In 2007, Geoscience BC received a $750,000 grant from Northern Development through the Economic Diversification Infrastructure program towards this $5,359,000 project. This has been a funding partnership of Northern Development, Geoscience BC, and Province of British Columbia
2012- Geoscience BC is an industry-led, not-for-profit, applied geoscience organization. Geoscience BC works in partnership with industry, academia, government, First Nations, and communities to fund applied geoscience projects with the objective to attract mineral and oil and gas exploration to British Columbia.
Geoscience BC’s QUEST Project, initiated in 2007, is a program of regional geochemical and geophysical surveys designed to attract the mineral exploration industry to the under-explored region of British Columbia between Williams Lake and Mackenize. The QUEST Project, an acronym for Geoscience BC’s Quesnellia Exploration Strategy, is focused on the rocks of the Quesnel Terrane, which has good potential for copper-gold porphyry deposits, but in this region is covered by a thick layer of sand and gravel left behind by glaciers.
This area of British Columbia has also been heavily affected by the Mountain Pine Beetle infestation, creating an enormous economic challenge for BC and its affected communities. The results of this project will help stimulate mineral exploration activity, which in turn should lead to diversification opportunities for the communities in the Mountain Pine Beetle area.
QUEST is a significant geoscience project, with activities in 2007 covering over 95,000 km2. The project activities in 2007 included two types of airborne geophysical surveys, as well as the collection of over 2000 new geochemical samples and reanalysis of over 5000 previously collected geochemical samples. The results of these surveys were released through Geoscience BC’s website in 2008, and have led to follow-up activity in the region (both mineral exploration and new Geoscience BC projects) over the last few years. As the QUEST program was so successful, similar projects have been undertaken by Geoscience BC in subsequent years, including QUEST-West (2008; another partnership with Northern Development); QUEST-South (2009) and the QUEST-Northwest project (2011).
This project is part of a multi-year initiative that has been supported through an additional investment by Northern Development for another Geoscience BC project:
"This new information will encourage increased exploration throughout the central area of the province further fuelling an already surging mining sector while providing more jobs for areas impacted by mountain pine beetle."Kevin Krueger, former Minister of State for Mining, Province of British Columbia
"The data sets produced under our project will help unlock central BC's mineral potential. The geophysical surveys will help identify different rock types that may be associated with mineralization, and will aid in determining the thickness of glacial cover. The enormous wealth of new information made available by the QUEST project will help guide industry in targeting their mineral exploration programs."Dr. 'Lyn Anglin, President and CEO, Geoscience BC
"This is the largest public geoscience project in British Columbia's history. This important work in conjunction with the BC Geological Survey's many ministry projects will help industry identify vitally-needed mineral deposits to help diversify local economies."Kevin Krueger, former Minister of State for Mining, Province of British Columbia
The QUEST data sets continue to impact mineral exploration in central BC, both by attracting new exploration companies into the region as well as supporting companies already active in the area. In the year following the release of the QUEST data sets, registration of new mineral title within the QUEST Project geophysical survey alone area exceed 915,000 hectares. New geoscience projects following up on the QUEST datasets, including a new geological map of the project area (jointly supported by Geoscience BC, the BC Geological Survey and the Geological Survey of Canada) continue to support new and ongoing exploration.
Increased mineral exploration activity means the potential for new business in the exploration sector and complimentary industries, jobs for local residents, and economic growth for the region. As the QUEST data sets will be relevant to the mineral exploration community for years to come, the QUEST project is proving to be a valuable economic diversification initiative.
The project has also continued into further phases, QUEST West, QUEST South, and QUEST Northwest.