The BC Regional Geochemical Survey (RGS) database is an open-source collection of regional geochemical survey results hosted and maintained by the British Columbia Geological Survey (BCGS). The high-quality earth science data in the RGS database is used to guide mineral exploration activity.
Since the 1970s, over 65,000 samples have been analyzed and archived from areas covering approximately 80 percent of BC. Since its inception in 2005, Geoscience BC has worked with federal and provincial geoscience agencies to add new value to this existing regional geochemical data for the province.
This research project tested a modified sampling strategy that involved the collection of bulk stream-sediment samples with the aim of improving sample coverage and improving the consistency of regional geochemical information for the area.
This project fits under Geoscience BC’s Strategic Objective of Advancing Science & Innovative Geoscience Technologies and our goal to:
- Increase research and development of innovative exploration and mining methods, tools, approaches and geoscience technologies.
Specifically, the project’s primary objective was to conduct a strategic bulk stream-sediment sampling program over a previously surveyed region with the goals:
- To demonstrate that the integration of this method can effectively improve existing RGS coverage,
- Add valuable trace metal and mineralogical information to for southern British Columbia, and
- Enable larger areas to be effectively assessed for mineral deposits.
The new geoscience information generated by this project demonstrates a new mineral exploration strategy that can be deployed in BC. This project provides new information and techniques to help the mineral exploration sector, government, communities and Indigenous groups to make informed decisions about future land use in the area.
What Was Found?
During the 2019 field program, 104 conventional silt samples, 98 bulk sediment samples, and 98 pebble samples were collected at 98 sites. Samples were collected from the outlet of first and second order stream drainages covering a total area of 6,633 km2. The modified sampling strategy added the collection of bulk stream-sediment and pebbles samples to a typical RGS silt-sediment sample. These new samples were used to derive mineralogical information and geochemical data to inform new insights into the upstream geology of each drainage basin.
The survey provided new geochemical information including counts of gold grains, pan concentrate sulphides, and metamorphosed and magmatic massive sulphide indicator minerals. Field site information plus trace metal and mineralogical results from bulk-stream sediment samples collected during the 2019 regional geochemical survey have been integrated with previously published RGS data, mineral occurrence data and bedrock mapping to produce a series of thematic maps. The raw unprocessed analytical data and maps are available in the Deliverables section below.
Results suggest detection and interpretation of mineral dispersion has been enhanced and the overall geochemical coverage of the region has been improved.