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Ministry of Energy Mines and Responsible for Core Review

Appendix M: Readme.doc File


MINFILE/pc Version 4.5 Y2K Edition (Information Circular 2004-4)
British Columbia Geological Survey Branch
Victoria, BC
January, 2004



1.  Introduction
2.  Purpose of the MINFILE/pc System
3.  MINFILE/pc Version 4.0a
4.  System Requirements and Configuration
    a) Requirements
    b) Configuration
5.  Installation Procedure and Diskette Contents
    a) Installation
    b) Contents of Diskettes
6.  How to Load Data and Entities
7.  Code Table Maintenance System Availability and Usage
8.  System Configurable Features
9.  Extract Files
10.  Memory Management
11. General MINFILE Information and Availability
    a) MINFILE/pc System
    b) MINFILE Data
    c) MINFILE/www Searches
    d) Exploration Project Data



Insert Disk 1 into your diskette drive, go to that drive and type: install c: (or some other drive). Follow instructions.

  • Modify PATH in AUTOEXEC.BAT to include C:\MINFILE.
  • Modify CONFIG.SYS to include FILES = 45.
  • Reboot machine to activate system changes.
  • Start the program in the MINFILE\WORK directory by typing: MINFILE <enter>
  • Type 'NEW' next to User and 'NEW' next to Password <enter> (do not press 'enter' between User and Password entries).
  • Append data from the MINFILE UTILITIES MENU.


  • Georeferencing changes: location data handled in both NAD 27 and TRIM/NAD 83 datums; output files and reports display either datum; new region fields; and ability to enter world-wide locations.
  • New extract files and formats: in ASCII, dBASE and Worksheet formats; see Section 9 for details.
  • System configuration changes: ability to modify Code Tables (see Section 7); configure own editor; select datums; specify coordinate working areas; see also Section 4 for details.
  • All search screens now have code table lookups.
  • Report and print enhancements: dBASE and Worksheet formats; set default print device; and report preview feature with single page print.
  • Exploration database changes: flexibility to archive project details; Exploration Database Coding Manual; export utility for all exploration project data; search-driven batch delete function; and new searches by Mining Division, Regions, Work Completed, Work End Date, and Projects associated with MINFILE searches.
  • Dates compatible with the year 2000.



This document (about 10 pages) describes the MINFILE/pc system, its configuration and installation, securing old data, and additional information on MINFILE. MINFILE/pc is intended for use with any part of the MINFILE database, which is a computerized mineral inventory of over 12,000 metallic, industrial mineral and coal occurrences in British Columbia. For further information on the use of MINFILE refer to the following supporting document:

1.  MINFILE V. 4.5 Coding Manual, January 2004, Information Circular 2004-3 now available on the Web (
2.  MINFILE V. 4.5 User Manual, January 2004, Information Circular 2004-4 now available on the Web




MINFILE/pc is a menu-driven search, report and data-entry program for the IBM PC-compatible computer. The system may be used to search, sort and manipulate MINFILE data and report on the results of searches. The data can be exported for use in other programs such as word processors and plotting packages. Editing mineral occurrences is possible with the data entry part of the program. With the ability to modify MINFILE data, users are warned that this will create incompatibilities with the Corporate (B.C. Geological Survey Branch) MINFILE Database. This version of MINFILE/pc also contains a module, designed for the Ministry's Regional Geologists to track exploration and development activity in B.C. Projects and directly link them to associated MINFILE occurrences. Note that this exploration data is not distributed. However, the system may be used to enter and track your own data.




If your data and MINFILE/pc V. 4.0a presently exist on your hard drive, then MINFILE/pc V. 4.5 will install automatically over V.4.0a and convert the data. Version 4.0a data can be secured by selecting UTILITIES and PARCEL. MINFILE will zip the files into MAPSHEET.ZIP. This will save a copy of the MINFILE data before you load the new version. Copy this file to a diskette or a working directory on your hard-drive. If you chose not to upgrade with new MINFILE data, your old data can be appended into MINFILE/pc V.4.5 using the UTILITIES, APPEND/DELETE data function. New MINFILE data will not append into MINFILE/pc V.4.0a. Users are encouraged to obtain new data.




a) Requirements

  • IBM PC or compatible with DOS 3.21 or later
  • 640 KB of RAM; 486 processor or higher is recommended
  • 3.5-inch, 1.44 MB floppy disk drive
  • Hard disk drive with sufficient space. The MINFILE/pc system requires 6.5 megabytes of disk space to install; data require 5 to 10 megabytes of disk space per 1000 occurrences, depending on occurrence details. The complete provincial database of over 12,000 occurrences occupies 65 megabytes of space.

b) Configuration


If you are not familiar with the CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT files, please look these terms up in your DOS manuals and read the relevant sections before continuing. You must alter these files to make MINFILE work on your computer.

