Anomalies during greenfield exploration are typically magnetic or gravity – not furniture. British Columbia’s old growth forests are full of bears, giant cedar trees and, in some places, an unwanted armchair.
“When you have such a large land package, almost 300 kilometres of strike, it’s a lot of area, a lot of bush, a lot of forestry roads,” says Andrew Ganton, project geologist at Talisker Resources.
“Every once in a while, you’ll find a couch or an old hot water heater tank.”
Talisker Resources holds the largest land package staked in a single day in British Columbia (BC) history. The massive expanse of forest is dotted with small communities, and illegal dump sites.
However, the new junior exploration company is turning this environmental problem into a way to build local relationships despite the remoteness.
Clearing out the trash
“If we have geologists in the field, and they see a bunch of garbage or an illegal dump site, they’ll clean it up” says Andrew.
“We actually collect those points in MX Deposit as well with photos and descriptions of what kind of remediation work was done.”
Alongside their geological data, the team takes before and after photos of the dump sites, geo-tags their locations, and stores the data in MX Deposit, a cloud-based sample and data management tool.
“The software allows us to not only do systematic exploration but give back to the communities in small ways.”
Dry weather has increased the number and intensity of forest fires in BC in the last few years, thus people there are especially concerned with any risks. Illegal dumping not only leaches toxic chemicals into soil, causing harm to animals and plant life, but it also places flammable materials and chemicals in at-risk areas.
“We’re so new and fresh that we’re engaging each community as we go,” says Andrew.
“It’s in the longterm plan to either post on the website or send quarterly reports to each community of what we’re doing in the area, who we are and how we operate.”
Understanding what’s valuable
The junior exploration company is moving fast collecting soil, sediment, and surficial data to identity targets. They’ve already uncovered 17 promising gold anomalies.
President and CEO Terry Harbort and Vice President of Exploration Ruben Padilla have an impressive track record of discovery in the industry, but also of innovation. Their ability to understand and communicate value to others has helped them attain the level of funding that many exploration companies dream of.
It also means that stakeholder engagement, including locals, is a core part of their projects. Illegal dump sites by their very existence encourage others to dump more waste at them, so each one removed actually prevents more people from discarding junk in the forests.
By logging their clean-up work in MX Deposit to show local communities, Talisker Resources is building their important Social License to Operate and staying true to their environmental initiatives — one refrigerator removed at a time.
For the wildlife, towns, and the company, these minor clean-ups are a win-win-win.
“We just throw it in the back of the truck and take it to the dump,” says Andrew.
“It’s 20 minutes of our time, but who else is going to do it?”