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Prospecting and Exploration Field School MINE 1005

Mining Part-time Studies Course

Course details

Designed for prospectors, explorationists, students, field assistants, contractors and hobbyists as an introduction to field techniques used in prospecting and exploring for mineral deposits (at a field school near Oliver in south-central BC). We focus on field-related skills such as identification of rocks and minerals, basic orienteering, claim staking, grid establishment, sampling techniques (rock, soil, silt), geochemistry and geophysics. Students complete daily field exercises, interpret the results of exploration data, and prepare an industry standard exploration property report on the work completed. Visit and


  • Basic course in prospecting, geology or exploration or previous field experience is preferred.



This course isn't currently offered through BCIT Part-time Studies. Please check back next term or subscribe to receive email updates.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • Identify the important features displayed on a variety of maps (including topographic maps, grid maps, geological maps, geophysical maps, geochemical maps).
  • Use maps at a variety of scales.
  • Carry out background research into the previous work and mineral potential of an area of interest.
  • Operate safely in the field.
  • Locate themselves in the field using maps and a compass.
  • Prepare an exploration field grid using a compass, hip chain, and GPS.
  • Take effective field notes that describe location, rock type, mineralization, structure and sample information.
  • Prepare simple field sketches that include topographic features, outcrops, and mineralized zones.
  • Recognize common rock-forming and economic minerals, and basic rock types.
  • Recognize the difference between 'fresh' unaltered rock, and altered rock in an area of mineralization.
  • Develop an understanding of rock alteration and its significance to prospecting and mineralization.
  • Prospect rock float in the field.
  • Collect mineralized and unmineralized rock samples and describe the samples in a note book.
  • Prepare sample assay tags.
  • Select the appropriate elements to assay and the assay method for samples sent to a commercial analytical lab.
  • Explain the process and significance of different rock sampling methods (grab, chip, channel, high grade).
  • Recall the importance of relative geological time (order of events).
  • Recall basic geological structures (beds, foliation, faults).
  • Perform strike and dip measurements on a variety of planar geological features.
  • Map a small mineral showing.
  • Map an exploration grid (topographic features, rocks, structure, mineralization).
  • Prepare a prospecting/exploration geology/mineralization map.
  • Undertake a soil sampling survey and describe the use of such a survey.
  • Recall the process and significance of collecting stream sediment samples.
  • Undertake a simple geophysical survey (magnetics).
  • Interpret the results of exploration data collected in the Fairview project (soils, geophysics, mapping, geology, mineralization).
  • Prepare a basic prospecting report on the Fairview project that includes interpretation of exploration data and exploration potential on the property.

Effective as of Spring/Summer 2009


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