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The MINFILE Project

  • The MINFILE mineral inventory system consisting of a computer program, a database and documentation
  • MINFILE is used by industry, governments, universities and the public for the following:
    • To find information on documented mineralization anywhere in British Columbia.
    • To develop exploration strategies.
    • For geoscience research.
    • To evaluate the resource potential of an area.
    • For land-use planning.
    • For "DESKTOP PROSPECTING".
  • MINFILE: the database contains over 90 megabytes of information on more than 14,600 metallic, mineral, industrial mineral and coal occurrences in British Columbia.
  • MINFILE/pc: the program allows the user to search, report and update data in the MINFILE database.  

Modelled after The Art & Science of Writing Geoscience Reports by Brian Grant

MINFILE (2006): Tulsequah Chief, 104K 002; BC Ministry of Energy and Mines, MINFILE digital data, posted April 2006, URL <http://minfile.gov.bc.ca/Summary.aspx?minfilno=104K++002

Jakobsen, D.E., Bradford, J., and Mihalynuk, M.G. (1993): Skagway mineral occurrence data NTS 104M; BC Ministry of Energy and Mines, MINFILE digital data, 88 occurrences, posted Nov 2004, URL <http://www.empr.gov.bc.ca/Mining/Geoscience/MINFILE/ProductsDownloads/PublicationsList/Pages/104m.aspx> [December 2004]

INTRODUCTION

The Historical, Present, and Future Development of the MINFILE system.

MINFILE, as a computerized mineral inventory system, represents a readily accessible information base for describing the nature and distribution of over 13,000 metallic, industrial mineral and coal occurrences within specific geological settings of British Columbia. 

The MINFILE project, which supported the, now obsolete, MINFILE/vax and DOS-based MINFILE/pc systems and newer MINFILE/www system, is dedicated to ensuring that information in the database is up-to-date, accurate, complete, and easily accessed.  As MINFILE is distributed to industry, government, and university clients, the system has proven to be robust, functional, user-friendly, flexible, and well documented.  These goals required continued investigation and application of new technology towards the MINFILE/www and MINFILE/pc systems (November, 2005) we have today.

As of November, 2005, MINFILE releases totalled 12215 occurrences which represents 96 per cent of the total database.  Of this, 92 per cent or 98 of the 105 map areas have been formally released. Professional geologists constantly maintain and expand on the information. Newly compiled information is released periodically by NTS mapsheet and the data for the entire province is released monthly on the web at http://minfile.gov.bc.ca/updates/default.aspx

In 2011, contractors updated 746 occurrences in the southeast and northwest parts of the province.  This included 291 new occurrences.

HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT OF MINFILE

The database is over 30 years old and has evolved from a simple card-based file to a powerful mainframe or microcomputer-based Geoscience Information System.  In 2005 it was rewritten for the Internet.

2.1  Manual System - 1967

In 1967, the Geological Survey Branch began a manual mineral inventory card file consisting of one card per occurrence.  It included identification, location, historical, geological, and reference information.  Another card file system consisted of the industry-supported MacDonald File.  The card file systems were difficult to use and maintain, and lacked geological information, so plans were made to redesign and computerize the information.

2.2  MINDEP - 1973

MINDEP was a research project initiated by the Department of Geological Sciences at the University of British Columbia, partially funded by a grant from the Ministry of Energy Mines and Petroleum Resources.  The objective was to develop a computerized mineral deposit data file and to design methods for data retrieval and manipulation.  Information on the two card files, mentioned above, was incorporated into MINDEP.  The data resided on Honeywell mainframe computers.

2.3  MINFILE - 1976

In 1976, MINDEP was transferred from the University of British Columbia to the computer facilities of the B.C. Systems Corporation (BCSC).  Renamed MINFILE, the system was maintained by the Resource Data and Analysis Section of the B.C. Geological Survey Branch.

In 1981, BCSC changed operating systems from a Honeywell 6066 computer to an IBM 3081 mainframe computer and the programs were rewritten from COBOL to PL1.  With this conversion, problems were encountered with the file structure and the storage and retrieval of information.  Inquiry into the system consisted of a limited combination of searches, which included one of deposit type, mineral code or commodity combined with one of map sheet ID, NTS map, or mining division.  Queries were by batch mode and were very expensive.

