Publication Summary
Issue ID: P2010-01-07
Title: Vermiculite in the Blue River Area, East-Central British Columbia, Canada (NTS 83D/06)
Author(s): Simandl, G.J., Paradis, S., Simandl, L., Dahrouge, J.
Series Name: Paper
Publication Year: 2010
Larger Work Citation: in Geological Fieldwork 2009, B.C. Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, Paper 2010-01
NTS Map Sheet(s): 083D/06
Place Keyword(s): British Columbia, East Central, Blue River
Lat/Long (NSWE): 52.45, 52.15, -119.25, -118.8
Theme Keyword(s): Geological Fieldwork, vermiculite, market, deposit, exfoliation
There is currently no vermiculite produced within the Province of British Columbia. Only four localities in the BC MINFILE list vermiculite as a commodity. High concentrations of vermiculite were encountered in semiconsolidated outcrops during a hike to examine the Hodgie rare earth zone in the Blue River area. Follow-up bibliographic research indicates that this is probably a new occurrence, although similar occurrences were described in the Blue River area by McCammon (1950). Based on our observations and on the data of McCammon (1950), the occurrences located in the Blue River area have above-average vermiculite content and are certainly of higher grade than other known vermiculite occurrences in the province. Reconnaissance-level field observations, in-house particle size analyses and rudimentary laboratory-scale exfoliation tests are encouraging. They indicate that detailed chemical and mineralogical studies are the next logical step in the assessment of this and other vermiculite occurrences in the Blue River area. Chemical analyses are required to establish trace-element levels of vermiculite-bearing material, to ensure that it does not contain elevated levels of environmentally sensitive substances. Mineralogical follow-up should establish the absence or presence of asbestiform particles. The presence of such particles would negatively impact the development of this vermiculite resource. If the outcomes of the above-recommended tests justify more rigorous laboratory and field investigations, then these occurrences of the Blue River area have the potential to become significant commercial sources of vermiculite. The closest operating vermiculite exfoliation plant is in Edmonton, Alberta, a relatively good location. This plant belongs to Grace Canada Inc.