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.

 

Just Posted

Atom Stars host hockey tourney

Seven teams from the region clashed sticks

VIDEO: Orcas put on a show near Hornby Island

Louis Jobodin shares photos and video of his experience

VIDEO: B.C. Lions sign defensive back T.J. Lee to contract for upcoming season

The four-year veteran had a team-high four interceptions and 49 tackles last season with B.C.

How an immigrant to Canada helped Donald Trump prove his mental health

Test that cleared Trump was developed by doctor associated with McGill and Sherbrooke universities

Premier touches on multiple topics ahead of Asia trade trip

Housing and childcare are expected to be the focus of the BC NDP’s first budget in February.

Premier offers condolences to family of boy, 15, killed in Vancouver crossfire

John Horgan: ‘No stone is to be left unturned until we find the perpetrator of this heinous crime’

VIDEO: Explorers uncover Canada’s deepest cave in Fernie

The cave, named Bisaro Anima, was confirmed to have broken the record on New Year’s Day

Players sought for National Aboriginal Hockey Championships

ISPARC calls for bantam/midget players to register for selection camp in Kamloops

New funding opens for industry innovation

Northern Development Initiative Trust opened new funds, focused on areas impacted by the pine beetle

Vernon to host largest Special Olympics B.C. Winter Games in 2019

Games to be held Feb. 21-23, with more than 800 athletes expected to take part

Most Read