Geoscience BC Releases Initial Results From $5 Million Exploration Project in Central B.C.’s Mountain Pine Beetle Infestation Area

Vancouver B.C.  January 28, 2008 - Mineral claim staking in central B.C.’s Mountain Pine Beetle Infestation Area has skyrocketed in anticipation of the release of initial results from the $5 million QUEST (Quesnellia Exploration Strategy) mineral exploration project – the largest mineral exploration geoscience project of its kind in the province.

  Since the QUEST project was announced last June, almost 1,760 mineral claims have been staked in the central B.C. geophysical survey area by 114 companies or individuals. These claims cover over 780,000 hectares of land. This brings the total mineral claims in the area to over 6,000 held by more than 300 companies or individuals, covering approximately 2 million hectares.

  At the Mineral Exploration Roundup Conference, Geoscience BC released the initial results from the QUEST project making over 1.5 Gigabytes of information available to industry and the public. Data released included the airborne electromagnetic (EM) survey of central B.C. and geochemical results from a reanalysis of almost 5,000 archived stream and lake sediment samples collected in the region over 10 years ago.  These projects represent over $1.5 Million of the $5 Million QUEST project.  The EM data was collected by Geotech Ltd., from Aurora Ontario, with TRK Helicopters (BC) Ltd., based in Langley BC. The geochemical reanalysis program was undertaken by Noble Exploration Services Ltd., from Sooke, BC.

  “This new information will encourage increased exploration throughout the central area of the province further fuelling an already surging mining sector while providing more jobs for areas impacted by mountain pine beetle,” said Minister of State for Mining Kevin Krueger.

  “The data sets released today are the first in a series that will help unlock central B.C.’s mineral potential,” said Dr. Lyn Anglin, President and CEO of Geoscience BC.  “The electromagnetic survey will help identify different rock types that may be associated with mineralization, and will aid in determining the thickness of glacial cover.  The enormous wealth of new information made available today will help guide industry in targeting their mineral exploration programs.”

  The QUEST project was funded by Geoscience BC in partnership with the Northern Development Initiative Trust, and covers a 46,000 square kilometre area extending from Williams Lake to north west of Mackenzie. The communities of Mackenzie, Fort St. James, Prince George, Quesnel, Wells and Barkerville are within the project area.

  Central B.C. has yielded some important copper and copper-gold deposits over the years resulting in mineral discoveries that led to the opening of the Mount Polley and Gibraltar mines in the southern portion of the target area and the ongoing exploration of the Mt. Milligan copper-gold deposit to the north.  Large parts of this area still remain largely unexplored due to a cover of glacial material (sand and gravel) in the region.  The QUEST project was designed to help “see through” this cover of glacial material to the prospective rocks below using leading-edge exploration technologies.

  In addition to the airborne electromagnetic survey, the QUEST project involves an airborne gravity survey of the project area which is presently underway.  Airborne gravity surveys measure the density of rocks and help identify different rock types and potential mineralization targets in the subsurface.  Results from this survey are expected to be available this spring.

  The QUEST project also includes the analysis of new geochemical samples collected from streams and lakes in the region to identify trace minerals.  More than 2,000 new geochemical samples have been collected in the project area, which are currently being analyzed and documented.

  For more information on the details of the QUEST project, please see our website at or call us at (604) 662-4147.

  About Geoscience BC

Geoscience BC is an industry-led, industry-focused, non-profit organization. Its mandate includes the collection, interpretation and delivery of geoscience data and expertise to promote investment in resource exploration and development in British Columbia. Geoscience BC works in partnership with industry, academia, government, First Nations and communities to attract mineral and oil & gas investment to B.C.   -end-