The Geological Survey of Canada carried out reconnaissance-scale to deposit-scale geochemical and indicator-mineral surveys and case studies across northern Canada between 2008 and 2020 as part of its Geo-mapping for Energy and Minerals (GEM) program. In these studies, surficial geochemistry was used to determine the concentrations of up to 65 elements in various sample media including lake sediment, lake water, stream sediment, stream water, or till samples across approximately 1 000 000 km2 of northern Canada. As part of these surficial geochemistry surveys, indicator mineral methods were also used in regional-scale and deposit-scale stream sediment and till surveys. Through this program, areas with anomalous concentrations of elements and/or indicator minerals that are indicative of bedrock mineralization were identified, new mineral exploration models and protocols were developed, a new generation of geoscientists was trained, and geoscience knowledge was transferred to northern communities. Regional- and deposit-scale studies demonstrated how transport data (till geochemistry, indicator mineral abundance) and ice-flow indicator data can be used together to identify and understand complex ice flow and glacial transport. Detailed studies at the Izok Lake Zn-Cu-Pb-Ag VMS, Nunavut, the Pine Point carbonate-hosted Pb-Zn in the Northwest Territories, the Strange Lake REE deposit in Quebec and Labrador as well as U-Cu-Fe-F and Cu-Ag-Au-Au IOCG deposits in the Great Bear magmatic zone, Northwest Territories demonstrate new suites of indicator minerals that can now be used in future reconnaissance- and regional-scale stream sediment and till surveys across Canada.
Scientific editing by Scott Wood