Helicopter equipped with magnetometer maps underground regions of magnetic minerals

Geological survey expands in western B.C.

Helicopter magnetic survey locates minerals, natural gas and water at different depths in the Earth crust

The latest geophysical survey of B.C. will map the largest area so far, creating a three-dimensional image indicating mineral and water resources far underground.

Geoscience BC has received $5 million from the provincial government for the Search II project, to complete an aerial magnetic survey of a 24,000 hectares between Fort Fraser and Smithers, north of Tweedsmuir Provincial Park.

After 10 years and 135 projects, the non-profit Geoscience BC has produced new earth science data for about half of the province’s area. The aerial surveys use a magnetometer to record local disturbances in the Earth’s magnetic field caused by magnetic minerals in the upper regions of the crust.

Last year’s helicopter survey of the Chilcotin Plateau included collecting samples from the tops of spruce trees. The cuttings are analyzed for mineral content, providing information in areas with no roads and few lakes for float plane access by prospectors.

[Video of tree sampling below]

Magnetic surveys of northeast B.C. have located saline aquifers as well as gas pools in deep shale formations. They also detect shallower fresh-water aquifers.

Carlos Salas, Geoscience BC vice-president for energy, said the northeast survey covered Treaty 8 First Nations territories at their request, mapping water and mineral zones.

“Over the Doig River First Nation community we found what looks like a really good aquifer they will be able to use as a source for their community,” Salas said.

Dallas Smith, president of the Nanwakolas Council representing Central Coast First Nations, is a director of Geoscience BC. He said understanding the locations of groundwater and mineral deposits helps in making development decisions.

“We understand the depths of some of these things,” Smith said. “It makes it a lot easier to keep that in reality and not start doing what seems to happen in First Nations territories, when we kind of romanticize these issues a little bit.”

The latest aerial survey area contains the former Bell-Granisle copper-gold mines and the idled Endako molybdenum mine. It will map the area north of the Huckleberry copper mine and the proposed Blackwater gold mine southwest of Prince George.

Just Posted

PHOTOS: City of Colwood hosts a ‘heartwarming start’ to the holidays

Colwood Christmas Light Up Celebration sees surge in attendance

B.C. Transit saves $300,000, scores 28 used fareboxes idle in California

‘Someone joked maybe we can buy used fareboxes on eBay,’ CEO says

Trauma sufferers support group takes shape on West Shore

Aaron’s Society open to more peer support groups with certified trauma practitioners

Hundreds of students gather at Government House to decorate Christmas Trees

The annual tradition let Grade 2 and 3 students help celebrate for the holidays

Tenants above Wellburns uncertain after ‘nightmare’ sewage flood ousts them indefinitely

Tenants evacuated after sewage flooded basement of century-old building

VIDEO: John Lennon’s iconic Rolls Royce rolls into Camosun College for checkup

Royal BC Museum, Camosun College and Coachwerks Restorations come together to care for car

POLL: Will you be donating to charities over the holiday season?

Many here in Victoria joined others around the world to take part… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Dec. 3

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

VIDEO: Rockslide closes part of Highway 93 in Fairmont Hot Springs

Geotechnical team called in to do an assessment after rocks fell from hoodoos

Petition calls for appeal of ex-Burns Lake mayor’s sentence for sex assault

Prosecution service says Luke Strimbold’s case is under review

Northwest B.C. wildlife shelter rescues particularly tiny bear cub

Shelter co-founder says the cub weighs less than a third of what it should at this time of year

BC firefighters to help battle Australian bushfires

Canada sent 22 people, including 7 from B.C.

B.C. NDP touts the end of MSP premiums

Horgan, James held news conference to reiterate that people will get their last bill this month

Oscar Hickes: Longest running hockey tournament on Vancouver Island cancelled

Patrick Murray, one of the organizers for the tournament, broke the sad news on social media.

Most Read