2.4  MINFILE Redesign - 1984

The Geological Survey Branch initiated a redesign of MINFILE in 1984 to adequately update the file and to establish a better inquiry base for mineral inventory data.  The system redesign centered around a table-driven relational database schema with third and fourth generation computer languages for the VAX minicomputer environment.  The addition of extensive new fields included more mineralogical and geological data, with multiple fields. 

Comment fields were expanded, which provided the ability to input an unlimited amount of textual information.  The main objectives were as follows:

            - update the existing information
            - expand the geological content
            - eliminate system conversion problems
            - develop an interactive and user-friendly system
            - improved search capabilities on more fields
            - control excessive computer costs
            - increase system usage
            - download data to micro-computers
            - provide graphic output links
            - provide a lead into 'Expert' systems.

With the help of funding by the Canada/British Columbia Mineral Development Agreement, several contract geologists were hired to research and code for the redesigned database.

2.5  MINFILE/vax - 1987-1990

MINFILE/vax was a relational database, originally programmed for a VAX 11/730 mini-computer.  The MINFILE/vax system consisted of an ULTRA INTERACTIVE DATA BASE SYSTEM, ULTRA Logical User Views and programs.  One of ULTRA's strengths is prototyping, which aided in the development of MINFILE.

The database design used an 'entity-relationship' model comprised of tables of codes (entities), with interrelated tables of deposit data, containing common MINFILE numbers. 

The ULTRA database, the foundation in which the MINFILE data resided, was a directory driven database management system (DBMS) and was designed for VAX computers using the VMS operating system.  The user interacted with the database either by input screens or through the Logical User Views (LUVs).  The LUVs act as software interfaces between the physical data set and either third or fourth generation programming languages, which are written in COBOL, FORTRAN, SPECTRA, or MANTIS.  SPECTRA is a fourth generation language that is used to query sets of data and extract information for output.

SPECTRA was used to conduct ad hoc enquiries and preprogrammed searches on the database.  SPECTRA, although ideal for custom queries, because it navigates easily on the database, was costly on the system and not accessible to all users.

From there, MINFILE/vax operated on a DEC-VAX 8850 mainframe computer, using the VMS operating system.  ULTRA was renamed SUPRA in February, 1990.

2.6  MINFILE/pc - 1987-1990

MINFILE/pc, Version 1.0 was released in November 1987.  It was developed initially to overcome searching costs on the VAX system and make the database accessible to more users.  This menu-driven program was designed to search 20 prime aspects of the database.  The search program was useful as a starting point to gather information on mineral occurrences in B.C., thus forming a basis for further investigation.

MINFILE/pc, Version 2.0, released in March 1989, saw the addition of a reports module.  Reports resulting from a MINFILE/pc search included standard data format (SDF) files, tabular reports, capsule geology and bibliography reports and a master report.

A graphics program known as MINGRAPH PC was developed by ESL.  This program used the SDF file from MINFILE to generate mineral occurrence maps.  MINGRAPH PC was also used to plot mineral inventory maps at a 1:250 000 scale, with 1:50 000 scale inserts when required.  They were plotted on a topographic and geological base, with geological legends and sorted tabular reports.

MINFILE/pc, Version 2.13, released in September 1989, provided the following upgrades:  a production report, a parceling utility, a faster commodity search, and other enhancements to Version 2.0.

A beta version of MINFILE/pc, Version 3.00, completed in April 1990, integrated a Data Entry and Transfer system into the previous version of MINFILE/pc.  It allows users to enter and/or alter mineral occurrence data and transfer, compare and update the changes to another PC using floppy diskettes.

MINFILE/pc, Version 4.0  included a complimentary end-user license from Proximity Technology Inc. This version of MINFILE/pc contained a new module (MINFILE/dg), which was created for the Ministry's Regional Geologists to track exploration and development activity in B.C.   Projects were directly linked to associated MINFILE occurrences.  Note that this exploration data was not distributed.  However, the system could have been used by clients to enter and track their own data.

With the release of MINFILE 4.0, users experienced various memory errors. Some of these were due to running out of base RAM memory and problems with extended/expanded memory.

