Virtual two-dimensional slices through BC's Kootenays help explorers target the next Sullivan deposit

Vancouver, BC - April 6, 2018 - A new report from Geoscience BC merges information from two different geophysical surveys to provide a clearer picture of where new mineral deposits might be found beneath the Purcell Mountains in southeastern British Columbia.

The virtual two-dimensional (2D) slices through the earth created in this project provide new and valuable insight into the relationships between 'blobs' of elevated electrical conductivity and rock layers delineated by seismic profiles. The new information will help to guide future exploration, and may also be used by communities, Indigenous groups and government when considering economic development and land use planning.

"Combining these two geophysical techniques can provide a powerful tool for mapping and targeting stratigraphically and/or structurally controlled zones that may be prospective, but that are hidden from many surface exploration techniques," said project leader and geophysicist Fred Cook, Salt Spring Imaging Ltd.

Seismic data provides information about the structure of rock layers below the surface, while magnetotelluric (MT) surveys measure the electrical conductivity of rock materials. Together, they are a powerful tool that can be used to target where accumulations of valuable minerals might be found.

BC's East Kootenay region has high mineral potential and is home to the Sullivan deposit, one of the largest silver-lead-zinc deposits in the world. Geoscience BC has been active in the Purcell Basin for a decade, conducting geophysical surveys, mapping and sampling projects as part of the SEEK (Stimulating Exploration in the East Kootenays) Project. Geoscience BC have also supported numerous post-graduate students to investigate the mineral potential of the region.

Commenting on the new information, Geoscience BC Vice President of Minerals and Mining Bruce Madu said: "The world-class Sullivan deposit was mined for over 90 years, but the geological setting might not be unique. There may be another out there and this new data will help find the next Sullivan deposit."

Accessing Information

To view the reports and maps, visit the project page or view the information on our Earth Science Viewer.

View 2016-001 project page     View Project 2016-001 in Earth Science Viewer


About Geoscience BC

Geoscience BC is an independent, non-profit organization that generates earth science information in collaboration with First Nations, local communities, governments, academia and the resource sector. Our independent earth science enables informed resource management decisions. Geoscience BC gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the Province of British Columbia.