Publication Summary
Issue ID: GBCR2006-01-21
Title: Halogens in Surface Exploration Geochemistry: Evaluation and Development of Methods for Detecting Buried Mineral Deposits (NTS 93F/3), Central B.C.
Author(s): Dunn, C.E., Cook, S.J., Hall, G.E.M.
Series Name: Geoscience BC Report
Publication Year: 2006
Other Citation Details: Geoscience BC Report 2006-1
Larger Work Citation: in Geological Fieldwork 2005, Geoscience BC Report 2006-01, pages 259 to 280
NTS Map Sheet(s): 093F/3
Place Keyword(s): British Columbia
Lat/Long (NSWE): 53.25, 53, -125.5, -125
Theme Keyword(s): Geoscience BC Fieldwork, exploration, geochemistry, gold, copper
A striking feature of the current MINFILE mineral occurrence map of BC is that a significant part of central BC has very few mineral discoveries. Much of this area has a cover of Quaternary deposits and/or volcanic rocks and, given the fact that it is underlain by the generally ‘fertile’ Quesnel Terrane, there is good reason to be optimistic that significant buried mineralization may be present. The challenge is, therefore, to develop a method for detecting mineralization hidden beneath this cover. Various geochemical selective extraction methods are steadily being refined to assist the search for buried mineralization in BC (Cook and Dunn, 2006), and the present study aims at augmenting this ‘tool box’ of techniques by developing some new methodology. The halogens comprise five non-metallic elements whose compounds form salts. The term ‘halogen’ means ‘salt-former’ and, at room temperature, they exist in all three states of matter: solid (iodine, astatine), liquid (bromine) and gas (fluorine, chlorine). However, they all form diatomic molecules that are gases at normal temperatures and pressures, and therefore are mobile and play significant roles in the atmosphere, hydrosphere and biosphere. They are the most organophilic elemental family, such that they react with organic compounds on contact and are therefore readily absorbed by plants. Of these elements, astatine is radioactive and not considered in this study. The remaining halogens are commonly associated with the emplacement of mineral deposits, as witnessed by their presence in many minerals and in the saline fluid inclusions that are typical of many mineral deposits. Their volatility renders them good candidates to examine as ‘pathfinder elements’ in surface geochemical media, where they may be captured on soil particles and taken up by vegetation.