MINFILE/pc uses FoxPro as the database management system and R&R as the report writing software.   FoxPro tends to allocate all of extended memory or DOS memory, leaving none for the DOS-Extended R&R.   Changes to the next release of MINFILE attempted to optimize memory usage. However, problems still occurred on some user's computers.

Three new comma delimited extract files (MINERAL.MBC, RESERVE.MBC and PRODUCT.MBC) were created from MINFILE/pc 4.0c. The extracts were based on the entire MINFILE database or on search criteria. These files were useful for importing into GIS software and obtaining a summary of MINFILE data.

2.7  MINFILE/pc - (Y2K Edition) - 1999

MINFILE/pc, Version 4.5 (Y2K Edition) - new program features include: location data in either NAD 27 or TRIM/NAD 83 datums; files and printouts display either datum; ability to enter deposit descriptions for any location in the world; user-defined region codes, descriptions and comments; ability to batch assign a region to MINFILE occurrences or Exploration Projects; ability to change editors and devices; user defined longitude/latitude coordinate areas; ability to archive project data; ability to export the Exploration Project data; addition of a batch delete function; new searches; and code table lookups for all searches. 

If data and MINFILE/pc Version 4.0a, or an earlier version of 4.5a, existed on your hard drive, then MINFILE/pc Version 4.5 would install automatically over the old version and convert the data.

As of November, 2004, MINFILE releases totalled 12182 occurrences which represents 95 per cent of the total database.  Of this, 92 per cent or 98 of the 105 map areas have been formally released. Professional geologists constantly maintain and expand on the information. Newly compiled information is released periodically by NTS mapsheet and the data for the entire province is released periodically on CD-Rom and monthly on the web at http://minfile.gov.bc.ca/updates/default.aspx

2.8 MINFILE/www and MINFILE/pc - 2005

The MINFILE/www On-line Coding Card and Searches for the Web and a new version of MINFILE/pc (version 5.0) were released in November 2005.  

This rewrite was designed to safeguard the well-designed MINFILE database and to replace the outdated DOS-based MINFILE/pc system to meet the needs of a diverse client group, including energy and mineral explorationists, land planners, environmental consultants, native groups, university students and the public.  It is delivered primarily through the Internet with views of the data for off-line (MINFILE/pc) and GIS use. 

The MINFILE/www application provides for two levels of searches, data capture, reports, data transfer, maintenance and links through mineral occurrence plots on MapPlace.

The new off-line MINFILE/pc application includes two levels of searches, reports, data transfer and help screens.

The new system was designed to:

- address redundancies;
- automatically populate fields based on geospatial location;
- incorporate new fields: electoral riding, forest district and 1:20K maps;
- increase accuracy with location certainty - now within 100 metres;
- enhance searches, including string searches on capsule geology, bibliography and comment fields;
- provide reports in PDF or MS Word format;
- enhance GIS downloads;
- provide a stand-alone, off-line system of the complete database for clients to use off-line or in the field;
- provide for a life expectancy of at least 10 years. 

THE MINFILE DATABASE

3.1  Framework and Status

The content of MINFILE emphasizes information useful in exploration applications, reflecting the mandate of the B.C. Ministry of Energy & Mines, to stimulate mineral exploration and mine development in the province.  The MINFILE database contains current and historical geological information on metallic, industrial mineral, and coal occurrences.  Each occurrence contains data describing mineral deposits in terms of location, tectonic belt, commodity, mineralogy, host rock name and age, deposit type, lithology, production, and reserves.  Geological descriptions are available in text form and bibliographies lead the user to more information.  The data are organized with a related set of codes, using a relational database management system and application development software, and operate within a micro-computer environment.  Collectively, this information forms an excellent geoscience database to provide for private sector exploration and development of the Province's mineral resources and for resource management decisions by government.

Since 1984 the information in the database has undergone extensive changes.  The data has been upgraded and updated by experienced geologists to insure that the information available is up to date, factual, concise and of high quality.

  As of June, 1990, MINFILE had 4950 occurrences released in this format which represented 48% of the provincial total.  As of April 1995, 85 per cent of the total database had been updated and entered into the computer. Of this, 80 per cent or 89 of the 105 map areas were released to the public.  MINFILE data were distributed on 1.44-megabyte, 3.5-inch diskettes, hard copy printouts, and plotted on geological and topographic base maps.   The entire provincial MINFILE database was available on 15 disks ($75.00/set or $7.50/diskette).  The 92 Mineral Inventory/MINFILE maps were available on microfiche for $10.00 per set.  This microfiche set was updated May 1994.  Paper maps are $5.00 each; printouts range from $5.00 to $50.00 per NTS area.  

