string(10) "[Minerals]"

West Kootenay Geology: Mineral Potential and Regional Compilation

Lead Researcher(s):  T. Hoy

Project ID:  2023-003

Key Research Organization(s):  Independent Consultant

Project Location:  Southeast BC

Strategic Focus Area:  Minerals


This project will inform decision-making and help attract mineral resource development investment to the West Kootenay area in BC’s Southeast Region through the compilation of geologic data from the western four 1:50,000 NTS map sheets of the Nelson mapsheet (NTS 082F). This research continues eastwards from work done in the project Geological Mapping, Compilation and Mineral Evaluation of the Boundary District; Southern British Columbia. The current project area covers approximately 4,000 km2 and incorporates several past-producing mining camps including Rossland (gold-copper), as well as active mineral exploration camps.

The project includes compiling geological data in updated digital maps for the BC Digital Geology database and will be made available on the BC Geological Survey’s MapPlace 2. Final project outputs can be used by the mineral exploration industry, Indigenous groups, and local communities to inform resource development decisions, in particular in the search for critical minerals to contribute to Canada’s net-zero emissions goals and economy.

This is a collaborative project between Geoscience BC and the BC Geological Survey.

The Need

The West Kootenays has an extensive history of mineral exploration and mining activity. Compilation of geological, geophysical and geochemical data supported by targeted new mapping will provide a framework for mineral exploration, for evaluating potential mineral targets in the district and will guide responsible development in an area that has seen renewed mineral exploration interest in recent years.

Project Goals

This project fits under Geoscience BC’s Strategic Objective of Identifying New Natural Resource Opportunities and our goal to:

  • Undertake research that adds value to existing or ongoing data sets through ground-truthing studies, data interpretation and mining camp scale compilations.


The project has four main aims:

  • Compilation of the geology of four 1:50,000 maps from published government maps, industry assessment reports and university theses, eastward from the recently completed Boundary District, and augmented by updated geological maps (and potentially age dating) in key areas.
  • Digital compilation of all locations, geological units/features and outcrops etc. that will be tied to the map compilations.
  • Digitization of all line work, structural data, mineral occurrence data, age dates, and other geological data according to a format supplied by the BC Geological Survey and Geoscience BC for inclusion in MapPlace 2.
  • Publication of individual 1:50,000 maps, suitable for mineral exploration companies, prospectors, resource-based field workers, Indigenous groups, and others interested in the region’s geology and mineral potential.

Project Benefits

The project will update the framework for the evaluation of base and precious metals deposits in the area and help focus and guide mineral exploration in an area with a long history of development and mining as well as recent and ongoing mineral exploration.


This study is in BC’s Southeast Region, covering the western four 1:50,000 NTS map sheets of the Nelson mapsheet (NTS 082F), and encompassing the communities of Rossland, Trail and Castlegar.

View PDF Map of Project Area

According to the Province of British Columbia’s Consultative Areas Database, this includes parts of the following First Nations’ territories: Adams Lake Indian Band; Ktunaxa Nation; Lower Similkameen Indian Band; Neskonlith Indian Band; Okanagan Indian Band; Okanagan Nation Alliance; Osoyoos Indian Band; Penticton Indian Band; Shuswap Band; Skw’lax te Secwepemcul’ecw; Splats’in First Nation; Upper Nicola Band; and Westbank First Nation.

Geoscience BC encourages anyone planning mineral exploration work to first contact Indigenous groups in the area. The Province of British Columbia’s Consultative Areas Database can help with this ( The Association for Mineral Exploration (AME) also produces an Indigenous Engagement Guidebook.