New Brunswick’s complex geological past has given rise to a diversity of metallic mineral resources. Metallic mineral deposits may contain base metals such as copper, lead, zinc, and iron; precious metals such as gold and silver; or rare metals such as indium.
Brunswick Mines in northeast New Brunswick produced lead, zinc, and copper, plus significant amounts of gold, silver, cadmium, bismuth, and antimony for export worldwide. Clarence Stream in the southwest part of the province is the site of intensive gold exploration. The gold property lies near a polymetallic mineral deposit at Mount Pleasant, where sizeable quantities of indium occur with tin, tungsten, and molybdenum.
The Geological Surveys Branch (GSB) of the Department of Natural Resources and Energy Development oversees the government’s Metallic Mineral Resources Program. The program’s key objective is to promote metallic mineral exploration in New Brunswick. Specific aims are to:
- investigate metallic mineral occurrences in New Brunswick, their host rocks, and their environments of formation to determine geological factors controlling mineralization;
- provide and maintain an up-to-date inventory of metallic mineral deposits as part of the GSB’s larger Mineral Occurrence Database ;
- to stay current with the latest exploration methods and techniques;
- to convey new ideas, concepts, and models for exploration, to industry stakeholders.
Under the Metallic Mineral Resources Program, the GSB:
- conducts field investigations of metallic mineral resources in New Brunswick;
- produces geological maps and reports covering representative metallic mineral deposits;
- maintains a geological database of metallic mineral deposits in the province;
- advises industry about New Brunswick’s metallic mineral potential and favourable geological environments for exploration; and
- collaborates closely with academic institutions worldwide.