As of January, 2002, MINFILE had 12098 occurrences released in this format which represented 95 per cent of the total database.  Of this, 92 per cent or 98 of the 105 map areas had been formally released.  Professional geologists constantly maintain and expand on the information. Newly compiled information is released periodically by NTS mapsheet and the data for the entire province is released periodically on CD-Rom and monthly on the web at http://minfile.gov.bc.ca/updates/default.aspx.

As of November, 2004, MINFILE releases totalled 12182 occurrences which represents 95 per cent of the total database.  Of this, 92 per cent or 98 of the 105 map areas have been formally released. Professional geologists constantly maintain and expand on the information. Newly compiled information is released periodically by NTS mapsheet and the data for the entire province is released periodically on CD-Rom and monthly on the web at http://minfile.gov.bc.ca/updates/default.aspx

Up until 2004, MINFILE reports and data were distributed on CD-ROM ($25.00) and  downloadable free from the Web. The 92 Mineral Inventory/MINFILE maps, with occurrences plotted on geological and topographic bases, are available on paper ($5.00 each), on the MINFILE CD or download from the Web, and on microfiche ($10.00 per set); the microfiche set was last updated January 1997. 

With the 2005 re-write of MINFILE/pc and the new MINFILE/www system, the data was moved to an SQL Server database.  Users can view the data via a real-time live connection.

Today, MINFILE reports and data are available on the web.  Crown Publications is no longer providing hardcopies of these products. 

3.2  Coding Procedure

A MINFILE occurrence is defined as in-situ bedrock or placer mineralization, either on surface, in drill holes, or in underground workings.  It does not include float, geochemical or geophysical anomalies.  Coding of information for the MINFILE database is generally carried out within a 1:250,000 National Topographic System (NTS) area.  The steps involved include assembling locational and general NTS mapsheet information, obtaining information on existing mineral occurrences from previous coding, and communicating with field and expert geologists.

Deposit information is compiled and entered into appropriate data fields.  Descriptions of the occurrences are written and coded by Ministry geologists using standard codes listed in the MINFILE Coding Manual.  Historic information cited includes Ministry reports, published articles and industry assessment report data (ARIS).  Comprehensive geological descriptions and bibliographies are provided for each deposit.  Production, reserves and best assay data are also compiled.

Several fields in the MINFILE database are ranked.  These include commodity, mineralogy and lithology fields.  The status or stage of development of the occurrence is recorded as showing, prospect, developed prospect, producer or past producer.  Commodities are ranked in decreasing order of importance, based on perceived economic significance and quantity of significant minerals.  Ranking is sometimes biased, commodity listings for a deposit tend to use such conventions as gold-silver and lead-zinc rather than silver-gold and/or zinc-lead regardless of the relative abundance or value of the metals.  Such paired commodities may be better dealt with by combining them in a search.  Commodities recorded in the database may be present in any amount and do not have to be economically recoverable.  Significant minerals are ranked according to their relative abundance or importance.  The lithology(ies) that hosts the mineralization is listed first followed by associated and/or related lithologies.

The variety of deposit models and classifications presents difficulties in attempting to describe deposit types.  Deposit types are handled by ranking four entries in the following two fields:  deposit character, which is derived from field observations; and deposit classification, which is an interpretation of the genesis of an occurrence.

An appreciation of the way MINFILE data are recorded permits the user to judge and draw conclusions on the significance of the occurrence.

THE MINFILE/pc SYSTEM (Version 4.5a)

Today's MINFILE/pc and MINFILE/www SYSTEMS

4.1  System Overview

MINFILE/pc Version 5 is a user-friendly, MS Access application, downloadable for local PC use.  MINFILE/pc has an interface similar to MINFILE/www, which is an Internet-based system consisting of basic and advanced searches, on-screen occurrence summary data and other reports and downloads. MINFILE/pc provides a portable extract of the MINFILE database along with search forms and printable reports.  The new MINFILE/pc, Version 5 and MINFILE/www systems were developed to meet the needs of a diverse client group, including energy and mineral explorationists, land planners, environmental consultants, native groups, university students and the public.

