SEG – Smithers Exploration Group

Historic Mine Tour

A Muheim Elementary School grade 6-7 outdoor education field trip to the Twin Falls recreation area and hiking trails, which is located right outside of Smithers B.C. on Hudson Bay Mountain. The two classes discussed basic outdoor safety with their instructor and Lorie Farrell discussed the safety reasons for why they need to stay out of old mining adits if they come across an open one while exploring on their own or with family. The group hiked up a short distance to the cemented adit, after the students peeked in an opening in the cement, they learned about the three main types of mineralization in the small valley with coal seams lower down, Pb, Zn, Au, Ag mining higher up and a porphyry molybdenum deposit across the valley. Samples of many of these mined minerals were given to the students to check out more closely. It was discussed why while the coal was in younger rocks it was at a lower elevation than the older rocks that were towards the top of the mountain rather than the younger rocks being located on top of the older rocks. The tour included a brief history of mining in the region over the last 100 years, how there are no operating mines in the valley right now but that there are two proposed mines and numerous deposits. The class proceeded to hike to a view point before going up to the glacier for the remainder of the school day. Students were given a sample of sphalerite to keep.

AME Strategic Plan component(s): Public and Stakeholder Awareness and Education

Brown Bag Lunch

SEG Brown Bag Lunches are informal winter meetings between SEG members and different branches of government and are held in the Caribou Room of the Nora Building. Discussions are broad and are not project specific but are designed to bring attention to issues that both sides may be having. Our October 21 lunch was attended by Jonathan Buchannan and Rob Stevens with AME in addition to representatives from SEG and FLNROD, MIRR and MEMPR with government. This meeting was chaired by AME and was a general discussion of what issues were important to AME and SEG members. Items that were briefly discussed included: delays in permitting of exploration activities, CRA not accepting some flow through expenses if property is an option agreement, resource roads being decommissioned unexpectedly, UNDRIP legislation and what it will look like, the new EA act, etc. This meeting was followed up later in the day with AME and other SEG members for additional discussions on issues that members were having.

AME Strategic Plan component(s): Socially Responsible Exploration; Member Relations and Benefits


The BVX is an annual four-day event that is hosted by the Bulkley Valley Agricultural and Industrial Association every year towards the end of August. The 100th anniversary of the Fair was this year. It is a family friendly event which includes a parade, 4H, rodeo, amusement rides, kid areas, concerts, dance, a variety of competitions, food, and shopping. The Smithers Exploration Group
booth was located in the “mall” and had interactive displays, information on projects in the area, interesting local rocks, Mining Feeds and Clothes displays including posters with information and items that are labeled with what mined product that they contain located on the one side of the booth, this worked with a “Guess the Fertilizer” draw we did with examples of potash, coal and copper. Richard Beck staffed the SEG booth for most of the fair, SEG also asked local geology companies if they would like to help staff it and be available at times to answer specific questions about their projects. There was a draw prize for a gold pan, mineral set, pen magnet, hand lens, pebble ID book and more. Attendees could check out the displays, look at rocks and learn about minerals we use every day for food and clothing which links to the agricultural aspects of the BVX.

AME Strategic Plan component(s): Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation; Public and Stakeholder Awareness and Education

Granisle Days

Granisle is a small community on Babine Lake that is located near the Babine Lake First Nation communities of Tachet and Old Fort.Granisle Days is a summer time community celebration with a garage and book sale fundraiser for the library, a parade, BBQ, music and dancing, free Family Bingo, a Show and Shine with car decorating and racing, Community Market, mini train rides, human bouncy balls and a Casino Night. Chris Ogryzlo ran a booth for SEG at the Community Market with information and maps of projects in the northwest and cookie mining. People were able to learn about specific active projects in our region, general information about mining and the exploration life cycle as well as try their hand at mining a cookie.

AME Strategic Plan component(s): Public and Stakeholder Awareness and Education

Tahltan Workshop

The Tahltan Workshop occurred in the northern community of Dease Lake with a Memorandum of Understanding that the Geoscience BC has signed with the Tahltan Central Government (TCG). It was a one-day workshop to talk about the role/purpose of geoscience research in Tahltan Territory, and to discuss the findings of past research and organizations involved. The workshop was very well received by those that participated. Anastasia Ledwon for SEG brought up rocks from the Rock Room to compliment the geoscience that was being discussed by the other groups. The rocks provided by SEG added to the presentations of Geoscience BC, GSC and BCGS and increased the interest levels of the participants by making the workshop more hands-on. Anastasia was also able to discuss general scientific concepts at more of an outreach level rather than from an academic perspective. TCG is very interested in having SEG come back to do an activity in the community again.

