Bauxite the commercial ore of aluminium has not
yet been found in Canada but, the metal aluminium is produced from
ores imported from France, Germany, and the United States, in
extensive reduction works situated at Shawenegan Falls, Quebec. The
plant is operated by the Northern Aluminium Company, a subsidiary of
the Aluminium Company of America. A portion of the bauxite used at
these works is mined from the Company's mines in the States of
Arkansas and Georgia, and refined at East St. Louis, U.S.A.
The Shawenegan plant covers an area of about 10
acres and includes reduction buildings and a wire mill. The Company
employs the Hall, or Heroult electric reduction process for the
manufacture of aluminium. The furnaces, or cells as they are locally
termed, are rectangular in shape, the bottom of the cells forming
one electrode, while a number of carbons suspended over the cells
form the other electrode. These cells work continuously, the reduced
metallic aluminium collecting at the bottom, whence it is tapped off
from time to time, and moulded into bars. There are 340 cells in
operation, each producing, on an average, 150 pounds of aluminium,
of 99-4% fine per day.
The Company owns and operates a water power
plant developing about 40,000 horse-power.
There are numerous occurrences of feldspar in
Canada, some of which are very pure, and it is possible that with
improved processes of manufacture, these may become important
sources of aluminium in the future.
The exports of aluminium in ingots, bars, etc.,
from Canada during 1912 were 9,143 tons, valued at $2,002,303,
besides manufactures of aluminium valued at 110,898.
Ores of antimony consisting mainly of stibnite
or sulphide of antimony have been found and worked in a number of
localities in eastern Canada, chief among which are the mines at
West Gore in Hants county, Nova Scotia, and in the Parish of Prince
William, York county, New Brunswick. In both cases mining operations
have been intermittent in character, and the total shipments of ore
and concentrates during 25 years does not seem to have exceeded
7,000 tons. The ore at West Gore is auriferous, although the
presence of gold was not recognized in the earlier shipments which
consisted of high grade ore carrying 50 per cent and upwards of
antimony. A mill for treating low grade ore wras built in
1907 and 190S. No ore was mined or milled in 1912. Native antimony
and stibnite occur at Prince William, New Brunswick, and the
deposits have been worked at various times since 1S63. A small
smelting plant was erected many years ago with a reputed production
of a ton of metal per week. The Canadian Antimony Company erected a
new plant in 1909 consisting of stack furnaces and a reverberatory
furnace for reducing the antimony oxide, the latter furnace having a
capacity of from two to three tons of metal per 24 hours. This plant
is also idle at the present time.
In addition to the above there is an occasional
recovery of the metal in the lead smelting and refining plant at
Trail, B.C., antimony being a minor constituent of some of the
silver-Ieacl ores of southern British Columbia.
The occurrence of antimony minerals has also
been noted at South Ham, in Wolfe county, province of Quebec.
In British Columbia, stibnite has been reported
at Watkinsons about 23 miles above Lytton, on the Fraser river; on
Cadwalladar creek, Lillooet district; on the Alps and Alturus
claims, north fork of Carpenter creek, Slocan district, and in the
Atlin district on the west shore of Taku Arm, about 10 miles north
of Golden Gate. Occurrences have also been noted in the Yukon
district on a small stream flowing into the Stewart river about 5
miles above Gordon Landing, while more recently important
antimony-silver veins have been found on Carbon and Chieftain hills
in the Wheaton River district, northwest of Lake Bennett in the
Arsenopyrite or mispickel ores are found
abundantly in eastern Ontario, particularly in the county of
Hastings. These deposits are usually auriferous and the Deloro mine
in Marmora township was worked for many years for the recovery of
both gold and white arsenic.
In northern Ontario, mispickel has also been
found in quantity on the shores of Net lake near Lake Timagami; in
Davis township, Nipissing district; near Schreiber on the Canadian
Pacific railway, and also in the Rainy River district.
For a number of years a small quantity of
mispickel concentrate was produced at the gold mine operated at
Goklboro, Nova Scotia. The arsenical concentrate was produced from
the residue of the mill concentrates after the gold had been
extracted by bromo-cyanicle.
The present production of white arsenic in
Canada is being derived altogether from the
silver-cobalt-nickel-arsenic ores of the Cobalt district in Ontario,
the arsenic being recovered as a by-product in the several smelting
works situated at Thorold, Deloro, Orillia, and Copper Cliff, the
latter plant having been recently closed clown. The annual
production of white arsenic during the past five years has been from
1000 to 2000 tons, the greater part of which is exported.
Previous to the discovery of the now famous ore
deposits of the Cobalt district of northern Ontario, the metal
cobalt had already been noted as a constituent of the Sudbury
nickcl-coppcr deposits, in fact a small recovery therefrom was
reported 1892 to 1894.
The silver-cobalt-nickel ores of the Cobalt
district are discussed under the article on silver, since these
ores, with one or two exceptions, are mined primarily for their
silver contents, the cobalt being a by-product for which the mine
owners now receive no return whatever.
