June 2011    Print this article

Geo-scientific work in Québec during the summer of 2011

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

Québec’s bureau for geological exploration, the Bureau de l’exploration géologique du Québec (BEGQ), is responsible for gathering and processing geo-scientific data throughout Québec. The data and knowledge is then made available to promote mineral potential in Québec’s various regions as part of a sustainable development approach. During the summer of 2011, the BEGQ plans to implement twelve projects in Québec.

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Thanks to the mining heritage fund established following the unveiling of the 2009 Mineral Strategy, the budget available for activities to gather and process geo-scientific data is $12 million in 2011-2012. An additional amount of $300,000 will also be available following the signing of a multi-year agreement with Québec’s department of sustainable development, environment and parks, the Ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement et des Parcs (MDDEP), to map quaternary deposits in the sectors targeted by the program to gather data on groundwater in municipalized areas in Québec, the Programme d’acquisition de connaissances sur les eaux souterraines du Québec municipalisé.

The twelve projects to gather new geo-scientific knowledge planned for the summer are shown on the two maps below, which locate the ten geological inventories (Map 1) and two geo-chemical and geo-physical inventories (Map 2), respectively.

Geological inventories

The five geological inventories are part of a broad program to acquire multi-disciplinary geo-scientific data, with the aim of stimulating exploration in Northern Québec.

The Churchill–Kuujjuaq project (No. 1), covering the sectors to the north and east of Kuujjuaq, is the start of the second phase of 1/250 000 scale mapping of the Southeast Churchill geological sub province. The first phase of 1/50 000 scale mapping of the sub province was carried out in 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 to the east of Schefferville.

The Baie James–Lac Nochet project (No. 2) involves a 1/50 000 scale survey of the La Grande sub province, north of the Opinaca sub province. This survey is an eastern extension of the mapping project carried out over the last two years close to the reservoir La Grande 3.

The Grenville-Tétépisca project (No. 3) is a new 1/50 000 scale mapping project for the paragneiss, quartzite and amphibolite units around the Manicouagan reservoir in the Grenville Province, continuing to the southwest the geological inventory of the Lac du Milieu region completed last year.

Two geological inventories will take place in the Matagami (No. 4) and Chapais-Chibougamau (No. 5) regions. Both projects will involve 1/20 000 scale surveys, with the goal of producing overviews of two important mining areas in the Abitibi geological region.

Last, mapping and compilation work in the sector to the northeast of Sherbrooke (No. 6) in the Appalachian mountains will be undertaken as part of a partnership with Université du Québec à Montréal.

Quaternary inventories

Three projects (Nos. 7, 8 and 9) involving the 1/50 000 scale mapping of quaternary deposits will target the Montérégie, Québec and Outaouais regions. Project no. 7, currently in its second year, will be undertaken entirely by the BEGQ, while projects nos. 8 and 9 will begin this summer in collaboration with Université Laval and Université du Québec à Montréal, respectively. All these projects are designed to provide support for the program to acquire data on groundwater in southern Québec, under the responsibility of the MDDEP.

In addition, the community of Salluit will benefit from the expertise of two geologists from the BEGQ (No. 10). Their work will involve assessing the availability of new granular resources close to Salluit to meet a growing need in the region, where the pace of permafrost melting is threatening infrastructures. The project has been developed in response to a demand from the Québec department of municipal affairs, regions and land occupancy, the Ministère des Affaires municipales, des Régions et de l’Occupation du territoire, with support from the Kativik Regional Government.

Geo-chemical and geo-physical inventories

The updating of the database on the geo-chemistry of lake bottom sediments in Québec, launched in 2007, will continue in 2011-2012. Project no. 11 involves a survey to sample sediments in the sector covering the Ungava peninsula from the 61st degree of latitude northwards, to extend the geo-chemical coverage completed in 1997-1998 as part of the far north program, the Programme Grand Nord.

Project no. 12 involves a aerial magnetic and spectrometric survey of the area directly south of Kuujjuaq. It constitutes the first phase in a multi-year geo-physical project launched by the BEGQ to provide geo-physical coverage of the Labrador Trough similar to the coverage for the area east of James Bay completed in recent years. The project follows on from an aerial magnetic survey conducted last year to the west of Kuujjuaq by the Geological Survey of Canada as part of the GEM (Geo-mapping for Energy and Minerals) program.

Exploration targets

The new geo-scientific data obtained during the summer of 2011 will be used to identify new exploration targets. Most of these targets will be unveiled at Québec Exploration 2011, as has been the custom in the last three years (PRO 2008-05, PRO 2009-07, PRO 2010-05).

Other exploration targets are also be presented in various MRNF promotion documents. Some targets are also accessible via GESTIM and Mineral resources maps.


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