MINFILE/www is a menu-driven program, operating in the SQL Server 2000 platform.  Users can view the data with a real-time live connection. 

In addition to the searching capability of MINFILE/www, the program reports on the search results which link to individual MINFILE Record Summaries, Production, Inventory and MINFILE Detailed reports in PDF or MS Word format.  MINFILE information can be plotted on the MapPlace by clicking on the latitude/longitude link or by using other computer aided mapping systems and/or integrated with conventional geographic information systems.

Editing and updating new mineral occurrences is possible with via the Internet with a BCeID (https://www.bceid.ca/) for companies registered in British Columbia or a MyID for individuals.  The revised information may be easily transferred to other computers.  Please contact MINFILE Project Staff to be set up with this utility.

4.2  System Requirements and Components

The new MINFILE/www was developed with Microsoft .NET and SQL Server, in accordance with Ministry standards.  The application is multi-tiered, separating data, business logic and user interface.  The user interface and business logic components were developed using ASP.NET.   Crystal Report Writer is used to generate the reports.  The new off-line version of MINFILE/pc is downloadable in .rar format and consists of MS Access tables and a help file.

MINFILE/pc is a menu-driven search and reporting program which is downloadable (in .rar format) from our website.  The program requires hard-disk drive with sufficient space to accommodate the distributed data files and its subsequent configuration (approximately 150 Mb).  The following table shows the recommended configurations to run MINFILE/pc.

System Requirements:

  • MINFILE/pc requires Microsoft Access 2000 (or a later version) installed on your computer.
  • An internet connection is required to download MINFILE/pc from the website.
  • Microsoft Windows 95, 98 NT, 2000 XP or later.
 

Application Features:

  • MINFILE/pc, through 8 menu-driven basic or advanced screens, enables the user to search the MINFILE Database on a variety of exploration and/or geological parameters.
  • MINFILE/pc reports include Search Results, Record Summary, Detail Report, Inventory and Production Details, and Inventory and Production Summaries.
  • Help desk support is free of charge from the MINFILE Project Staff.
  • A MINFILE/pc Help file describes the installation and application.

Both new systems come with help describing how to use the programs. 

THE SEARCH AND REPORT SYSTEMS

5.1  General Overview and Features

The new MINFILE has the ability to interrogate the provincial mineral database and break it down into a variety of manageable subsets.  Searches are conducted by inputting parameters into the simple, user-friendly screen menus.  Information files are then created which can be saved for future reference and to produce mineral occurrence distribution plots or generate reports on the search results.

Imagine the variety of queries possible from thousands of mineral occurrences.  For example, search on occurrences representative of Kuroko-style stratiform, volcanogenic, massive sulphide deposits; or, find occurrences similar to a deposit described as an epithermal deposit, containing quartz, dolomite and pyrite as alteration minerals within tuff, limestone and breccia of Permian age; or, prepare a file to plot gold occurrences on geological or geochemical maps; or finally, extract production and reserve data for all major deposits.

5.2  The Search System

The new MINFILE programs have 2 search screens each - basic and advanced.  The basic searches are the most common searches.  The advanced searches enable the user to search on almost all of the fields in the database.  On the advanced screens, search parameters are entered into the program using Boolean algebra (AND, OR, NOT) expressions.

5.3  The Report System

Reports resulting from the new MINFILE/www or MINFILE/pc systems are identical.  They both offer the same reports in a PDF or MS Word format.  A MINFILE Summary Report provides a summary of the information on an occurrence, the MINFILE Detailed report displays the complete data, the production report displays production by year and a production summary, and the inventory report displays inventory by year.  These reports are generated using Crystal Reports and can be printed to the screen or printer.

THE CODING CARD AND TRANSFER SYSTEMS

6.1  General Overview and Features

The purpose of the MINFILE/www Coding Card is to allow users to enter or alter mineral occurrence data into the MINFILE database over the Internet. 

The major functions of the system include Selecting a Deposit, Selecting a Screen, Revising an occurrence or creating a new one, Obtaining Help, and Printing Reports.

