Mining exploration might still be in a near deep freeze, but Geoscience B.C. is busy planning to fly possibly its biggest-ever airborne geophysical survey to map the mineral potential of a huge swath of west-central British Columbia.
With a total budget of $2.42 million over last year and this year, the project that the survey is part of is viewed as a longer-term play than the current conditions in mining that give companies little appetite for expansion.
The survey work will see a helicopter point a spear-like high-tech magnetometer out over the landscape as it flies a rectangular grid covering more than 25,000 square kilometres of the province roughly between Smithers and Vanderhoof. The data it generates will translate a picture of forests and lakes into a multi-hued map of the magnetic signatures within the subsurface rocks and soils that point to mineralization.
“It’s going to span some of the best geology in the province for new mineral discoveries,” said Bruce Madu, Geoscience B.C.’s vice-president for minerals and mining, of the planned survey.
The region shows promise for copper, Madu said, maybe molybdenum, zinc or silver, except it remains an open question as to when mining companies might take up the data Geoscience B.C. generates into new exploration programs.
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