November 2010    Print this article

2010-2011 Geoscientific Programming

Sylvain Lacroix, Charles Maurice and Jean-Yves Labbé
Bureau de l’exploration géologique du Québec

Géologie Québec’s mandate consists in acquiring, processing and disseminating geoscience knowledge on Québec’s mineral resources, in order to assess and promote the mineral potential of regions, with a view to achieving sustainable development. With the creation of the Mining Heritage Fund after the announcement of the Mineral Strategy, the Bureau de l’exploration géologique (BEGQ) dispose of a budget of nearly 12 M$ in 2010-2011 to undertake geoscientific knowledge acquisition and treatment activities. An amount of 300 000 $ was also transfer to the BEGQ in 2010-2011 by the Ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement et des Parcs (MDDEP), in order to produce a map of the Quaternary deposits of the areas targeted by the groundwater knowledge acquisition program in the municipalized regions of Québec.

The eighteen projects of geoscientific knowledge acquisition and treatment that have been or will be completed by the end of 2010-2011 appear on two maps showing the geological and Quaternary inventories (PDF Format, 2,09 Mb) (French only), as well as the geochemical and geophysical inventories and a mineral potential assessment project (PDF Format, 1,81 Mb) (French only).

Geological inventories

The six geological inventories of the new geoscientific programming are part of a large multidisciplinary geoscientific knowledge acquisition program aimed at stimulating exploration in Northern Québec (Lacroix and Marquis conference 2009) (French only).

The Churchill–Lac Raude project (n° 1) located East of Schefferville represents the eastern continuity of a 1/50 000 scale survey launched in summer 2009. Together, these two surveys provide a geological section of the areas located East of the New Québec Orogen. This project is part of a multidisciplinary geoscientific program undertaken in the Churchill Province , with the collaboration of the Geological Survey of Newfoundland and Labrador and the Geological Survey of Canada.

The James Bay region is still the object of intense geoscientific activities, two new surveys being carried out near the réservoir La Grande 3. The Lac Kinglet Far North project (n° 2) pursued the 1/250 000 scale mapping further South of the Achaean area covered during the Far North Program. The Baie-James-Réservoir La Grande 3 project (n° 3) also pursued, for a second year, the mapping coverage at 1/50 000 scale of the La Grande Subprovince, North of the Opinaca Subprovince.

The geological inventory located in the region of Lac du Milieu (n° 4) consists of a new 1/50 000 scale mapping project of the paragneiss, quartzite and amphibolite units surrounding the Manicouagan reservoir in the Grenville Province.

Finally, two geological inventories were done in the Matagami (n° 5) and Chapais (n° 6) areas, in order to better define and understand the geology of these two mining camps as well as the surrounding areas. These two projects are completed by several studies aimed at refining the tridimensional geometry of base metal fertile units, with the collaboration of the Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue and École Polytechnique de Montréal.

Quaternary inventories

The Octave project (n° 7) consists of a sonic drilling sampling campaign aimed at obtaining a better knowledge of the Quaternary deposits stratigraphy and basement rock in a high mineral potential area, covered by major Quaternary deposits. The area targeted in 2010 is located in the heart of the Abitibi Subprovince, 60 km North of Amos and 80 km West of Lebel-sur-Quévillon, i.e. in the direct western continuity of similar projects carried out in 2006 and 2007 as part of the Copper Plan.

Three 1/50 000 scale mapping projects of the Quaternary deposits have respectively targeted the regions of Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, Centre-du-Québec and Yamaska-Richelieu (n° 8, 9 and 10). The Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean and Centre-du-Québec surveys, also aimed at establishing the stratigraphy and tridimensional distribution of the mapped superficial geological formations, were in their second and last year of fieldwork. The Yamaska-Richelieu survey is in its first year on the field and should continue on next year. These projects are undertaken to support the MDDEP Québec groundwater knowledge acquisition plan in southern Québec, following the summer 2009 signing of a multi-year agreement with the MDDEP.

Geochemical inventories

The update of the database on lake sediments geochemistry in Québec, launched in 2007, continue on in 2010-2011, with two new surveys and two reanalyses projects.

Project n° 11 consisted of a new survey covering the Grenville Province along a North-South section centered on the Saguenay municipality. This survey is completing the geochemical coverage of lake sediments in the Grenville Province, North of latitude 47°22’30’’.

Projects n° 12 and 13 were both undertaken with the collaboration of the Corporation de promotion du développement minéral de la Côte-Nord (CPDM). Project n° 12 consisted of two lake sediments surveys in sectors located North of Havre-Saint-Pierre and West of the Manicouagan reservoir. Project n° 13 consists of a geochemical reanalysis of samples from the Fermont survey collected in 1987.

Project n° 14 represents a broad geochemical reanalysis campaign of lake sediments collected from 1973 to 1978 by the Société de développement de la Baie-James (SDBJ) in the James Bay region, and the results will be announced at Québec Exploration 2010.

Geophysical inventories

The James Bay territory continue to be the object of broad airborne geophysical surveys in 2010-2011 to obtain, by the end of the projects, an aeromagnetic coverage similar to the one already available for the Abitibi Subprovince. A magnetic and spectrometric survey (project n° 15) covered the southern part of the Opinaca Subprovince, to further the coverage of the sector located directly North covered last year. A large aeromagnetic survey (project n° 16) is aimed at furthering much more to the South and West the geophysical coverage already done since 2007 in the sector of the Éléonore (gold), Renard (diamond) and Coulon (zinc) deposits.

Furthermore, the Geological Survey of Canada carried out an aeromagnetic survey at the beginning of 2010 (project n° 17) West of Kuujjuaq within the framework of the GEM project ( Geo-mapping for Energy and Minerals). This survey, undertaken at the request of Géologie Québec, is aimed at supporting the next geological surveys fieldwork at 1/250 000 scale planned to begin in summer 2011 in this sector.

Mineral potential assessment

After adding new geological, geochemical and geophysical data in the database of the Abitibi Subprovince in the last few years, an update of the potential assessment model for volcanogenic massive sulphides will be carried out in winter 2011.

First summary of 2010-2011 work

In summary, a marked elevation in the rhythm of acquisition of geoscientific knowledge on the Québec territory has been observed in 2010-2011. The surface covered by the latest inventories, funded namely by the Fonds du patrimoine minier, should reach nearly 200 000 km2, i.e. approximately four times the annual target of 50 000 km2 prescribed in the 2008-2011 strategic plan of the Ministère des Ressources naturelles et de la Faune.

Thanks to these geoscientific inventories, 91 new exploration targets were identified during the latest geoscientific inventories herein described and will be announced during Québec Exploration 2010, along the preliminary results of several knowledge acquisition and treatment projects already mentioned.

The preliminary results of a number of these geoscientific knowledge acquisition and processing projects will be made public during Québec Exploration 2010, starting at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, November 23. At the same time, 91 new exploration targets identified during the course of this geoscientific work will be unveiled. Added to these are close to 3,000 other targets resulting from the updating and reprocessing of the recently enhanced database thanks to the reanalysis of some 27,000 lake sediment samples in the James Bay region. The location and description of these targets will be available on GESTIM and the MRNF’s Web site respectively.


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