Each PC has a configuration file called CONFIG.SYS. This file should contain the line:


If a larger number is in place of 45 do not change it. Otherwise, set FILES to be at least 45.

The path statement in your AUTOEXEC.BAT must reference the drive you install MINFILE on. If you install MINFILE on your C: drive, add C:\MINFILE at the beginning of your path statement. For example, if you had installed MINFILE on your C: drive and your path statement said this:

path = C:\DOS;C:\UTIL

alter it so it says this:


After making these changes, reboot your machine.




a) Installation

The installation utility will automatically set up directories with files, copy the system onto your hard disk, and load entity files (code tables). The complete system resides on two 1.44 MB, 3.5 inch diskettes. MINFILE data is added by choosing Append/Delete data from the MINFILE UTILITIES menu. The entities are automatically updated if necessary.

You will be asked if you wish to use your own text editor during the installation process. You can choose to use your own or use the default, which is the FoxPro text editor. If your text editor has automatic word wrap, set it to wrap at 70 columns. Anything beyond the 70th column will be lost when you exit your text editor.


b) Contents of Diskettes

DISK 1:  TOTAL FILES: 10     SIZE:  1.44 MB


files.lst  List of files on Disk 1.
readme.doc Information file (this file, about 10 pages).
mfdisk1.45a  Control file for installation.
install.bat  Program to start installation. Installation routines and resources.
pkunzip.exe Uncompressing routine by PKWARE Inc. (V. 2.04g). MINFILE/pc system and data control files. Append/export/import/update empty data files. Data files to upgrade Version 3.0. Empty entity data files (code tables).


DISK 2:  TOTAL FILES:  7       SIZE:  1.44 MB 


files.lst  List of files on Disk 2.
readme.doc  Information file (this file, about 10 pages).
mfdisk2.45a Control file for installation.
install.bat  Program to continue installation. MINFILE/pc system executable file and Datum conversion grid. Empty MINFILE data sets, relations and system templates.  Full entity files (code tables) with config.dbf.


The following directories and files will be created on your hard disk:


\MINFILE\ Contains startup files.
\minfile.bat Program to start MINFILE/pc.
\readme.doc This file (about 10 pages).
\config.fp FoxPro configuration file.
\ FoxPro memory swapper for shelling out to DOS from within MINFILE/pc.
\MINFILE\SYSTEM System and runtime files.
\dp2.bin Proximity Scan configuration file.
\dp2.exe Proximity Scan executable.
\minfile.exe MINFILE executable.
\intgrid.exe Translates one datum (NAD27/83) to another.
\intgrid7.exe (Math co-processor version.)
\grid.dac Datum translation grid data file.
\gsrug.exe Translates between longitude\latitude and UTMs.
\gsrug7.exe (Math co-processor version.)
\mdquiet.exe Makes a directory.
\testdrv.exe Finds out if a drive is operational.
\pkunzip.exe Uncompressing routine (V. 2.04g).
\pkzip.exe Compressing routine (V. 2.04g).
\rgen0000.rp1 Report library for R&R Reports.
\sys_file.lst List of system files.
\rr.b&w R&R configuration file for monochrome.
\rr.clr R&R configuration file for colour.
\rr.cnf Current R&R configuration file.
\rrunout.dbf R&R tracking and error messages file.
\rrun.exe R&R Report Generation program (V.6.0).
\rrunp.exe R&R Report program (V.6.0) Extended memory.
\rruntime.exe R&R runtime swapper.
\MINFILE\DATA MINFILE and Project data files; temporary databases and indexes; user specific files; search files; master database subsets; utility databases; data dictionary.
\codexref.dbf Relationship between entities and relations.
\config.dbf MINFILE system configuration settings.
\dbases.dbf Table of the databases.
\err_msg.dbf File of error messages.
\indexes.dbf Relationship between databases and indexes.
\metadata.dbf Document of databases, fields and parcel flags.
\upd_list.dbf Describes updates via the data entry system.
\users.dbf User's ID and password.
\filespec.dbf Describes a database field.
\intrface.dbf Template for MINFILE Standard Data Format file.
\iogeoref.dbf Georef transaction file.
\ioutmref.dbf UTM ref. transaction file.
\quickmap.dbf Template for plotting MINFILE data in QUIKMap.
\quickprj.dbf Template for plotting Project data in QUIKMap.
\notices.dbf Template for transferring Notices of Work data from MIS into the Exploration Database.
\e??.dbf Entities or code tables (except e01 and e31).
\c??.dbf Comment files.
\r??.dbf Relational files.
\view????.dbf A set of views made up for reports.
\xmineral.dbf Template file for MINERAL.MBC extract.
Template files for PRODUCT.MBC extract.
\zproduct.dbf Final template file for PRODUCT.MBC extract.
\xreserve.dbf Template file for reserve extract process.
\*.IDX Database index files.
\MINFILE\APPEND Used for appending data.
\MINFILE\EXPORT Used for exporting updates.
\MINFILE\IMPORT Used for importing updates.
\MINFILE\UPDATE Temporary storage for updates.
\MINFILE\TEMP Temporary storage of text editor files and others.
\notices.dbf Empty Notices of Work file.
\misdata.lis Tracking file created while loading Notices data.
\MINFILE\WORK Working directory to run MINFILE from.




