New Mineral Project Results Spruce Up Data for Central BC

Vancouver, BC – April 28, 2020 – New developments of a technique to test for halogen elements in samples taken from treetops may help to focus mineral exploration in central British Columbia.

A new Geoscience BC report shows results of determining concentrations of the halogen elements fluorine, chlorine, bromine and iodine in spruce top needles to see if they contain signals of mineral deposits or changes in geology below the surface.

The project used existing spruce treetop samples taken during Geoscience BC’s TREK regional biogeochemical survey in 2015. About 400 spruce treetops were sampled over a 1,000 km2 area – around nine times the size of the City of Vancouver – approximately 120 km southwest of Vanderhoof.

“Our results show that modeling the concentrations of halogen elements in the spruce samples may identify important structures related to potential mineralization that are invisible from the surface,” said researchers Colin Dunn and Dave Heberlein.

Commonly, halogen elements are strongly enriched in alteration and gangue minerals associated with mineral deposits. Over time the halogens move out of these hosts and migrate to the Earth’s surface to accumulate in soils, waters and vegetation. Mapping the distribution of halogen elements in these easy-to-access surface materials may help detect buried ore deposits.

Combining analysis of the results generated through innovative techniques developed by ALS Laboratories with geological knowledge of the area, demonstrates how biogeochemical sampling can be used to outline existing and new features that could host mineral deposits.

The new report - A Geochemical Investigation of Halogens in Spruce Treetops and Integration with Existing Multi-Element Data – Blackwater/TREK Regions, Central British Columbia (NTS 093C, 093F) – is the latest in a series of Geoscience BC minerals research projects examining how geochemical signals in surface materials can focus the search for buried mineralization in central BC.

Christa Pellett, Geoscience BC’s Vice President, Minerals, said: “This project extracts even more value from the samples we collected on the TREK project in 2015 and will provide mineral explorers with a new tool to help identify new targets and explore more efficiently.”

Accessing Information

View the project page 2018-031 for more information.

View project page          View project in Earth Science Viewer

About Geoscience BC

Geoscience BC generates independent, public geoscience research and data about British Columbia’s minerals, energy and water resources. This advances knowledge, informs responsible development, encourages investment and stimulates innovation.

Our collaboration with the resource sectors, academia, communities, Indigenous groups and government develops and shares unbiased and credible earth science research and data.

Geoscience BC is a not for profit society incorporated under the BC Societies Act.

Visit or follow us @GeoscienceBC to find out more.

For more information, please contact:

Richard Truman
Geoscience BC