   The primary users of MINFILE/www Coding Card will be research geologists and employees of the BC Geological Survey, who update the MINFILE database.  An off-line system (MINFILE/pc) may also be downloaded for geologists working in the field and clients in the mining industry for their own use.

HELP SYSTEM AND DOCUMENTATION

7.1  UTM - Long./Lat. Conversion

Although location information in MINFILE is in both Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) coordinates and Longitude/Latitude, the user needs only to enter one or the other.  A program converts one to the other.

7.2  Documentation

Supporting documents for MINFILE/pc include:  a Coding Manual, which details the characteristics, editing factors, and limitations of each data field; a User Manual describes the search and report systems of MINFILE/pc, Version 4.5 and provides detailed information on the procedures involved in the data entry process on the  MINFILE/www Coding Card utility.

MINFILE PRODUCTS AND OUTPUTS

8.1  MINFILE/pc

The MINFILE/pc Search and Report program, Version 5.0 is available free of charge from our website.

8.2  MINFILE Data and Maps

Up to version 4.5a, the MINFILE data was sold on a commercial basis in hard copy as maps and printouts and in computer format as floppy diskettes or CD-Rom.  It is now strictly available on the web.  MINFILE maps (last updated January 1997) show the location of known mineral occurrences on a physiographic, topographic and geological base map.  The number labels refer to the MINFILE number within a 1:100,000 or 1:250,000 scale National Topographic System (NTS) map.  The symbols class the occurrence according to showing, prospect, developed prospect, producer or past producer.  A legend shows MINFILE number, occurrence name and mineral commodities.  Indices are provided which sort the occurrences by primary commodity, primary name and NTS area.

8.3  Commodity Open Files

Various commodity studies, including silica, magnesite, magnetite, talc, chromite, nickel, platinum and barite have been released as Open Files.

8.4  MINFILE Distribution and Client Sales

Over 1400 copies of MINFILE/pc have been distributed to clients within Canada and other countries.  Along with sales and distribution of MINFILE products, the MINFILE team has responded directly to many client inquiries via the telephone, email, etc.  

8.5  Order Information

Requests for MINFILE information, MINFILE Coding Manual, and MINFILE/pc system available through our website below or from:

MINFILE
BC Geological Survey
Ministry of Energy and Mines
P.O. Box 9333 STN PROV GOV'T
VICTORIA BC CANADA V8W 9N3
Office location: 5th Floor, 1810 Blanshard Street

USES OF MINFILE

The power of MINFILE lies in the flexibility of its relational structure and the simplicity of the user-interface of the MINFILE/pc program.  The scope for manipulating the database to develop new perspectives on the distribution of mineral occurrences is limited only by the imagination of the user.  The strength of the MINFILE system is its ability to efficiently search, sort, and manipulate data on thousands of mineral occurrences.  MINFILE/pc results may range from mineral occurrence listings from simple searches to complete reports from complex searches which identify similar environments to a major new mineral discovery.

9.1  System Users

The program is widely used as an inexpensive research tool by industry, academic researchers and government.  MINFILE has its greatest application in area selection for exploration or research projects.  This selection process results from careful analysis of the geology, metallogeny and distribution of mineral occurrences within a broad region.  From this analysis patterns will emerge showing the association of mineral occurrences with specific geological settings.  Mineral occurrence distribution and variable plots lead to further research to help select prospective areas for mineral potential.  A variety of multivariate statistical procedures may be used to define high priority exploration targets.

MINFILE is routinely used to research land-use issues and identify potential conflict between the mineral and other resource values.  Before alienating areas from development, areas must be first assessed for their mineral resource potential.  Legislators and policy advisors also require basic resource information for the development of rational and far-sighted policies.

MINFILE is a compilation of historical and current exploration data, and thus is sometimes limited by incomplete, inaccurate or ambiguous reporting.  An appreciation of the way MINFILE data is recorded permits the user to draw meaningful conclusions regarding the significance of the occurrence and the data.  Users of the MINFILE system should understand how the data is collected and stored before attempting to "navigate" and query the database.

MINFILE does not attempt to assign definitive deposit types to all occurrences.  For example, if interested in alkaline porphyry gold deposits, the user should search on modifiers of the model.  In this case, search parameters could include copper, gold, diorite, syenite, monzonite, and possibly age parameters.  Such an approach would bring the user closer to expected results and leave less chance of missing occurrences close to the desired model description.

