New Techniques to Improve Copper and Gold Discovery Efficiency

Vancouver, BC- November 22, 2019 - A Geoscience BC minerals research project is developing new tools that will improve the efficiency of porphyry copper-gold exploration in British Columbia.

The Porphyry Vectoring Techniques in Advanced Argillic Altered Rocks of British Columbia project will see Geoscience BC research partners from the University of British Columbia’s MDRU-Mineral Deposit Research Unit collaborate with owners of three known porphyry copper-gold deposits in the Northwest and North Central Regions of BC. At each site, they will map and collect samples of clay and quartz from rocks near the surface that were altered by hot, acidic fluids flowing outward from the deposits millions of years ago as they formed, creating ‘lithocaps’.

“These lithocaps are common over porphyry deposits in several districts in British Columbia and can ‘blanket’ rich porphyry copper-gold deposits at depth,” said MDRU Research Associate and project lead, Farhad Bouzari. “This project will improve mineral exploration efficiency by establishing a new set of criteria to help to zero in on these deposits.”

The research team will use short-wave infrared spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction to characterize the clay and other silicate minerals, and cathodoluminescence to examine quartz. Additional whole rock geochemical studies will complete the analysis and the combined data will be used to produce alteration maps, and other tools that will direct mineral explorers toward new copper deposits.

Commenting on the news Geoscience BC Vice President, Minerals Christa Pellett said: “The public tools and maps developed as part of this research will be a huge asset to BC mineral explorers looking to extend existing resources or find new porphyry copper-gold deposits in BC – and to meet the world’s increasing demand for copper.”

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