The data is in an easy-to-load format. To load data and entities, place a MINFILE data diskette in the disk drive, choose UTILITIES, select APPEND/DELETE mapsheet and then select APPEND. Follow the prompts at the bottom of the screen and the system will do everything else automatically. This operation can fail if your computer does not have enough RAM memory available because either too many TSRs or device drivers are loaded. The data is in compressed format and runs the PKUNZIP program (PKWARE Inc.). These problems are most likely if you are using DOS 4.0, your computer is on a LAN, or you are using Windows. Temporarily disable these TSRs and device drivers to load the data.

The two data files on the distribution disks are:

MAPSHEET.ZIP - contains a set of occurrences
ENTITIES.ZIP - code tables corresponding to the occurrences

A configuration file containing the validation date is included in the file. When data are loaded, the existing entities in your database will be overwritten if the validation date is more recent than your existing entities' validation date.




The code (entity) table modifications are available users. To modify tables go to UTILITIES, SYSTEM CONFIGURATION and set CODE MAINTENANCE=ON.

This feature must only be used if you do not need compatibility with the GSB's MINFILE data. Once the code tables have been changed, your system is incompatible with the Geological Survey Branch's data. New MINFILE data from the GSB may not be properly read by your system, even though no error messages appear on the screen. Some reports may produce invalid information.




The System Configuration choice, under the UTILITIES menu, has been enhanced in this version of MINFILE/pc. The seven configurable features include: allowing the users to configure their own personal DOS editor; selecting either the NAD 27 or NAD 83 coordinate reference datum; selecting as default one of the allowed report output devices (screen, file, printer or print preview); selecting the PC display type (color or black&white); selecting the default printer (Epson or HP LaserJET); selecting the report/extract file mode (include or exclude printer control codes, and dBASE or Worksheet export formats); toggle code table maintenance (on or off).

In addition to the above mentioned features, users that enter data to either MINFILE or the Exploration Projects can now restrict the input location of occurrences/projects to a configurable coordinate rectangle. Under the UTILITIES menu, the Alter Coordinate Area choice allows the user to specify a coordinate rectangle that restricts the update or input of locations to coordinates which fall within this area. The rectangle is defined by entering the northwest most latitude/longitude degrees and the southeast most latitude/longitude degrees. In addition, for those unexpected moments when a location outside the validation area requires updating, the option to ignore the set coordinate area can be toggled. Note however, turning the validation area off only applies for the duration of the session and gets turned back on the next time you re-enter MINFILE.




Three MINFILE extract files (MINERAL.MBC, RESERVE.MBC and PRODUCT.MBC) and two Exploration Project extract files (PROJECT1.MBC and PROJECT2.MBC) may be created from MINFILE/pc 4.5. These extracts may be based on the entire MINFILE or Exploration Project database or on search criteria. These files are useful for importing into GIS software and obtaining a summary of MINFILE or Project data.

The files are generated from the Import/Export Search File options in the UTILITIES menu. When Option 6 to 9 in MINFILE Utilities, or Options 4 to 6 in Exploration Projects Utilities are selected the filename field is displayed with a default disk and directory path name. Press Enter to accept the default or override with a new drive and directory. The files are automatically named, so file names are not required; ensure a directory is named, however. The comma delimited, dBASE or Worksheet files are placed in the directory indicated by the drive and directory path shown in the filename field. To exit from the Utilities menu after the extract files have been run, press ESC to return to the previous menu.

The MINERAL (.MBC, .DBF or .WKS) files contain: MINFILE number and name; status; location and elevation; commodities; deposit type, character and class; tectonic belt; terrane; NTS map area, region; datum reference; and production or reserve flag. The RESERVE (.MBC, .DBF or .WKS) files contain: MINFILE number and name; zone; year; category; tonnage; commodities and grades; and comments and reference. The PRODUCT (.MBC, .DBF or .WKS) files contain: MINFILE number and name; total ore mined and milled; total quantity and commodity; and first and last year of production.