9.2  Some Search Examples

The following are examples of queries that can be efficiently handled by MINFILE/pc:

1.  List mineral occurrences representative of Kuroko-style stratiform, volcanogenic, massive sulphide deposits.

2.  Provide a file for plotting all mineral occurrences in the Intermontane belt that contain both copper and gold, but no molybdenum, lead and zinc.

3.  Find similar occurrences to an epithermal deposit, containing quartz, dolomite and pyrite as alteration minerals within tuff, limestone and breccia of Permian age.

4.  Extract production and reserve data for gold skarns within different geological terranes.

5.  Produce a complete report on all copper deposits with reserves over 100,000 tonnes with a grade over 0.5 per cent.

MINFILE TEAM AND MARKETING

10.1 MINFILE Staff

The MINFILE team consists of a Director of Resource Information; a Database Administrator who maintains and enhances the MINFILE system; and one MINFILE Geologist who updates and maintains the MINFILE database and provides client support.  Additional staff join the team as the budget allows.

10.2 Partners in Enterprise Agreement

Up to version 4.5a, MINFILE/pc achieved a significant degree of success.  This success is largely credited to the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resource's BC Geological Survey and SHL Systemhouse Inc.  From 1986 through to 1990, Systemhouse and the BC Geological Survey worked closely together, drawing upon each other's expertise within the disciplines of computer science and geology, respectively.  Having become quite expert within the taxonomy of Geoscience Information Management, the two organizations entered into an official business relationship.  A Partners in Enterprise agreement was made between the Province of British Columbia and SHL Systemhouse Inc. which allowed Systemhouse to market and enhance the MINFILE Mineral Inventory System for sale worldwide for use by other geological surveys.  The Yukon Government incorporated the MINFILE solution for their mineral database needs through this agreement.

2005 MINFILE SYSTEM RE-WRITE

11.1 MINFILE/www and MINFILE/pc

The MINFILE/www and a new version of MINFILE/pc were released in November 2005.  

After many years, technological advances in hardware and software applications provided the functional and economic rationale for moving MINFILE to an Internet-based Windows environment.  The rewrite was designed to safeguard the well-designed MINFILE database and to replace the outdated DOS-based MINFILE/pc (version 4.5a) system to meet the needs of a diverse client group, including energy and mineral explorationists, land planners, environmental consultants, native groups, university students and the public.  It is delivered primarily through the Internet with views of the data for off-line (MINFILE/pc) and GIS use. 

The MINFILE/www application provides for two levels of searches, data capture, reports, data transfer, maintenance and links through mineral occurrence plots on MapPlace.

The new off-line MINFILE/pc application includes two levels of searches, reports, data transfer and help screens.

The new system was designed to:

- address redundancies;
- automatically populate fields based on geospatial location;
- incorporate new fields: electoral riding, forest district and 1:20K maps;
- increase accuracy with new location certainty - within 100 metres;
- enhance searches, including string searches now available on capsule geology,
  bibliography and comment fields;
- provide reports in either PDF or MS Word format;
- enhance GIS downloads;
- provide a stand-alone, off-line system of the complete database for clients to use in the
  field;
- provide for a life expectancy of at least 10 years. 

FUTURE PLANS

12.1 MINFILE System Plan

Phase II through IV of the MINFILE System Rewrite continued to fine-tune the new system and considered such optional features as audit trails for data revisions, links to photo and video galleries, automatic population of elevation information, saved and advanced searches, provided for more efficient data entry, hot links, additional data extracts, linkages to other databases, auto-population of fields, statistics, Property File and ExplorTrak components, etc.  Phase V is currently underway to enhance the work done to date.

The coding and editing of MINFILE data is ongoing.

SUMMARY

Increased mineral exploration in B.C. has added to mineral occurrence and geological information which must be compiled and coded into the MINFILE structure.  Updating of computer hardware and software for the MINFILE system must keep pace with changing technology.  MINFILE will ultimately be used as an underlying database for Geographical Information Systems and Expert System technology.  These changes and enhancements will necessitate continued support of MINFILE to provide a useful database to the mining community.

