October 2007    Print this article

Additional geoscience programming
New regional geochemical and geophysical surveys

Sylvain Lacroix, Director
Bureau de l'exploration géologique du Québec
Géologie Québec directorate

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The Bureau de l’exploration géologique du Québec (BEGQ) is hereby presenting four additional geoscience projects (nos. 12 to 15) which it is planning to carry out in Québec before spring 2008 (map in PDF format). These consist of four new regional geochemical and geophysical surveys, in addition to the eleven geoscience projects presented in the May 2007 issue of Québec mines.

A lake-bottom-sediment survey (no. 12), initially proposed by stakeholders of the Côte-Nord administrative region, will cover the southwestern sector of the Sept-Rivières RCM, immediately north of Sept-Îles. The goal of this survey is to identify new exploration targets likely to promote mineral exploration in this area of the Grenville Province.

Québec's Ministère des Ressources naturelles et de la Faune (MRNF) will be conducting a high-resolution ground gravity survey (no. 13) over the eastern part of the Blake River Group in Québec, while the Geological Survey of Canada (GSC) will be carrying out a similar survey in the western part of the same geological unit. This project issues from a suggestion by Mr. Pierre Bérubé, the president of Abitibi Géophysique inc., who initially proposed this type of survey along the Cadillac Fault. After consultation with the mining industry, it was decided to expand the survey's coverage to include the entire Blake River Group, thereby responding to the regional priority issue targeted by the Copper Plan and the IGC/TGI 3 Targeted Geoscience Initiative. The coverage of the new joint MRNF/GSC gravity survey should provide a clearer picture (three-dimensional) of the volcanic and plutonic architecture of the Blake River Group and outline new exploration sectors in Québec's most prolific copper mining camp, the Rouyn-Noranda mining camp.

An airborne gravity survey is being contemplated over the northern part of the Harricana-Turgeon Belt (no. 14). The survey would extend from Matagami in the east to the Ontario border in the west, and northward to the boundary of the Abitibi Subprovince (NTS 32 E 14-15-16, south part of L 2 and 3). It would adjoin the western boundary of the ground gravity survey conducted in 2006 on the west limb of the Galinée anticline, near Matagami. The sector targeted by this survey has excellent base metal potential (Matagami and Selbaie mining camps), but remains under-explored because of a lack of outcrop and the presence of thick Quaternary accumulations.

An extensive aeromagnetic survey is being planned in the northern part of the Baie-James territory (no. 15). A total of 28 NTS map sheets at a scale of 1:50,000 should be covered along an east-west band more than 350 km long and more than 100 km wide. The survey primarily targets the Opinaca reservoir sector, on sheets 33C 9-10-11-15-16 and 33B 11-12-13-14, and then extends eastward, south of the LG 3 and LG 4 reservoirs (33G 1 to 12, 33H 1 to 8). It is intended to clarify the regional geological setting of the recent Éléonore gold discovery, and to identify new exploration sectors further east.

Finally, the area targeted by the second phase of the Rivière Octave project (no. 1) will be doubled to cover two SQRC (Québec topographic system) map sheets at a scale of 1:20,000 (32F03-200-0101 and 32F04-200-0102). This overburden and bedrock drilling project will provide a better understanding of the geology of a highly prospective sector that contains isolated deposits (Sleeping Giant, Langlois) but remains little known and under-explored because of significant Quaternary accumulations and a lack of outcrop.

The results of all the above-mentioned geochemical and geophysical surveys, as well as those of the Rivière Octave project (phase 2), will be revealed during the Québec Exploration 2008 event.

The amount of work conducted to acquire new geoscience knowledge should remain significant over the coming years. In the 2007-2008 Budget Speech, presented on May 24, 2007, the gouvernement du Québec provided Géologie Québec with additional funding of $21 million over the next three financial years, amounting to $7 million each for 2007-2008, 2008-2009 and 2009-2010. The funds will be used to target strategic geographical sectors for exploration work and to promote the mineral potential of the various regions of Québec.

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