G.J. Simandl, R. Fajber and F. Ferri


This study covers concentrations of lanthanides and Y in phosphate deposits in northeastern British Columbia. Fifty representative samples of phosphate rocks (containing from 0.1 to 29% P2O5), collected during the mid 1980's were re-analysed in 2009 for REEs using modern analytical technique (ICP-MS, following Li-metaborate fusion). They contain from 6 ppm to 972 ppm REE’s (not including Y) and from 5 ppm to 590 ppm Y.

The emphasis of this study is on the Sulphur Mountain formation (SMF) and more specifically at its Whistler member. In general, in decreasing order, Y, La, Nd and Ce are the most abundant REE’s in northeastern British Columbia. Samples from the Kechika formation are an exception because Ce, La, and Nd (in decreasing order) are more abundant than Y.
Within the SMF, there is a good agreement between results obtained using ICP-MS and historical data for P and some of the REEs; however, results of historical La analyses are significantly lower than corresponding results obtained using modern ICP-MS.

Should any of the British Columbia phosphate deposits be considered as sources of phosphate raw material for fertilizer manufacturing, at current REE prices, the economic viability of REE recovery as a by-product of phosphate mining should be considered.


BC Geological Survey’s JoAnne Nelson co-authors updated “Geology of British Columbia, A Journey Through Time”.

JoAnne Nelson, Northern BC Manager and Senior Geologist in the Cordilleran Geoscience Section of the BCGS is a co-author on the new edition of the bestselling book, Geology of British Columbia published by Greystone Books. Currently this book is #4 on the BC Bestsellers list and was recently featured in an article in the Vancouver Sun. Congratulations JoAnne! If you want to get your own copy, it is available through the publisher and most book retailers.


Most provincial geoscience data can be easily accessed over the internet in map format at:

http://www.mapplace.ca/ and through various thematic pages at www.empr.gov.bc.ca/Mining/Geoscience

Printed BC Geological Survey geoscience publications are available from Crown Publications Inc.

Tel: 250-387-6409 Fax: 250-387-1120

Email: crown@pinc.com Website: www.crownpub.bc.ca/

Questions or to update your contact info please contact the BC Geological Survey:

Email: Geological.Survey@gov.bc.ca Tel: 250-952-0372 Fax: 250-952-0381

BC Geological Survey

British Columbia Ministry of Energy and Mines

Mines and Mineral Resources Division

Release Notification 2011-12

September 28, 2011