Tree Tops Could Provide Clues As To What Minerals Lie Below

"Imagine if you can only sample the vegetation to learn about what's in the soil, as opposed to actually having to dig holes..."

Could identifying land with mineral deposits in BC be as simple as sampling the tops of trees?

Geoscience BC thinks so as it gets set to reveal results of a pilot project that looks at tree samples for precious minerals.

It’s well established that coniferous trees such as spruce can pick up metals and other elements from the soil and concentrate them in the bark, twigs and needles,” says Bruce Madu of Geoscience BC. “Through this program, we hope to provide new information that will encourage people to take a fresh look at the area’s mineral potential.”

Last Spring, researchers used a helicopter to snip samples from more than 420 trees in central BC.

The idea is that this method would offer mineral-exploration companies & prospectors an easier and less invasive way to study areas that are otherwise difficult to get to.

Traditional prospecting methods include mapping, measuring magnetic/electrical properties of rocks on the surface and underground, drilling & analyzing samples.

Geoscience BC’s $4-million project is working to understand the mineral potential of a 24,000-square-km area south from Vanderhoof and Fraser Lake and west from Quesnel.

The results will be discussed this week at the 29th Annual Kamloops Exploration Group (KEG) Conference.

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