February 2008    Print this article

PDAC 2008 – New exploration opportunities in Québec

Daniel Bandyayera and Sylvain Lacroix

As part of its mission to prepare the future of Québec’s mineral industry, the Ministère des Ressources naturelles et de la Faune (MRNF) will be presenting a major exhibit during the 2008 edition of the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) Convention. In order to showcase new opportunities for mineral exploration in Québec, the MRNF has decided to focus on four major themes this year.

The changing face of Abitibi

The Abitibi region still has many secrets yet to be revealed, starting with its gold and base metal resources. The Abitibi is one of the most important regions in the world in terms of gold, copper, zinc, and silver production. It also constitutes the largest Archean volcano-sedimentary assemblage in the world. Following new detailed geological surveys and new geochronology dating, the everchanging face of Abitibi continues to attract mining investors, old and new.

New mining camp in the Baie James region

Since the discovery of the world-class Roberto gold deposit, the Baie James region has experienced a major boom in mineral exploration. Several mineral occurrences have been discovered in a variety of metallogenic settings. Moreover, this area is much larger and less well known compared to the Abitibi. The region still has many virgin areas, unstaked and unexplored lands. In addition to the Troilus mine, the new Baie James mining camp hosts nine deposits with NI-43-101-compliant indicated mineral resources, namely: Eleonore (Au), Eau Claire (Au), Zone 32 (Au), Orfée (Au), Eastmain mine (Au), MacLeod Lake (Cu), Lac Rocher (Ni), Lac Levac (Cu-Ni-PGE) and the AM-15 Zone (U).

2006-2007 geoscience work and new exploration targets

To support this resurgence of mining activity, the MRNF has also launched an ambitious project to acquire new aeromagnetic data in the Baie James region. In 2008, 29 map sheets at 1/50,000 scale, between Réservoir Opinaca and Réservoir La Grande, have already been surveyed, and this aeromagnetic data will be available in the fall 2008. Meanwhile, throughout Québec, mapping surveys at various scales target areas with strong mineral potential or where the geology is not well defined. As a result, mineral occurrences and interesting metallogenic settings are inventoried and presented in the form of mineral exploration targets.

Distribution of uranium occurrences in Québec

The MRNF exhibit will also show the impact of the “Gamma effect” of uranium exploration in Québec. Based on a recent lake-bottom sediment geochemistry survey in the Far North and compilation of Sigéom data, exploration targets are proposed for uranium. A map showing the distribution of several types of known uranium deposits is also available.

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