Geological mapping in the Côte-Nord (North
Department survey creates interest among mining companies
During the summer of 2004, the Department carried
out geological mapping in the watersheds of the Outardes and Manicouagan
Rivers north of Baie-Comeau (NTS 22F/10 – lac Varin). The
project is part of a wide program of geological mapping aimed at
improving knowledge of the mineral potential of the Côte-Nord
area, thereby favoring the diversification of its economy.
The area is underlain mainly by anorthosites and
related rocks belonging to the Grenville geological province, which
covers most of the Côte-Nord region. The Grenville is well
known for its titanium and iron potential, which is best demonstrated
by the Lac Tio deposit located north of Havre-Saint-Pierre. The
Grenville also has excellent potential for base metals, such as
copper, nickel, and cobalt, and for dimension stone, which is currently
experiencing strong growth in Québec.
During this survey, several mineral occurrences
were discovered in rocks belonging to the Vallant Anorthositic Suite.
A dozen new iron and titanium (ilmenite) showings
have been added to those already known in the area; half of them
are enriched in phosphorus (apatite).
(Fe–Ti) showing hosted in leuconorite.
(Fe–Ti–P) showing located on an island in the
Two new copper-nickel showings in anorthosite of
the Vallant Suite are unusual in that they do not appear to be associated
with mafic or ultramafic rocks, which are the typical hosts for
these metals. These discoveries thus open up a new exploration approach
for such deposits.
Several occurrences of granitic dimension stone
have been found in the Vallant Anorthositic Suite and in the Varin
Plutonic Suite. The quality and size of the resource in these sites
remain to be determined. It should be noted that Autoroute 389, secondary
roads, and numerous forest roads provide easy access to the area.
Titanium: In oxide form, it is
used as a pigment in paint and as an additive in plastics, paper,
and medicines. It is used in alloys for planes and missiles. It
is found in golf clubs, bicycles, portable computers, and prostheses.
It is often used as a catalyzer, for example, in the polymerization
Phosphorus: It is an ingredient
in chemical fertilizers (phosphates), fireworks, matches, toothpaste,
and cleaning agents. It is used as a nutritional additive in cheese
and as an additive in lubricants. It can be found, among other places,
in delicatessen products, soft drinks, yeast, and condensed milk.