VP of Minerals for Geoscience BC Bruce Madu at Sept. 2015 unveiling in Terrace of equipment used in airborne mineral survey.

Survey excites miners in northwestern B.C.

Airborne equipment scopes out potential mineral projects

  • Feb. 26, 2016 5:00 p.m.

By Alicia Bridges

A new survey of mineral deposits in the area could lead to a spike in exploration in the northwest, according to Smithers Exploration Group president Rob Maurer.

Non-profit organization Geoscience B.C. last year used aerial magnetic surveys to detect concentrations of minerals in an area between Terrace, Kitimat and Smithers, including sites that had not been surveyed since the 1960s.

Data from the survey was unveiled at the recent Minerals Roundup conference, held by the Association for Minerals Exploration B.C. (AME BC) in Vancouver.

According to Geoscience B.C., the project was designed to identify mineral resource potential and to help guide land use decisions.

“The data we have generated here will provide detailed insights into the bedrock and focus mineral exploration and investment in this area,” said Geoscience B.C. minerals and mining vice president Bruce Madu.

Another survey is planned for the area between Smithers and Vanderhoof this year.

Smithers Exploration Group (SEG) president Rob Maurer, who attended the AME BC conference, said similar surveys in stronger economic times had led to increased exploration.

“When it’s been done in the past, when economic times were more plentiful, the aerial survey information being released has actually set off some little staking rushes where people are quick to get in there and stake claims in spots they think show promise based on the information,” said Maurer.

Although exploration has slowed with the downturn in the mining industry, Maurer said the new information could still stimulate activity in the northwest.

He said the data would not specifically identify where to build a mine, but it helped narrow down the search for hidden resources.

Because sites that looked promising could be snapped up quickly, Maurer expected the data would lead to increased exploration in the survey area.

“To take advantage of this information people do have to stake mineral claims or someone else will stake claim to that resource,” he said.

“And to keep those claims people have to do work every year and it’s a matter of, they need to spend an amount of money or do an equivalent amount of work that equates to a number of dollars per hectare per year.”

However, Maurer emphasized the survey was unlikely to lead to a sudden boom in exploration. Instead, he said a slow increase might occur, starting with small amounts of sampling, prospecting or reclamation.

“I wouldn’t want to get people’s hopes up that this survey will become an instant boom and there’s going to be drillers and camps and jobs for everyone,” said Maurer.

“Even in a stronger economy and a stronger investor climate, those things still take time.”

Alicia Bridges is a reporter with The Interior News in Smithers.






Just Posted

College buys a yurt to boost student success

Round tent-like structure part of college instructional shift

Soup kitchen sees “groundswell of community support”

Donations toward looming tax bill push non-profit back in the black

Terrace husband and wife honoured for saving each other’s lives

BC Ambulance presented each a Vital Link Award for separate incidents of CPR

Council supports lobby for fair share of cannabis tax revenue

The City of Terrace is throwing its support behind a West Kelowna… Continue reading

Airport registers modest passenger increase

Manager anticipates further growth in 2018 as expansion project nears completion

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

A look at potential Canadian nominees for this year’s Oscars

The nominations are to be revealed Tuesday morning for the 90th Academy Awards

Complaint against Prince George RCMP in death of Wet’suwet’en man

Thirty-five year old Dale Culver died while in Prince George RCMP custody last summer.

B.C. expert weighs in on why kids are eating Tide pods for fun

Why are kids taking part in something completely pointless yet so risky?

Philadelphia Eagles headed to Super Bowl

After routing the Minnesota Vikings 38-7, they will face Tom Brady and the New England Patriots

Heavy snowfall closes Mount Washington on Vancouver Island

Road to ski resort deemed unsafe, vehicles buried under more than three feet of snow

VIDEO: Dramatic video shows return of rescued B.C. snowboarders

Two snowboarders were rescued near Rossland, B.C. on Sunday after being lost overnight.

Tom Brady leads Patriots back to Super Bowl, top Jaguars 24-20

New England to face winner of Sunday night’s game between Minnesota and Philadelphia on Feb. 4

Liberals quietly tap experts to write new paternity leave rules

Ideas include creating an entirely new leave benefit similar to one that exists in Quebec

Most Read