James Moorhead, Patrice Roy and Guillaume Allard
Bureau de la connaissance géologique du Québec
The mission of the Bureau de la connaissance géologique du Québec (BCGQ) is to capture and process scientific knowledge from throughout Québec, with a view to ensuring that our mineral resources are developed in a responsible way. In 2015-2016, the BCGQ has planned 25 projects in Québec, 19 of which will take place in the area covered by the Plan Nord (Figure 1). These projects have been made possible by contributions from the mining heritage component of the Natural Resource Fund, which is financed out of mining taxes. This year, the $12 million budget for geoscientific work will be supplemented by an additional $3 million to speed up characteriziation of the Plan Nord territory.
Seven of the nine proposed geological surveys in 2015 are continuations of projects that have already begun. The Kuujjuaq and Assinica surveys are the first phases of a three-year plan in southern James Bay and the Labrador Trough. The purpose of these surveys is to improve knowledge and stimulate exploration in Northern Québec and other regions of Québec.
The Churchill project (No. 1) is the fifth year of a five-year 1:250,000 scale mapping plan in the Churchill geological province. In 2015-2016, the project will cover a sector located north-east of Schefferville. The Kuujjuaq project (No. 2) comprises a map review to a scale of 1:50,000, covering a sector south of Baie-aux-Feuilles.
Three geological surveys to a scale of 1:50,000 will be carried out in the James Bay region. The Eastern James Bay project (No. 3) covers a sector located south of the LG4 reservoir, and the Western James Bay project (No. 4) covers a sector south of the LG3 reservoir. As for the Assinica project (No. 5), it will begin this year in an area south of the Transtaïga Road.
A geological survey to a scale of 1:20,000 will take place south of Chapais (No. 6). It is a continuation of similar projects in recent years.
These projects will provide essential new data for future geological surveys and exploration programs in the regions concerned.
The Delay River, Radisson, Romaine River and Ashuanipi projects (Nos. 7, 8, 9 and 10) will complete airborne magnetic coverage of key sectors in the Superior and Grenville provinces.
West of Ungava Bay (No. 11), in a region dominated by rock outcrops, the Vachon River project will include a magnetic survey and a spectrometric survey (both airborne).
The Lac Brisson surface deposit sampling project (No. 12) will provide essential new geochemical data for mineral potential assessments. The Chibougamau survey of mineral indicators (No. 13) will cover a high-potential sector located close to a mining camp, in an area with few rock outcrops.
The sediment sampling survey at Assinica Lake South (No. 14) covers an area northeast of Chibougamau in the Opatica subprovince that has never been surveyed in this way before. The sector is considered to have high mineral potential (Frotet-Evans greenstone belt).
Three quaternary mapping and surface deposit sampling projects have been chosen for 2015: the Churchill project (No. 15), the Assinica project (No. 16) and the Chibougamau project (No. 17). The first two will take place alongside basement rock mapping projects.
An inventory of sand and gravel resources (aggregates, project no. 18) will take place in the communities of Akulivik and Puvirnignituk. The initiative comes in the wake of a consultation process organized by the Kativik Regional Government’s Renewable Resources, Environment, Land and Parks Department, the Ministère des Affaires municipales et de l’Occupation du territoire (MAMOT) and the Ministère des Transports du Québec to assess and address permafrost thaw and new infrastructure construction needs in the Nunavik communities.
A study of nickel-copper deposit potential will be carried out throughout the Labrador Trough (project No. 19), between Schefferville and Ungava Bay, in a region that is rich in this type of deposit.
The Clova project (No. 20) is a 1:50,000 scale mapping project in a little-known sector south of the Gouin reservoir. It follows on from work done in the summer of 2014. The Escoumins mapping project (No. 21), to the same scale, covers an area of the Haute-Côte-Nord region where high mineral potential rocks were discovered in the summer of 2014.
The Rimouski project (No. 22) will complete the mapping process in a little-known sector of the Appalachians with many new access roads, to support the geological compilation in this sector.
The Gaspésie stream sediment reanalysis project (No. 23) will provide litho-geochemical data that are more accurate than those obtained in 1970-1980, when the samples were originally collected. The project continues on from a stream sediment reanalysis project begun in Gaspésie in 2009.
The Gouin surface deposit sampling and quaternary mapping project (No. 24) will continue alongside the Clova basement rock mapping project (No. 20).
A sand and gravel resource inventory project will take place in the Malbaie sector of the Charlevoix region (project No. 25). Work will be done in collaboration with the Ministère des Transports du Québec.