The Wicheeda Rare Earth Project is an advanced-stage exploration and development project, located in north-central British Columbia.
Location & Infrastructure
The Wicheeda Project is located approximately 80 km northeast of Prince George B.C., and 40 km east of Bear Lake, just off BC Highway 97. From Bear Lake, the Project can be reached in approximately 90 minutes through a series of logging roads. The Project lies between the Parsnip River and Wichcika Creek, and is adjacent to Wicheeda Lake.
The area around the Wicheeda Project was first surveyed by the Geological Survey of Canada (GSC) in 1961. The aeromagnetic survey identified a significant magnetic anomaly over the Copley Range.
The Wicheeda Project covers the Lower Ordovician Kechika Group along the Copley Range. The group is described as argillites, siltstones, sandstones, limestones, phyllites, and dolostones that are thinly interbedded and become progressively more carbonate rich down-section. The Kechika Group is intruded by a series of carbonatite stocks, sill-like bodies, and dykes with associated alkaline silicate rocks parallel to sub-parallel to the steeply dipping bedding and schistosity of the sediments. The intrusions show mineralogy typical of igneous carbonatites and alkaline rocks, but each intrusion has its distinctive petrographic features.
In 1986 and 1987, Teck completed geological mapping, a stream silt surveys, geochemical soil sampling, a magnetic survey, and some hand trenching within and outside the Wicheeda Project. The outcrops are principally steeply dipping Kechika Group sediments with minor sporadic carbonatite. A carbonatitic dyke or sill on the eastern slope of the Copley Range was traced for approximately 2.8 km with widths up to 185 meters. The carbonatitic intrusive appears to be layered and variable along and across strike.
In 2010, a Helicopter-Borne AeroTEM Electromagnetic, Magnetic, and Radiometric Survey was flown along the Copley Range. The survey identified several Thorium radiometric anomalies along the ridge, and a contiguous magnetic anomaly that extends for approximately 3.7 km along the Copley Range. A number of drill targets were established as a result of this survey.
Later on in 2010, the Company completed a helicopter-supported diamond drill program on the Main Target, on the northwest slope of the Copley Range. The drill sites were selected based on coinciding geochemical soil anomalies, and airborne magnetic and thorium anomalies. A total of 1,938.9 meters were drilled across 9 holes. The drilling intersected Ketchika Group sediments with several carbonatite dykes and veins, as well as feldspar-sodalite and felsic intrusion dykes. REE mineralization was present in carbonatite dykes and a network of carbonatite/calcite veins, with REE content ranging from 4.7% Total Rare Earth Oxide (TREO) over 0.9 meters, to 1.4% TREO over 37.3 meters. The Rare Earth Minerals identified included parisite, bastnaesite, burbankite, monazite, and aeschynite, with parisite being the most common. Sulphide mineralization (pyrite, pyrrhotite, sphalerite, galena, arsenopyrite, chalcopyrite) is unrelated to the REE mineralization, as is the niobium mineralization. Further drilling in 2011 intersected across a number of holes and supported the interpretation of a zoned alkaline system.