Since its inception in 1895, the British Columbia Geological Survey has created, delivered, and archived geoscience data to help industry, government, research agencies, and the general public make informed decisions related to the Earth sciences.
All British Columbia Geological Survey publications are downloadable, free of charge. Many can be viewed in hard copy at the James T. Fyles Natural Resource Library (1810 Blanshard St, Victoria), and as part of university library collections.
Our current offerings are listed below. In addition to digital downloads, some are released in print, such as our annual reviews. These annual reviews include Geological Fieldwork
(the first Paper of every year) and the Provincial Overview of Mines and Mineral Exploration
, Exploration and Mining in British Columbia
, and the Coal Industry Overview
(the first three Information Circulars of every year).
The Paper series is reserved for reviews and final thematic or regional works. Geological Fieldwork, our annual review of field activities and current research, is released as the first Paper of each year.
The Geoscience Map series is the BCGS vehicle for publishing final maps.
Open Files present the interim results of ongoing research, particularly mapping projects.
GeoFiles enable rapid release of extensive data tables from ongoing geochemical, geochronologic, and geophysical work. As such, they serve the same function as data repositories provided by many journals, providing immediate access to raw data from specific projects.
Information Circulars provide accessible geoscience information to a broad audience in government, industry, and the general public. Included in the Information Circular series are the annual Provincial Overview of Mining and Exploration, Exploration and Mining in British Columbia, and the Coal Industry Overview.
Mineral Deposit Profiles
Mineral Deposit Profiles provide brief summaries of the types of mineral deposits found in British Columbia. They include descriptions of host rocks, mineralogy, alteration, tectonic setting, associations, genetic models, and exploration guides, and give typical examples with grades and tonnages.Databases
The British Columbia Geological Survey delivers its web-based archiving and public access function via the MapPlace portal, Property File, MINFILE, ARIS, COALFILE, geochemical databases, geophysical databases, and the digital geological map of British Columbia.
MapPlace is a web service that allows clients to browse, visualize, and analyze multidisciplinary geoscience data. Data themes and applications available on MapPlace include mineral potential, bedrock and surficial geology, publications, mineral and petroleum tenure, MINFILE, assessment reports, geochemistry, and geophysical surveys.
Property File is a collection of over 68,000 government, university, and industry documents acquired by the British Columbia Geological Survey over the last 150 years. These documents include unpublished reports, theses, field notes, company prospectuses, correspondence, hand-drawn maps, claim maps, mine plans, photographs, and geological, geochemical, geophysical, and drill data.
MINFILE is a mineral inventory documenting more than 13,900 metallic, industrial mineral, and coal occurrences in British Columbia.
ARIS (Assessment Report Indexing System) is the collection of over 33,500 assessment reports that are submitted to the Ministry in compliance with Mineral Tenure Act Regulations and summarize results from exploration programs on mineral claims in British Columbia. These reports contain information on geology, geophysics, geochemistry, drilling, prospecting and physical work. After a one-year confidentiality period, the reports become an open resource for planning mineral exploration investment, research, land-use planning, and resource management.
COALFILE is a collection of close to 1,000 coal assessment reports dating from 1900, many of which were submitted by exploration companies in compliance with the Coal Act. It also contains an additional 196 reports of the Hat Creek area from BC Hydro and the Ministry Library. A search engine leads clients to a summary page for each coal assessment report.
Geochemical databases. The British Columbia Geological Survey maintains provincial geochemical databases capturing data from multimedia surveys conducted by The British Columbia Geological Survey, the Geological Survey of Canada, and Geoscience BC. The geochemical databases include: 1) the regional geochemical survey (RGS), which includes determinations for up to 60 elements from about 64,000 sites covering ~ 80 per cent of the province; 2) till surveys targeting regions of high mineral potential where glacial sediments cover underlying bedrock; and 3) lithogeochemical rock analyses.
The Geophysical database includes multisensor, airborne geophysical surveys of targeted areas across the province.
British Columbia Digital Geology is the data source used to create the digital Geological Map of British Columbia. The latest release is based on a framework data model, which consists of attributed geological contacts and faults as linework, and outcrops or centroids as points attributed with bedrock information. It also contains: tables for geological units and colours; an ESRI layer file containing the bedrock colour symbols; and a map of British Columbia illustrating the suggested colour theme for the bedrock polygons.
