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

A female prisoner sent Langford police officers a thank-you card after she spent days in their custody. (Twitter/West Shore RCMP)
Woman gives Victoria-area jail 4.5-star review in handwritten card to police after arrest

‘We don’t often get thank you cards from people who stay with us, but this was sure nice to see’: RCMP

Staff and volunteers at the Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea were disappointed by the theft of an educational porpoise skull likely taken on Jan. 8. (Courtesy of Tina Kelly)
Well-loved porpoise skull stolen from Sidney aquarium

Skull had been used for youth and visitor education and outreach for years

The Starbucks in Langford’s Westshore Town Centre is one of almost 300 storefronts that the U.S. coffee giant will be shutting across Canada by the end of March. (Google Maps)
Langford’s Westshore Town Centre Starbucks to close permanently

Popular coffee chain to close 300 storefronts across Canada by end of March

An Oak Bay Police officer handed out five tickets for “fail to obey stop sign” and two tickets for using a cell phone while driving, all within two hours at King George Terrace on Jan. 11. (Oak Bay Police Twitter)
Man confronts unmasked group at Oak Bay Marina

Oak Bay police issue plenty of tickets in short King George Terrace visit

A 45-metre tall call tower is proposed for Westhills Stadium. (Black Press Media file photo)
New cell tower proposed for Westhills Stadium in Langford

Tower will increase capacity in congested network: staff report

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C. adjusts COVID-19 vaccine rollout for delivery slowdown

Daily cases decline over weekend, 31 more deaths

An elk got his antlers caught up in a zip line in Youbou over the weekend. (Conservation Officer Service Photo)
Elk rescued from zip line in Youbou on Vancouver Island

Officials urge people to manage items on their property that can hurt animals

A Trail man has a lucky tin for a keepsake after it saved him from a stabbing last week. File photo
Small tin in Kootenay man’s jacket pocket saved him from stabbing: RCMP

The man was uninjured thanks to a tin in his jacket

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation Chantel Moore, 26, was fatally shot by a police officer during a wellness check in the early morning of June 4, 2020, in Edmundston, N.B. (Facebook)
Frustrated family denied access to B.C. Indigenous woman’s police shooting report

Independent investigation into B.C. woman’s fatal shooting in New Brunswick filed to Crown

Delta Police Constable Jason Martens and Dezi, a nine-year-old German Shepherd that recently retired after 10 years with Delta Police. (Photo submitted)
Dezi, a Delta police dog, retires on a high note after decade of service

Nine-year-old German Shepherd now fights over toys instead of chasing down bad guys

Nurses collect samples from a patient in a COVID suspect room in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at St. Paul’s hospital in downtown Vancouver, Tuesday, April 21, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
5 British Columbians under 20 years old battled COVID-19 in ICU in recent weeks

Overall hospitalizations have fallen but young people battling the virus in hospital has increased

Canada released proposed regulations Jan. 2 for the fisheries minister to maintain Canada’s major fish stocks at sustainable levels and recover those at risk. (File photo)
New laws would cement DFO accountability to depleted fish stocks

Three B.C. salmon stocks first in line for priority attention under proposed regulations

Trees destroyed a Shoreacres home during a wind storm Jan. 13, 2021. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay woman flees just before tree crushes house

Pamala DeRosa is thankful to be alive

Gin, one of the Kantymirs’ two sheep. (Martha Wickett-Salmon Arm Observer)
Sheep start up ATV, sit in cars and go for walks in Salmon Arm

Until they bought two sheep, Ken and Karleen Kantymir didin’t realize just how social the animals are

Most Read