Geoscience B.C. unlikely to return to Burns Lake

The large aerial survey moved its base to Smithers due to Burns Lake's runway resurfacing project.

Burns Lake is no longer the base for Geoscience B.C.’s largest airborne magnetic survey to date.

That’s because the base of the aerial survey had to be moved to Smithers after the runway resurfacing project at Burns Lake’s Baker Airport began last month.

Now that the runway resurfacing project is complete, Lakes District News asked Geoscience B.C. if they plan to return to Burns Lake to complete the survey.

According to Bruce Madu, vice president of minerals and mining for Geoscience B.C., it seems unlikely that Sander Geophysics Limited – the contractor chosen to conduct this survey – will choose to return to Burns Lake since the survey is now 75 per cent complete.

This means that Baker Airport and the Burns Lake economy will not continue to profit from Geoscience B.C.’s fuel purchases, maintenance of aircraft and the crews of 10 or more that were staying in town and eating at local restaurants.

“I know the crew was really enjoying their time in Burns Lake, trying the outdoor opportunities in the area,” said Madu.

The survey is expected to be completed at the end of August the earliest.

The aerial survey will produce new data used to identify hidden mineral potential and guide land-use decisions in the region. The survey covers a 24,000 square kilometre grid that extends north to Pathway Lake and south to Ootsa Lake, and east-west from Fort Fraser to Smithers – an area equivalent to 75 per cent the size of Vancouver Island.

Geoscience B.C. is an independent, non-profit organization that generates earth science information. Results from the survey will be publicly available in 2017 at www.geosciencebc.com/s/datareleases.asp