The names of our publications have changed through the years. Although recast in different formats, the substance of earlier generations of publications has remained. All are available for digital download.
Annual Report of the Ministry
Geology, Exploration and Mining in British Columbia
Exploration in British Columbia
Mineral Exploration Review
Annual reporting has been restructured many times since 1874. Currently, Geological Fieldwork, the Provincial Overview of Mining and Exploration, Exploration and Mining in British Columbia, and the Coal Industry Overview serve the same function as the following discontinued series.
Between 1874 and 1979, the Annual Report of the Minister documented mineral exploration and economic activity in the province. The reports contain details of geological work, individual and company activity, and resource statistics.
Geology, Exploration and Mining in British Columbia was introduced in 1969. Expanding on reviews that were part of the Annual Report of the Ministry series, it included chapters on metals, placer deposits, structural materials, industrial minerals, and coal. In 1975, the series was separated into three parts: 1) Geology in British Columbia (discontinued after 1981), 2) Exploration in British Columbia, and 3) Mining in British Columbia (discontinued after 1990).
Exploration in British Columbia provided overviews of mineral exploration activity and summaries of assessment reports. In 1985, it was split into Part A (including a provincial overview and district summaries contributed by Regional Geologists in Smithers, Prince George, Vancouver, Kamloops and Cranbrook), Part B (Geological Descriptions of Selected Properties, discontinued in 2005), and Part C (Assessment Report Summaries). Part C was discontinued in 1989, and information about assessment reports was transferred to the Assessment Report Indexing System (ARIS). The Regional Geologist reports continue today as Exploration and Mining in British Columbia.
First published in 1983, the Mineral Exploration Review, was released as the first Information Circular in a given year. It provided a provincial overview, summarizing significant exploration and development projects in the province. This series continues today as the Provincial Overview of Mines and Mineral Exploration.
The Bulletin series was started in 1896 for formal publications of the British Columbia Geological Survey. Because of increasing digital delivery of publications, this series has been retired.
Discontinued in 1990, the Preliminary Map series delivered early drafts of maps intended for ultimate publication in Bulletins. Preliminary maps are now released digitally in the Open File series.
Mineral Potential Maps (1992 - 1993) and Mineral Potential Land Use Maps (1972-1981)
Mineral Potential Maps (1992 - 1993) evaluate the mineral potential of an area based on 1:50 000-scale geological mapping, integrated geochemical and geophysical data, and economic geology models. Similar maps, at a 1:250 000 scale, were released between 1972 and 1981 as Mineral Potential Land Use maps. The data presented on these individual maps are now available through MapPlace.
Miscellaneous Reports and Publications
Between 1886 and 1982, several reports were released in the Miscellaneous Report (MR) and Miscellaneous Publication (MP) series, both of which have been discontinued.
Indices of British Columbia Geological Survey Publications
Between 1937 and 1998, indices of BCGS publications were released as individual volumes.
Because the geology of British Columbia is of interest to geoscientists worldwide, many of our geologists contribute to the peer-reviewed literature, publishing in national and international journals. Listings and selected downloads can be accessed here.
Oil and Gas releases
Publications issued by the Upstream Development Division of the Ministry of Natural Gas Development may be accessed here.
Geoscience BC releases
Established in 2005, Geoscience BC
is an industry-led, non-government, not-for-profit organization funded by grants from the Government of British Columbia. These grants support generating applied geoscience studies. Publications may be downloaded from this site
or from Geoscience BC
Mineral production statistics
Annual statistics of mineral production, compiled since 1874, can be accessed from the Mineral Statistics website and from the Annual Summary and Mineral Production Tables page.
Canada-British Columbia Mineral Development Agreement 1985-1990
The Canada-British Columbia Mineral Development Agreement 1985-1990 funded geoscience projects, market studies, mineral economics investigations, mining safety studies, and research and development projects. The summary report (PDF, 9.75 Mb) may be downloaded here. Individual reports may be downloaded from the Miscellaneous Papers (MP Series).
For further information:
email BCGS Mailbox
call toll free (British Columbia residents only)