The mid-Paleozoic Sicker Group forms the basement of Wrangellia Terrane on Vancouver Island. Volcanic strata of the Sicker Group are currently interpreted to represent an oceanic arc assemblage which is overlain by a variety of Upper Paleozoic sedimentary rock units. The arc sequence hosts the Myra Falls volcanogenic massive sulphide (VMS) deposit, which is currently the largest and most productive VMS mine in western Canada. VMS occurrences are known to occur elsewhere in the Sicker Group, especially in the Cowichan Lake Uplift (Mt. Sicker and Lara occurrences); however the setting of these occurrences is too poorly understood at present to permit detailed comparison with those of the Myra Falls deposit.
The relatively poor overall understanding of the age and petrotectonic evolution of the Sicker Group makes it difficult to develop a sound strategy for regional VMS exploration within the sequence based on typical stratigraphic and volcanological criteria. This study will employ detailed geological mapping and sampling of key sections of the Sicker Group, especially in the Cowichan Lake Uplift, together with U-Pb zircon dating and petrochemical and isotopic studies of the volcanic rocks and associated intrusive and sediment strata as well as contained potential VMS occurrences. The main goal of the study is to develop a well constrained model for the evolution of the Sicker Group on Vancouver Island and compare and contrast the stratigraphic and tectonic setting of known VMS deposits and occurrences and assess the potential for other occurrences of this type.