Over the years, MINFILE has been continually refined to take advantage of technological advances to become a comprehensive and user-friendly system.  The power and strength of the MINFILE system is its flexibility and ability to efficiently search, sort, and manipulate geological data from thousands of mineral occurrences.

A rewrite has been conducted to safeguard the well-designed MINFILE database and replace the outdated DOS-based MINFILE/pc system.  The new MINFILE database system will follow a strict process for capturing data and editing data to protect the integrity and security of the MINFILE database.  The new data and/or edits will be captured on-line via the Internet using the MINFILE Coding Card.  All submissions will be reviewed by qualified MINFILE geologists/coders for completeness, accuracy, etc.  Once approved by the geologist, they will be submitted electronically to the corporate database where an administrator will assign a new MINFILE number or update an existing number.  This data will then be posted instantaneously to the web for searching, reporting and extraction of data by clients, government and staff.   

Readily accessible geological information provides a framework for resource management decision making.  It also provides a major stimulus to mineral exploration, leading to the discovery of new ore bodies.  The new web version of MINFILE will meet the needs of a diverse client group, including energy and mineral explorationists, land planners, environmental consultants, native groups, university students and the public.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

We would like to acknowledge and thank the contributions to the project by B. Grant and the MINFILE team, consisting of G. Payie, L. Duffett, G. Owsiacki, D. Jakobsen, P. Fischl and G. Magee, C. Ritchie, L. deGroot, I. Webster, K. Hancock, S. Meredith-Jones and L. Jones.  Also a significant contribution to the project was given by staff and co-op students of the BC Geological Survey and EMPR's former Information Management Branch over the years.

  IBM is a registered trademark of International Business Machines Corporation.
  VAX is a trademark of Digital Equipment Corporation.
  ULTRA INTERACTIVE DATA BASE SYSTEM is a trademark of Cincom Systems, Inc.
  VMS is a trademark of Digital Equipment Corporation.
  SPECTRA is a trademark of Cincom Systems, Inc.
  MANTIS is a trademark of Cincom Systems, Inc.
  DEC is a trademark of Digital Equipment Corporation.
  SUPRA is a trademark of Cincom Systems, Inc.
  MINGRAPH PC is a trademark of ESL Environmental Sciences Limited.
  MS-DOS is a trademark of Microsoft Corporation.
  Epson is a trademark of Epson American, Incorporated.
  dBASE III PLUS is a registered trademark of Ashton-Tate.
  FoxBASE+ is a trademark of Fox Software.
  R&R Relational Report Writer is a registered trademark of Concentric Data Systems, Inc.
  QUIKMap is a trademark of ESL Environmental Sciences Limited.
  Proximity-Scan is a trademark of Proximity Technology Inc.
  The Norton Editor is a trademark of Peter Norton Computing Incorporated.
  PKZIP is a trademark of PKWARE, Inc.
  The Norton Commander is a trademark of Peter Norton Computing Incorporated.
  LAP-LINK is a trademark of Traveling Software, Inc.
  Microsoft is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation.
  HARVARD Graphics is a trademark of Software Publishing Corporation. 

NUMBER OF OCCURRENCES OVER TIME

Year No. of Occurrences Year No. of Occurrences
July 1988 9700 Dec 1998 11,970  
Dec 1988 9800 Jun 1999 12,018  
Mar 1989 9900 Jan 2000 12,057  
Jul 1989 10,000 Jun 2000 12,062  
Jan 1991 10,400 Jan 2001 12,066  
Jun 1991 10,500 Sept 2001 12,092  
Jan 1993 10,873 Jan 2002 12,102  
Feb 1995 11,400 Nov 2004 12,182  
June 1995 11,435 Nov 2005 12,215  
Sept 1995 11,438 Apr 2007 12,301  
Jan 1996 11,588 Apr 2008

12,364

 
Jan 1997 11,680 Apr 2012

12,580

 
Jun 1998 11,922 Jan 2015
March 2019

13,915
14,838

 

To obtain further information on MINFILE and releases, please contact any member of the MINFILE project team.

Mineral Deposit Profiles

Mineral Deposit Profiles provide brief summaries of the types of mineral deposits found in British Columbia. They include descriptions of host rocks, mineralogy, alteration, tectonic setting, associations, genetic models, and exploration guides, and give typical examples with grades and tonnages. View BC Mineral Deposit Profiles.