The PROJECT1 (.MBC, .DBF or .WKS) files contain: all the Project data. The PROJECT2 (.MBC, .DBF or .WKS) files contain: all the Notices data.




With the release of MINFILE 4.5, users have experienced various memory errors. Some of these are due to running out of base RAM memory and problems with extended/expanded memory. MINFILE/pc uses FoxPro as the database management system and R&R as the report writing software. FoxPro tends to allocate all of extended memory or DOS memory, leaving none for the DOS-Extended R&R. Changes to the latest release of MINFILE have attempted to optimize memory usage. However, problems may still occur on some user's computers. The message "Run command failed" is usually an indication that there is not enough conventional memory to execute a command. The message "Formatting report ...DOS/16M error [6] Insufficient memory to load program" followed by "Calculated field 'SCANNING' must be edited" indicates an extended memory problem. The following remedies can be tried to resolve memory problems:


  • edit the file C:\MINFILE\CONFIG.FP by changing EMS=ON to EMS=OFF.
  • change this device in C:\CONFIG.SYS with DEVICE=C:\DOS\EMM386 RAM 1024.
  • simplify AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS to loadhigh and remove device drivers.

The following are examples of simplified AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS files:


PATH C:\WINDOWS;C:\DOS;c:\minfile
C:\DOS\SMARTDRV.EXE /l 2048 128
lh c:\utils\





a) MINFILE/pc System

MINFILE/pc Version 4.5 Y2K Edition software is downloadable from the Web. Version 4.5 of the User's Manual (Information Circular 2004-4) has currently been developed for download and distribution on disk. See User's Manual on the Web.

MINFILE is very interested in receiving your comments and suggestions regarding MINFILE/pc Version 4.5, its documentation, ease of installation and use, and possible improvements. After becoming familiar with the program and documentation, please take some time to write comments and send them to us. We will consider them in the development of future releases.

Comments and requests for MINFILE information, MINFILE Coding Manual, MINFILE User's Manual and MINFILE/pc system diskettes should be directed to:

BC Geological Survey
Ministry of Energy, Mines & Petroleum Resources
P.O. Box 9333 STN PROV GOV'T
Office location: 5th Floor, 1810 Blanshard Street


  • Fax:  (250) 952-0381


MINFILE is a comprehensive, computerized mineral inventory of over 12,100 metallic, industrial mineral and coal occurrences in British Columbia. The MINFILE computer database contains a unique record of each documented mineral occurrence in the province, including operating mines. Each record includes extensive detail on location; mineralogy and alteration; geology and host rocks; assay data, reserves and production records; and further references and information on any given occurrence. Included as part of each record is a variable-length text description of the geology and setting of each occurrence. The data is useful for geoscience research, mineral exploration, prospecting, land-use management and a host of related applications requiring data on the Province's mineral resources and production.

As of January 2000, 95 per cent of the total database has been updated and entered into the computer. Of this, 92 per cent or 97 of the 105 map areas have been formally released. Professional geologists constantly maintain and expand on the information. Newly compiled information is released periodically by NTS mapsheet and the data for the entire province is released once a year in January.

MINFILE reports and data are distributed on CD-ROM ($25.00) or are downloadable free from the Web. The 92 MINFILE maps for the complete province are available on microfiche for $10.00 per set. This microfiche set was last updated in March 2000. Paper copies of the maps may be purchased for $5.00 per map area. PDF format maps are available on the MINFILE CD or download from the Web.  See Crown Publications catalogue for exact pricing per individual map area.  A readme.doc file on each disk describes the database.

MINFILE reports and data on CD-ROM and mineral occurrence maps are available from:


Crown Publications Inc.
521 Fort Street
Phone: (250) 386-4636; Fax: (250) 386-0221

c) MINFILE/www Searches

MINFILE/www is a Web search site of the MINFILE database. Simple queries include MINFILE Name, Number, NTS map location, Status, Commodity, Deposit Type, Tectonic Belt, Terrane, Latitude/Longitude, Mineralogy, Deposit Character/Classification, Formal/Informal Host, Rock Type/Lithology and Stratigraphic Age. Results are reported as a table and each occurrence is linked to a Capsule Geology and Bibliography report. Each result is linked to a MapGuide window with the map centred on the occurrence. Results can be progressively queried and a list of occurrences can be saved to a file.  This list or a custom list can be imported back into MINFLE/www for additional queries and extracts.


d) Exploration Project Data

Data for the Exploration Projects component of MINFILE/pc is generated by the Regional Geologists and is intended for in-house use. THIS DATA IS NOT DISTRIBUTED. The system, however, is distributed for users to enter and track their own exploration activity.