Patrice Roy, Ministère de l'Énergie et des Ressources naturelles
Québec’s geological exploration bureau, the Bureau de la connaissance géoscientifique du Québec (BCGQ), is responsible for acquiring and processing geoscience knowledge with a perspective on the sustainable development of our province’s mineral resources. In 2014–2015, the BCGQ will carry out 22 projects related to geological knowledge acquisition or mineral potential assessment in Québec. These projects were made possible thanks to the mining heritage component of the province’s Natural Resources Fund, which is financed by mining taxes. This year, almost $12 million will be invested in geoscience work, to which will be added another $250,000 for the mapping of Quaternary deposits in areas targeted by the municipal groundwater knowledge acquisition program (PACES: Programme d’acquisition de connaissances sur les eaux souterraines du Québec municipalisé). The 22 knowledge acquisition projects, illustrated in Figure 1, will include 8 geological surveys, 4 geophysical surveys, 7 Quaternary surveys, 1 inventory of industrial minerals and stones, and 2 mineral potential studies.
Among the eight planned geological surveys in the program, five represent the continuation of projects initiated in previous years, and three are new. The goal for all these projects is to expand our knowledge base, particularly in poorly known regions, and to stimulate exploration in northern Québec and in mining regions.
The Churchill–Pyramid Camp project (No. 1) is in its third year of a five-year mapping plan in the Churchill geological province at a scale of 1:250,000. In 2014–2015, the project will cover the northern part of NTS map sheet 24A, the southern part of 24H, and the northeast part of 24B.
A geological survey will be carried out in the Lac Dalmas area of the James Bay region (project No. 2) as the continuation of the Lac des Voeux and Lac Pelletan projects. The work will complete an E-W transect at the boundary between the La Grande Subprovince to the north and the Opinaca Subprovince to the south.
The new Grenville–Gouin-Parent project at a scale of 1:50,000 (No. 3) will mark the first year of mapping the Haute-Mauricie region, which should take a about five or six years. Current information suggests a good potential for rare metals and for Fe-Ti-P and Ni-Cu mineralization.
The Lac Holmes project is also new. It will focus on the Attic Complex, a neglected area of the southeast Abitibi (project No. 4). A recent aeromagnetic survey over the area (DP2010-04) revealed characteristics that are suggestive of greenstone rocks, which do not appear on existing maps.
A geological survey at a scale of 1:20,000 will take place north of Chibougamau (project No. 5) as the continuation of last year’s project. It will involve mapping an area at the contact between the Abitibi and Opatica subprovinces that is considered prospective for gold and volcanogenic massive sulphide mineralization.
The Val-d’Or project (No. 6) follows up on the revision of 1:20,000 maps in the Malartic area. It will cover the southwest quadrant of NTS map sheet 32C/05 and the west quadrant of 32C/04. The project will bridge the gap between mapping work conducted in the western part of the Malartic Group and the Val-d’Or Formation to the east. This project is a collaborative effort with the Geological Survey of Canada, the Canadian Mining Innovation Council, and several university researchers and mining companies.
The Rimouski project (No. 7) will support the geological compilation of the Appalachian Province. This verification project is warranted now that this poorly known area has been opened up by new roads.
The Lac Saint-Jean project (No. 8), which began in 2013, will be finished this year. The focus is on the potential of granites for rare metal and stone resources.
Part B of the Gouin project (No. 9) will cover the southeast area of the Gouin Reservoir, all the way to La Tuque. This survey will prepare the way for future mapping programs in this area that will begin in 2014.
The Baie-Comeau project (No. 10) will complete a north-south transect in the central part of the Grenville Province. It will cover an area thought to contain supracrustal rocks. This hypothesis will also be tested by a petrologic study that will begin this year.
In Nunavik, the Rivières Buron–Brochant project (No. 11), divided into two blocks, will cover the extension of the Labrador Trough, west of Ungava Bay, as well as several greenstone belts identified by the Far North mapping program, which began in the late 1990s.
The Rivière Matapedia project (No. 12) will support the mapping revision that started with the Rimouski project. This area may host minerals and hydrocarbons of economic interest.
The Churchill Quaternary mapping project (No. 13) will continue in parallel with the bedrock mapping project (No. 1). This project will improve our understanding of glacial dynamics in northeast Québec and will complete the coverage of several different geoscientific databases for this geological province.
In municipalized Québec, four Quaternary deposit mapping projects at 1:50,000 scale (Nos. 14, 15, 16, 17) that started in 2012 or 2013 will continue in 2014. These projects will cover the Charlevoix, Nicolet–Saint-François, Chaudière and Vaudreuil-Soulanges regions. The goal is to support PACES, the MSDEFCC’s provincial groundwater knowledge acquisition program.
An inventory of sand and gravel (aggregate) resources will be carried out in the communities of Tasiujaq, Aupaluk and Kangirsuk (project No. 21) in response to a request from the Ministère des Affaires municipales et de l’Occupation du territoire (MAMOT). The goal of the inventory is to address problems caused by melting permafrost and to meet the needs of infrastructure construction projects in Nunavik communities.
The Chibougamau project (No. 19) will increase our knowledge of Quaternary deposits at the Abitibi–Opatica–Grenville junction. It will also be used to determine whether bedrock mapping projects should be carried out at the Grenville Front in the north-central part of the Grenville Province.
Building on the five drilling programs in the Quaternary deposits and the bedrock of the Rivière Bell–Rivière Octave sector in the Abitibi, the geological synthesis and mineral potential study of this region will continue in 2013-2014 (project No. 22). The goal is to better understand the geometry of Quaternary units in the region and to identify pathfinders for discovering new mineralization.
Following a major mapping program at the Opinaca-La Grande contact, the reanalysis of lake sediments and rocks, and improvements to the metallogenic models for gold in the area, the Ministry will now update its study on the gold potential of the James Bay region (project No. 21).
The recent opening of several mining operations for non-metallic commodities has yielded new information about these deposits (project No. 22). An overview of this new information will be used to update the Ministry’s information files on deposits of industrial minerals, architectural stone, industrial stone and gems.