How fast, reliable water samples can help mineral exploration

Nazko, BC - September 13, 2017 - New project results from Geoscience BC today show how using portable devices for testing streams can provide fast and accurate water analyses and define an area's mineral exploration potential.

Project lead Ron Yehia said: "It's much easier to conduct research and analysis when you are getting same or next day results in the field. This new method proves the usefulness of portable photometers and voltammeters to quickly provide the data needed to make decisions about potential exploration targets, and other related field activities."

Based in the Nazko Valley area, researchers tested 159 water samples for elevated levels of elements and compounds (e.g. copper, lead, silica) using a portable photometer and voltammeter. The photometer tests the colour and light transmittance of a prepared water sample allowing the operator to measure concentrations of dissolved cations and anions. A voltammeter that uses electrochemical technology was also tested.

Samples were collected on three separate occasions for in-depth seasonal analysis. Fifteen percent of the field-based results were compared to analyses completed using standard laboratory techniques to confirm their accuracy and precision.

"This project is a great example of how Geoscience BC is supporting research to find innovative, low-cost ways to increase the efficiency of mineral exploration, while also keeping impacts to a minimum," said Geoscience BC Vice President, Minerals and Mining Bruce Madu.

The project was funded as part of Geoscience BC's Targeting Resources for Exploration and Knowledge (TREK) series of projects and supported by Nazko First Nation's Nazko Economic Development Corporation.

Accessing Information

Final reports are now available on the Geoscience BC website, which includes the free Earth Science Viewer web mapping application.

Real-time determination of regional and focused hydrogeochemical survey and assessment of seasonal variations using a field portable photometer and voltammeter, SE TREK survey area.

View project page 2016-008 View project 2016-008 in Earth Science Viewer

About Geoscience BC

Geoscience BC is an independent, non-profit organization that generates earth science information in collaboration with First Nations, local communities, governments, academia and the resource sector. Our independent earth science enables informed resource management decisions. Geoscience BC gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the Province of British Columbia.

For additional information, please contact:

Richard Truman
Geoscience BC

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