Helicopter equipped with magnetometer maps underground regions of magnetic minerals

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

Environment Canada has issued a wind warning for Greater Victoria, with winds expected to get up to 70 km/h Friday morning. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)
Wind warning promises blustery Friday for Greater Victoria

Winds up to 70 km/h expected Friday morning

Passengers in rows 13 to 19 on Air Canada Jazz flight 8069 from Vancouver to Victoria Feb. 28 were exposed to a case of COVID-19. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
COVID-19 exposure found on flight from Vancouver to Victoria

Passengers in rows 13 to 19 on Air Canada Jazz flight 8069 Feb. 28 affected

Crews deal with a rock slide on the Malahat section of Highway 1 in 2017. (Black Press Media file photo)
Rock work closes Highway 1 in Langford for spurts

Friday closures could delay drivers up to 20 minutes

Low interest rates have acted as a catalyst for the pandemic real estate market. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy)
Real estate sales surging across Greater Victoria but risks lie ahead

Single family home prices jump nine per cent over past year while condo values remain stable

Protestors against old growth logging gather in front of the courthouse in Victoria on Thursday morning. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)
Fairy Creek protesters gather at Victoria courthouse

Logging company seeks injunction to remove blockades near its Port Renfrew operation

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the B.C. legislature press theatre to give a daily update on the COVID-19 pandemic, April 6, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. nears 300,000 COVID-19 vaccinations, essential workers next

564 new cases, four deaths, no new outbreaks Thursday

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: How’s your butter?

Recent reports have some Canadians giving a second look to one of… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of March 2

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

Walter Gretzky father of hockey hall-of-famer Wayne Gretzky waves to fans as the Buffalo Sabres play against the Toronto Maple Leafs during third period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky, father of the Great One, dies at 82

Canada’s hockey dad had battled Parkinson’s disease and other health issues

The intersection of Melrose Street and Third Avenue. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Suspect in custody after two pedestrians struck in Port Alberni hit and run

RCMP asking for video footage, credit witnesses for quick arrest

(National Emergency Management Agency)
No tsunami risk to B.C. from powerful New Zealand earthquake: officials

An 8.1 magnitude earthquake shook the north of New Zealand Thursday morning

Comox Valley RCMP had access to 20 Street blocked off between Cousins and Choquette avenues as they conducted a raid of a house on the block. Photo by Terry Farrell
Comox Valley RCMP raid Courtenay problem house, several arrests made

Comox Valley RCMP conducted a raid of a problem house on 20th… Continue reading

(AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)
Pandemic stress, isolation key factors as to why Canadians turned to cannabis, alcohol

Study found that isolation played key role in Canadians’ substance use

Grand Forks’ Gary Smith stands in front of his Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster float. Photo: Submitted
Grand Forks’ Flying Spaghetti Monster leader still boiling over driver’s licence photo

Gary Smith, head of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster of B.C., said he has since spoken to lawyers

Most Read