Snow, soil and trees could help detect mineral deposits in Canada reports that researchers on Vancouver Island have developed an analytical method that allows them to use snow, soil and trees to identify buried mineral deposits. According to their findings, the new series of techniques could help reduce the impact of mineral exploration work while lowering costs and increasing efficiency. Working at British Columbia’s Mount Washington gold-copper-silver prospect and the Lara zinc-copper-lead-silver-gold showing, the geologists were able to measure the concentration of the halogen elements fluorine, bromine, chlorine and iodine in samples such as fluids given off by trees -which they collected by trapping ‘tree sweat’ in plastic bags-; bits of soil recovered using buried collectors left in the ground over several months to passively absorb ions; and a few grams of snow.