This fact is rather curious, when it is
remembered that these ores have displaced nearly all others in
supplying the world's demand for cobalt. Although most of the ore
producing veins of this camp are chiefly silver bearing, a number
have been found in which the silver values are negligible.
Daly Reduction Co.'s mill, Hedley, B. C.
Cobalt is being recovered, in the form of cobalt
oxide and eobaltic material containing nickel or nickel oxide and a
little silver, in Canadian smelters situated at Copper Cliff, Deloro,
Thorold, Orillia, and North Bay respectively. It is quite possible
also that recovery is being made in other smelters, outside of
Canada, to which a considerable tonnage of these ores has been
shipped. The production has been sufficient to cause a falling off
in the price of cobalt oxide from 82.50 a pound in 11)07 to less
than a dollar a pound in 191.1 and 1912. It is estimated that in
1911 about S52 tons of metallic cobalt were contained in the ores
shipped from the Cobalt camp. About 21-5 tons of metals were
recovered in Canadian smelters contained in cobalt oxide, and 119
tons contained in " crude cobalt material."
Native copper occurs in Canada in a number of
different localities; it has been found in the Maritime Provinces in
the trap sheets which occur on both sides of the Bay of Funcly; it
is known to occur in Ontario, in certain copper-bearing amygdaloids
of the Keweenawan series which occur along the east coast of Lake
Superior; it has been found in central British Columbia; and recent
explorations have confirmed information obtained nearly a century
and a half ago, that very important copper-bearing amygdaloids occur
along the arctic coasts of Canada, near Coronation gulf and in
Victoria land. None of these deposits are being exploited
commercially. The small amount of exploration work performed in the
more easily accessible areas has not disclosed concentrations of
native copper at these points in sufficient quantity to make it
practical to operate them commercially by present methods, the
content being usually one per cent or less. The areas of
copper-bearing rocks around Coronation gulf have not been
investigated commercially as yet. The preliminary reports available
seem to indicate the occurrence in this vicinity of copper ranges
which cover an area greater than the well-known copper-bearing rocks
of the State of Michigan.
Minerals containing copper as an essential
constituent occur in many places throughout Canada. Those
commercially important are the sulphides; carbonates and oxides also
occur, usually in association with sulphide deposits, but they are
relatively of minor importance. The two sulphides, chal-copvrite and
bornite, are the most important ; locally chalcocite is also found
occasionally. In Nova Scotia copper sulphide minerals have been
found at a number of points, but no important producing mines have1
been developed. The better known localities are: Cheticamp, Lochaber,
and Coxheath. In New Brunswick, also, no ore bodies of known
commercial importance have been discovered, although small deposits
have been found in a number of localities in the southern part of
In Quebec, particularly in the district known as
the Eastern Townships, numerous occurrences of the sulphide minerals
have been discovered during the last seventy-five years. Some of
these discoveries were important enough to warrant explorations and
commercial development, and many small mines have been in operation
for varying periods of time. The types of ores which occur in this
province may be classified on the basis of their composition as
Pvrite and chalcopvrite, nearly pure sulphides,
the copper content varying from a mere trace to more than 12 per
cent, as at Eustis, Capelton, and elsewhere.
Pvrite and chalcopyrite disseminated through a
highly siliceous gangue, as at the Suffield mine.
Chalcop) rite and bornite disseminated through a
calcareo-magnesian limestone, as at Actonvale and vicinity.
Bornite in a siliceous gangue, usually quartz,
as at Harvey hill.
Pyrrhotite, containing a small amount of
chalcopyrite, as at the Memphrc-magog mine.
Chalcopyrite and pvrite with quartz, and
associated with a basic igneous rock, as at the old mines near St.
Chalcocitc, in small amount, associated with
quartz, and, more rarely, with serpentine, occurring in several
localities, but relatively unimportant.
The most important producing district occurs in
the vicinity of Sher-brooke, Quebec. At the present time there are
two active mines in this district, one of which has been in
continuous operation for about 30 years. There are also a number of
properties that are worthy of further investigation. The ores from
the active mines are almost pure pyrites, containing some
chalcopyrite, and occasionally a little chalcocite. The sulphur
content of the ore, which runs over 40%, is utilized for the
manufacture of sulphuric acid, and the copper is then recovered from
the cinder residues obtained at the acid works, by blast furnace
smelting, with other ores. The Quebec sulphide ores of copper nearly
all contain small amounts of gold and silver.
In Ontario, in addition to the occurrences of
native copper, to which reference has already been made, there are
four different districts in which copper-bearing minerals occur.
These, in order from east to wrcst, are:—
North Hastings district, where some chalcopyrite
occurs in association with pyrites deposits.
Parry Sound district, where some rich pockets of
bornite and chalcopv-rites were found.
Sudbury district, where copper sulphides,
chiefly chalcopyrite, occur in association with nickel sulphides in
the well known deposits of nickeliferous pyrrhotite of that region.
