New Research Shows an Apatite for Copper Discovery

Vancouver, BC - November 14, 2018 -The common minerals apatite and titanite indicate the potential for copper deposits, according to a new report from Geoscience BC.

Researchers from the University of British Columbia's Mineral Deposit Research Unit (MDRU) found that when rocks form under conditions that are likely to create porphyry copper deposits, the apatite and titanite they contain have a distinctive chemistry and specific appearance when viewed under a microscope.

Project lead Farhad Bouzari, a senior researcher at MDRU, said: "Copper deposits in BC are often found near or within rocks described as porphyries. The minerals and textures in these rocks record the dynamic conditions when it formed. Our research provides tools to quickly assess which rocks formed under 'copper-friendly' conditions."

The report, Mineralogical and Geochemical Characteristics of Porphyry-Fertile Plutons: Guichon Creek, Takomkane and Granite Mountain Batholiths, South-Central British Columbia, contains analyses of 581 apatite grains and 689 titanite grains from 41 rock samples collected at three locations in BC. Some of the samples were taken from the Guichon Creek batholith, in the Thompson-Nicola Regional District, which hosts the Highland Valley deposit. Others were taken from the Takomkane and Granite Mountain batholiths in the Cariboo Regional District and host the Woodjam and Gibraltar deposits.

"This study advances innovation by developing a valuable tool for identifying prospective areas for porphyry-related copper deposits across large parts of British Columbia," said Geoscience BC Vice President of Minerals and Mining, Bruce Madu.

British Columbia is Canada's largest copper producer and currently exports about one million tonnes of copper concentrate each year from seven mines. Finding additional deposits to mine will help BC keep up with forecast increases in global copper demand.


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