Geochemical signatures around massive sulphide deposits in southern British Columbia, Canada
Published:January 01, 2001
Ray E. Lett, 2001. "Geochemical signatures around massive sulphide deposits in southern British Columbia, Canada", Drift Exploration in Glaciated Terrain, M. B. McClenaghan, P. T. Bobrowsky, G. E. M. Hall, S. J. Cook
Download citation file:
This paper demonstrates the application of geochemical exploration for sulphide mineralization in glaciated areas by a case history illustrating the discovery of Cu–Pb–Zn–Ag–Au massive sulphide deposits in southern British Columbia, Canada. These deposits, hosted by Palaeozoic metasedimentary and metavolcanic rocks of the Kootenay Terrane, were first detected by weakly anomalous Cu and Au values in regional stream sediment samples and subsequently confirmed by more detailed stream and soil geochemical surveys, prospecting and diamond drilling.
Till geochemistry is a very effective exploration method because there is a well developed dispersal plume of mineralized bedrock down-ice from the massive sulphide deposits. Elevated Au, Pb, Cu and As levels in till samples collected up to 8 km down-ice from the deposits are direct indicators for sulphide mineralization. Barium, Cr and Ni are pathfinders for distinguishing different types of sulphide mineralization. The relationship between the bedrock, stream sediment, stream water and till geochemistry is shown more clearly in a conceptual model. This model has a practical application to future exploration for massive sulphides in southern British Columbia by establishing criteria such as geochemical anomaly size and contrast for different sample media.
Figures & Tables
Drift Exploration in Glaciated Terrain
This volume describes the use of till geochemical and indicator mineral methods for mineral exploration in glaciated terrain of Canada. The principles and examples described in this volume wil have direct applications for exploration companies and prospectors exploring for diamonds, precious and base metals and uranium in glaciated parts of North America, northern Europe and Asia and mountainous regions of South America.
The first two papers in this volume provide an introduction to glaciated terrain and the two styles of glaciation that have affected the world, continental glaciers in broad flat lying Shield areas and alpine glaciers in mountainous terrain. Sampling techniques are described next, followed by an introduction to the use of heavy minerals. Heavy mineral methodss have become an important exploration tool in glaciated terrain for gold and base metals and, in the last ten years, for diamonds. Lake sediments and biogeochemical methods are also included in this volume as a complement to geochemical and indicator mineral methods in glaciated terrain. A chapter on GIS has been included because data interpretation and display are important and essential parts of any regional or detailed geochemical survey. The remainder of the volume is case studies for the three main glaciated terrain tyes in Canada: Shield, Appalachia and Cordillera