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Geoscience BC Confirms Critical Minerals and Metals Research Next Steps; Seeks Further Collaborations

Press Release

Vancouver, BC – May 9, 2024 – Expert volunteers, a research partner and initial industry collaboration are now in place to support new independent research into identifying economic opportunities to recover critical minerals and metals at current and historical mine sites in British Columbia.

Geoscience BC has today confirmed further details and next steps for Phase 1 of its Critical Minerals and Metals in BC Mine Tailings and Waste Rock program, which was announced in January 2024.

Commenting on the news, Geoscience BC President and CEO Gavin C. Dirom said: “Demand for independent information about critical minerals and metals opportunities in jurisdictions like BC is at an all time high. The Critical Minerals and Metals in BC Mine Tailings and Waste Rock program has commenced, and Phase 1 with desktop research to assess the scale of potential benefits and risks.”

A Project Advisory Committee for Phase 1 of the program is confirmed and will bring valuable advice and guidance. The dedication of the volunteers and support of their organizations is greatly appreciated:

  • Anika Bergen, Geologist, Ministry of Energy Mines and Low Carbon Innovation, Abandoned Mines Branch
  • Julie Deriaz, Project Lead, Critical Minerals Potential in Canadian Mine Tailings, CanmetMINING, Natural Resources Canada
  • Alf Hills, Consultant and Geoscience BC Minerals Technical Advisory Committee member
  • Bev Quist, Field Inspector Abandoned Mines, Ministry of Energy Mines and Low Carbon Innovation, Abandoned Mines Branch
  • Tyler Rice, Senior Advisor Corporate Affairs, Cassiar Gold Corp.

Following a competitive bid process, Victoria-based geological information management specialist Purple Rock Inc. has been awarded the contract to carry out Phase 1 of the program.

Several companies and Indigenous groups have expressed an interest in the program in addition to confirmed funding partners Arca Climate, Foresight Canada and New Gold. Many of these enquiries include interest in future phases of the program, such as sampling at individual sites. In addition, the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation’s Abandoned Mines Branch is providing in-kind support to the project, including staff time. The Association for Mineral Exploration (AME) and Mining Association of British Columbia also support the project.

Geoscience BC continues to seek additional corporate and community partners for the program, with potential benefits including early data access and direct input into future research outcomes. To set up a meeting or for more information, email

Accessing information

For more information about this developing program, visit the Geoscience BC website project page.

About Geoscience BC

Geoscience BC’s independent, public geoscience is a first link in the supply chain for Canada’s net-zero emissions economy.

Our critical minerals and metals, cleaner energy and geological carbon capture and storage research is funded by industry, government and other partners. It informs evidence-based decisions by industry, governments, Indigenous groups and communities.

Geoscience BC is guided by a volunteer Board of Directors, technical and Indigenous volunteers and by Geoscience BC members. We are a not-for-profit society incorporated under the BC Societies Act.

We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of our partners, including the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation.

Visit or follow us @GeoscienceBC to find out more.

For more information, please contact:

Richard Truman
Geoscience BC
604-662-4147 / 778-929-1662



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