GeoscienceBC refines geological survey information to find potential mineral deposits. The aerial magnetic surveys have begun searching for underground aquifers.

GeoscienceBC refines geological survey information to find potential mineral deposits. The aerial magnetic surveys have begun searching for underground aquifers.

Mineral survey expands to gas industry

Encouraged by mineral finds, the B.C. government is extending aerial geological surveys to search for water in B.C.'s natural gas patch

Encouraged by its success in finding mineral deposits, the B.C. government is extending aerial geological surveys to search for water in the natural gas region of B.C.

Energy and Mines Minister Bill Bennett announced a $3 million extension of provincial funding for non-profit research organization GeoscienceBC at the Minerals North conference in Vanderhoof last week. The economy of the small community west of Prince George is historically based on farming and forest products, but one of B.C.’s largest gold mines is in development near there.

Bennett said New Gold’s Blackwater mine project, 110 km southwest of Vanderhoof, is a direct result of the GeoscienceBC survey that started in 2005 and identified the region as having metal mine potential. New Gold is continuing drilling this summer and proceeding with environmental assessment, planning to start construction once the price of gold recovers sufficiently to support the project.

New Gold expects the mine to generate 1,200 construction jobs and 500 operations jobs.

GeoscienceBC extended its survey last year to search for water aquifers around the major shale gas developments in the northeast. Deep salt-water aquifers can be used as sources of water for hydraulic fracturing and for disposal of contaminated water that comes up with gas.

The survey can also detect shallow fresh water aquifers, so they can be avoided in gas drilling and maintained for drinking and irrigation uses.

Bennett said the magnetic survey may also help understand the seismic effects of natural gas activities. Another application is searching for gravel deposits, which are used all over the province for road and other construction.

GeoscienceBC is the only public non-profit geological research organization in Canada. Its exploratory work narrows the search area for mineral exploration companies.

Bennett credited its work for locating a new metal ore deposit at the Huckleberry Mine south of Houston, extending its expected operation to 2021.

 

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

Just Posted

Alina Durham, mother of Shaelene Bell, lights candles on behalf of Bell’s two sons during a vigil on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO and PHOTOS: Candlelight vigil for Shaelene Bell of Chilliwack sends message of hope

Small group of family, friends gathered to shine light for 23-year-old mother missing for four weeks

The Great Bear Snowshed on the Coquihalla Highway (Highway 5) in British Columbia. Truck driver Roy McCormack testified in BC Supreme Court in Chilliwack on Feb. 25, 2021 that his brakes started smoking in about this location, and soon after he lost all braking, which led to a multi-vehicle crash further down the road on Aug. 5, 2016. (GoogleMaps)
Truck driver charged in Coquihalla crash showed ‘wanton and reckless disregard for other people’s lives’: Crown

Despite already having brake issues, Roy McCormack tackled the steepest hill on the infamous highway

Abbotsford International Airport. Black Press file photo.
Abbotsford Airport had 4th highest traffic in Canada in 2020, and its number are down

Statistics Canada report describes a ‘devastating year’ for air travel

(Black Press - file photo)
WEATHER: Enjoy the sun today, prepare for a week of rain

Clouds and rain to arrive by evening, Environment Canada forecasts

Chilliwack’s Ryan Wugalter with his kids, three-year-old Mira and 15-month-old Solomon. Wugalter recently released his children’s album Super Giraffe. (Submitted)
Chilliwack father releases children’s album, songs about superhero giraffe and not eating magnets

Inspiration for Ryan Wugalter’s new album ‘Super Giraffe’ came from his two young kids

Dr. Bonnie Henry leaves the podium after talking about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
COVID: 589 new cases in B.C., and 7 new deaths

No new outbreaks being reported Feb. 26

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

Approximate location of the vehicle incident. (Google Maps)
Vehicle incident blocking Coquihalla traffic in both directions

Both directions of traffic stopped due to vehicle incident

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Inez Louis, who is strategic operations planner with the health department in the Sto:lo Service Agency, talks about infection control in the latest YouTube video about COVID-19 created in partnership with the Chilliwack Division of Family Practice and the Chilliwack Economic Recovery Network. (YouTube)
VIDEO: Nurse Inez Louis explains how infection control is not social control

The difference is important for Indigenous people to hear in the context of Canada’s colonial past

Judith Uwamahoro is Black, approximately 4’7″ tall, 80 pounds and has short black hair and brown eyes. (Surrey RCMP handout)
UPDATED: Lower Mainland 9-year-old located after police make public plea

Judith Uwamahoro went missing Friday at around 4 p.m. in Surrey

Five-year-old Nancy Murphy wears a full mask and face shield as she waits in line for her kindergarten class to enter school during the COVID-19 pandemic on Tuesday, September 15, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Variant of concern linked to COVID-19 outbreak at three Surrey schools

Cases appear to be linked to community transmissions, but schools will remain open

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
B.C. children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

BC Ferries experienced heavy traffic on Feb. 27 following cancellations the day before due to strong winds and adverse weather. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries sailings fill up quickly after Friday cancellations due to high winds

Waits expected on Swartz Bay-Tsawwassen route, Horseshoe Bay-Departure Bay route

Most Read