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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

LETTER: Verbal attack on foreign workers disturbing

Racist and derogatory comments on social media disheartening and disappointing to Maple Ridge native

LETTER: How about a fashion contest for COVID face gear

Not trying to make light of the pandemic, but how about a community competition, no age limit

ON THE PAGE: FVRL Express launches Monday

It’s as easy as click, pick, and go at Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows libraries starting next week

LETTER: Doctor calls foul on plea for hazard pay

Dr. Walton doesn’t believe he deserve any thing more for working during COVID

Virtual gala brings dinner to the door and money to locals in need

Maple Ridge Community Foundation is holding a ‘Night In Gala’ fundraiser on June 13

11 new COVID-19 cases in B.C. as top doc urges caution amid ‘encouraging’ low rates

Dr. Bonnie Henry also announced that two care home outbreaks would be declared over

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

Thanks for helping The News to continue its mission to provide trusted local news

Surrey mayor’s party under fire for ‘sickening’ tweet accusing northern B.C. RCMP of murder

Mayor Doug McCallum says tweet, Facebook post ‘sent out by unauthorized person’

Father’s Day Walk Run for prostate cancer will be virtual event this year throughout B.C.

The annual fundraiser for Prostate Cancer Foundation BC has brought in $2.5 million since 1999

Dr. Bonnie Henry announces official ban on overnight kids’ camps this summer

New ban comes after talking with other provincial health officials across the country, Henry says

Senior man in hospital after unprovoked wolf attack near Prince Rupert

Conservation officers are on site looking for the wolf

VIDEO: NASA astronauts blast off into space on SpaceX rocket

Marks NASA’s first human spaceflight launched from U.S. soil in nearly a decade

‘I knew what he wanted’: Kootenay man spends hours in tree as black bear patrols below

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

B.C.’s police watchdog probing death of Richmond man in alleged shoplifting incident

Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is asking any witnesses to come forward

Most Read