minerals Research Highlights

By: Christa Pellett, Vice President, Minerals

Geoscience BC recently released the Summary of Activities 2022: Minerals volume, which contains eight papers from ongoing Geoscience BC projects and 2022 Geoscience BC Scholarship Program recipients that are within Geoscience BC’s strategic focus area of minerals. The papers are divided into two sections, based on Geoscience BC’s strategic objectives of:

  • 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.

Download Summary of Activities 2022: Minerals

Identifying New Natural Resource Opportunities

This section starts off with D. Mitchinson introducing a new project that will integrate electromagnetic and gravity data to resolve the deep geology of the Quesnel terrane in central British Columbia (BC). This is followed by two Geoscience BC 2022 scholarship recipients examining mineral deposits in BC’s Golden Triangle. A. Hutchison and co-authors consider the Blueberry zone of the Scottie Gold Mine project, and K. Ng and co-authors report on work at the Brucejack deposit of Newcrest Mining Ltd.


Advancing Science and Innovative Geoscience Technologies

All five papers in the ‘Advancing Science and Innovative Geoscience Technologies’ section are led by Geoscience BC Scholarship 2022 recipients. B. Eaton and co-authors investigate the use of unsupervised machine learning to improve and expedite the identification of Cu-porphyry–related mineralization. X. Lu and co-authors consider the reactivity of ultramafic minerals and tailings for carbon capture and storage. B. Iulianella Phillips and co-authors contribute an update on using microbes as biosensors to see through overburden materials, and S. Hendi and co-authors consider the use of fibre-optic sensors in geoscience projects. Finally, T. Shapka-Fels summarizes the development and highlights results of selected Finite-Discrete Element Method models of Red Chris mine operations.


Looking Forward: 2023 and Beyond

As Geoscience BC looks ahead to 2023 and beyond, we are working with partners and members to develop project concepts: proposed research relating to critical minerals and metals, geological carbon capture and storage, generating cleaner energy (including geothermal, hydrogen and low carbon intensity natural gas), and monitoring and mitigating greenhouse gas emissions. These are designed for a collaborative funding model with input and contributions from federal and provincial governments, industry, trusts and others. Geoscience BC is currently applying for research funding and reaching out to prospective project sponsors for all project concepts.

New project concepts include Critical Minerals and Metals in BC Mine Tailings and Waste Rock Facilities, which would study tailings and waste rock from some of BC’s current and past mining operations to see if they may host economic concentrations of critical minerals or metals, and new Regional-Scale Geophysical and Geochemical Surveys, which would help focus critical mineral and metal exploration in the province. Finally, the project concept CO2 Storage in Ultramafic Rocks: Development of a Pilot-Scale Demonstration Project would continue the development of an innovative method for storing carbon outside of sedimentary basins.


Geoscience BC Minerals Publications 2022

Geoscience BC published the following nine Minerals geoscience reports in 2022: