February 2009    Print this article

Québec's Mineral Potential Assessment Earns Food Grades

Daniel Lamothe

Considerable side benefits

The report card for Québec’s mineral potential assessment program for the period 2005 to 2008 is extremely encouraging. Since 2005, 850 exploration targets have been defined and over 3,500 related mining titles recorded. This activity generated direct and indirect side benefits of $210,000 in fees and at least $440,000 in documented exploration activity.

A product that has evolved over the years

Since 2005, mineral potential assessment maps (Table 1) have been produced using ArcGIS software, various metallogenic models, and a number of spatial analysis methods. The metallogenic models involved include

  1. volcanogenic massive sulphide in Abitibi (EP 2005-01);
  2. orogenic gold in Abitibi (EP 2006-01) and Baie-James (EP 2008-01);
  3. porphyritic Cu-Au-Mo deposits in Abitibi (EP 2006-03) and Baie-James (EP 2009-01).

The spatial analysis method most widely used at present consists of empirically weighting each parameter using what is known as the "weight of evidence" technique and combining the weighted maps by means of fuzzy logic (Lamothe et al., 2005; Lamothe, 2008, 2009). In one case, a radial basis function neural network method was utilized (Lamothe and Harris, 2006).

Since the earliest potential assessment studies were published, product format has changed considerably. Between 2000 and 2004, spatial analysis of geo-data was carried out on the MGE platform using a relatively simplistic method of integrating geologic data. This process produced nine annotated maps at a scale of 1:250,000. Three maps of Abitibi (Figure 1a) address potential volcanogenic massive sulphide. Six maps of easternmost Grenville address potential Olympic Dam–Kiruna-type deposits. Lastly, a kimberlite discovery potential study in Québec’s Great North was also conducted (Labbé, 2002). Results for all except the last study are available as e-Atlas modules in the SIGÉOM database (product type PO2), in TIFF format. Selected studies are also available on CD-ROM with methodological text and digital data.

Table 1
List of publications on CD-ROM covering Québec potential assessment
(see Figure 1b)

Product

Description

EP 2001-01

Lamothe, D. and Beaumier, M., 2001, Évaluation du potentiel régional en minéralisations de type Olympic Dam-Kiruna dans la région du lac Manitou (SNRC 22I).

EP 2002-01

Lamothe, D. and Beaumier, M., 2002, Évaluation du potentiel régional en minéralisations de type Olympic Dam-Kiruna dans la région du lac Fournier (SNRC 22P).

EP 2002-04

Dion, C. and Lamothe, D., 2002, Évaluation du potentiel en minéralisations de sulfures massifs volcanogènes de la région de Chibougamau (32G) Intégration de géodonnées par la technologie d’analyse spatiale.

EP 2002-05

Labbé, J.-Y., 2002, Évaluation du potentiel de découverte de kimberlites dans la région du Grand Nord du Québec – Intégration de géodonnées par la technologie d’analyse spatiale.

EP 2005-01
(EP 2005-02)

Lamothe, D.; Harris, J.R.; Labbé, J.-Y.; Doucet, P.; Houle, P.; and Moorhead, J., 2005, Assessment of the Potential for Volcanogenic Massive Sulphide (VMS) Deposits in Abitibi.

EP 2006-01
(EP 2006-02)

Lamothe, D. and Harris, J.R, 2006, Assessment of the Potential for Orogenic Gold in the Archean Rock of Abitibi.

EP 2006-03
(EP 2007-01)

Labbé, J.-Y.; Pilote, P.; and Lamothe, D., 2006, Assessment of the Potential for Porphyritic Cu-Au-Mo Deposits in Abitibi.

EP 2008-01
(EP 2008-02)

Lamothe, D., 2008, Assessment of the Potential for Orogenic Gold-type Deposits in Baie-James.

EP 2009-01
(EP 2009-02)

Lamothe, D., 2009, Assessment of the Potential for Porphyritic Cu-Au-Mo Deposits in Baie-James. (forthcoming, March 2009)

Product numbers in parentheses refer to English-language versions. These documents are available in EXAMINE and include methodological text, digital data and, in the most recent case, an Access database documenting known targets.

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