Evaluation of Plant Exudates to Assist in Mineral Exploration and the Development of Simple and Cost Effective Field Procedures and Analytical Methods

Lead Researcher(s):  D. R. Heberlein

Project ID:  2012-001

Key Research Organization(s):  Heberlein Geoconsulting

Project Location:  Cariboo

Strategic Focus Area:  Minerals


Plant Exudate Project Plant exudates (saps, fluids transpired through leaf pores, salts and particulates on leaf surfaces that have crystallized from the plant fluids) can contain metals translocated from underlying mineralization into the saps and plant material, potentially making them a simple and cost-effective sample medium. This project aimed to use plant exudates as part of establishing a geochemical strategy to detect blind porphyry copper-gold mineralization.

Extensive analyses proved that each sample medium had a signature that could be related to the buried porphyry mineralization, though several "responsive" elements common to most sample media were not always the same. This was likely due to the fact that different components of the geochemical cycle are collected, stored and discarded by each sample medium.

The project was undertaken in conjunction with a Mineral Deposit Research Unit (MDRU, UBC) initiative focused on detecting a geochemical signal of mineralization covered by Chilcotin basalt lavas (GBC Project 2011-016).