AME Strategic Plan component(s): Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation; Public and Stakeholder Awareness and Education

Science Literary Week

Science Literacy Week is a nationwide week-long celebration highlighting the excellence and diversity of science organizations, resources and outreach across Canada to show how exciting science can be. Events range from small science-themed book displays to encourage reading something different to multi-day events. The latest Science Literacy Week included over 650 events. The Smithers Public Library hosted the free drop-in Science Extravaganza event which lasted for a few hours and focused on Ocean Research and Water. There was a live insect observation tank, insect displays brought by the Society for Canadian Women in Science and Technology, information, displays and crafts on salmon brought by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. Lorie Farrell and Ted VanderWart with SEG brought a variety of rocks with a water-based depositional environment including but not limited to: fossils, manganese nodules, diatomaceous earth, chalk, limestone, potash and displays on pillow basalts, black smokers and VMS deposits.

AME Strategic Plan component(s): Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation; Public and Stakeholder Awareness and Education

Main Street Show and Shine

A Main Street sidewalk sale combined with a Classic Car & Dealer Vehicle Show, Lego races and a bouncy castle. People had their cars on display for people to look at or ask questions and could be entered to win awards for best cars in certain categories. Kay Mackenzie P. Geo. displayed her recently purchased Hyundai Kona electric car along with a display of minerals used in our everyday lives, MABC posters displaying different transportation modes that use mining and electric car posters promoting that “this vehicle runs on mining”. At the SEG booth, people could ask questions about the car and learn about the mined materials used in vehicles. Kay launched the annual Main Street Geocrawl where people tour main street and answer questions at various locations in order to get people thinking about the different ways that mined materials are seen around the community.

AME Strategic Plan component(s): Socially Responsible Exploration; Public and Stakeholder Awareness and Education

Muheim Cookie Mining

This was a Geologist visit to a Muheim Elementary School Kindergarten class. Kids learned about mining and exploration, drilling rocks and they were able to check out some core samples. They learned about working as a geologist, safety and orienteering while in the bush including learning about inReach satellite technology and using a map. Best of all there were cookies and they got to mine M & M’s out with toothpicks! Anastasia’s son Piran was also on hand to assist with cookie mining and approve reclamation activities before cookie consumption. Anastasia Ledwon brought maps and geology gear to talk to kids about being a geologist and about mining.

AME Strategic Plan component(s): Public and Stakeholder Awareness and Education

Kitsilano Beach

SEG provided partial sponsorship to the grade 11-12 Biology class from the Houston BC Seconday School to go to Vancouver on a class trip for a week. The class did a variety of science-based tours and activities including the aquarium, Science World and Lynn Canyon. SEG coordinated with Below BC for Andy Randell to give the class an outdoor geology tour of a section of the Kitsilano beach that cuts through a 50 million-year-old river channel. Students were able to have hands-on outdoor learning about sedimentary rocks.

AME Strategic Plan component(s): Public and Stakeholder Awareness and Education

Mini Minerals Set

SEG has purchased minerals for making mini-minerals sets. These mini-mineral sets contain between 3 – 4 mineral samples in a bag with a brief description of each mineral, the descriptions include a few items people use every day which are made of these mined minerals. SEG has made two different batches of these mini-mineral sets in the last few years and they are extremely popular with both people who like rocks and minerals and those who don’t realize the impact of mining on everything we use in modern life. We will be putting these together over the next few months and have noticed the lack of them since running out earlier this year.

AME Strategic Plan component(s): Public and Stakeholder Awareness and Education


Other Ongoing Activities

Other general outreach activities that we have been working on include creating reproducible Mining Feeds and Mining Clothes posters to replace paper collages that were made for Minerals Rock in 2016 that were getting tattered, a new reproducible poster for Rock Cycle activities, a large scale reproduceable map of geology and mineral deposits for displaying at the SEG booths, and a Mineral Identification activity with coordinating hand samples. We are working on creating ~1,200 mini mineral sets to encourage a love of rocks and help bring awareness to what mined items they use every day. Tom Richards pulled out numerous samples from the Rock Trailer that are excellent for outreach, Don MacIntyre is working on a self guided geology field trip for SEG for the Smithers region. SEG is also working with the Smithers Chamber of Commerce to host an evening reception for chamber members so they can experience SEG’s important Cordilleran rock suites collection and learn more about projects in northern BC.