North shore of Lake Huron, comprising the area
westward from the Sudbury district to Lake Superior, and extending
northward for at least 40 miles. In numerous localities throughout
this area quartz veins, sometimes of considerable width and lineal
extent, are found. Many of these veins contain small flakes and
masses of chalcopyrite, occasionally of considerable size. The
number of recorded claims is large; prospecting has been carried on
in many localities and in some few instances extensive development
work has succeeded prospecting. Some of the earliest discoveries of
copper ores in Ontario were in this district-—at the old Wallace
mine, now long since abandoned, and at the well known Bruce mines.
Ore shipments have been made intermittently from a number of
localities in this district, but none of the properties have been
operated continuously for any length of time. These ores are all
highly siliceous. It has long been known that occurrences of copper
minerals are widespread in this district, and many prospects have
been discovered which contain low grade ores. They have rarely been
sufficiently explored to demonstrate their extent. The difficulty of
recovering the copper content economically has not been surmounted.
Without some adequate method of concentration, it has not been
possible to exploit the prospects for any length of time in any
In northern Ontario at the Alexo mine, near
Matheson, chalcopyrite associated with a nickeliferous pyrrhotite
occurs in serpentine. Mining operations are in progress and a small
tonnage of copper-nickel ore has already been produced.
Copper sulphides have also been found in the
district west of Port Arthur, where a little prospecting has been
done, and in a number of localities.
Blast furnace plant at Sydney
In the Timiskaming and Timagami districts. A
small amount of copper is recovered annually from some of the silver
ores of Cobalt and vicinity.
Ontario's production of metallic copper in 1012
was 22,232,00(3 pounds, valued at 83,070,518, on the basis of the
New York average market price for the year. Nearly the whole of this
was obtained .from the pvrrhotites of the Sudbury district. In this
locality two large smelting plants are in active operation, treating
ores obtained from their own mines by blast furnace .smelting. A
third company has been exploring other properties during the last
few years, and another large smelting plant will probably be erected
in the near future. The ores are all nickeliferous copper-bearing
pyrrhotites and they also contain small amounts of the precious
metals. .A more complete description of the ore bodies of the
Sudbury district is included in the paragraphs dealing with the
British Columbia is at present the principal
copper-producing province of the Dominion of Canada, copper-bearing
minerals being found in numerous localities in various parts of the
province. The important minerals are usually •chalcopyrite or
bornite, or both. These may occur alone, but usually they are found
in association with other minerals, the commonest of which are
pyrrhotite, magnetite, pyrite, mispickel, and, occasionally, blende
and galena. The known occurrences arc too numerous to be considered
individually in a review of this character. The principal districts
in which important discoveries have been made are in southern
British Columbia, in the West Kootenay and Kamloops districts, and
in the Coast district at a number of points along the mainland and
on some of the coastal islands. The most important active producing
mines are at Rossland, at Phoenix and at Mother-lode in the
interior, and at Britannia or Howe sound, Texada island, and Granby
bay on the coast. Prospecting exploratory work and development is
also being carried on at a number of points, both in the interior of
southern British Coulmbia and at several coastal points.
The ore deposits of Rossland occur in fissure
veins and in lodes or shear zones, the ore forming a network of
veinlets in the fractures, and also replacing more or less
completely the intervening fragments of country rock, sometimes also
partially replacing the wall rock. The ores may be classified,
according to Brock, on the basis of their mineral contents, as
a. Pyrrhotite and chalcopyrite, with some
pyrites and occasionally a little arsenopyrite, massive or mixed
with gangue and rock matter. Free gold occurs, though but rarely
visible. Rarely, molybdenite and magnetite are found, and, on a few
occasions, blende and galena have been seen. This ore is the typical
ore of the district, and, at times, the pyrrhotite contains 0'05%
nickel and 0'59% cobalt.
b. Pyrrhotite, coarse textured and massive,
containing very little copper and little gold.
e. Veins of pyrite and marcasite with
arsenopyrite and some blend and galena. Such veins occasionally
contain silver as an important constituent.
d. Impregnations of arsenopyrite, pyrrhotite,
pyrite, molybdenite, a little chalcopyrite, bismuthinite, and native
gold. These occur particularly in and around small pegmatitic or
aplitic alkali syenite dykes.
e. Gold-bearing quartz veins.
The gangue associated with the Rossland ores is
usually more or less altered country rock, with which is associated
some quartz, and, in places, •calcite. The principal valuable
constituent recovered from the ores is gold, so that strictly the
ores should be classed as gold ores containing a little copper. The
ores, however, are treated by blast furnace smelting and the gold is
afterwards recovered from the copper matte. The gold content of the
ore varies from 0"4 t-o afcou* 1'5 ounces per t»r tl^silver varies
from 0-3 to 2'5 ounce* per ton; the copper from 0'7% to about 3-5
%. Ores containing higher values in gold, or more copper, have been
The ore deposit* of the Boundary district are.
at. present, the most important deposits of copper-bearing ores in
Canada. The ore bodies occur in mineralized zones in altered
limestones. They lie at different horizons in this zone, but
generally occur in the lower or outer portions. They range in size
from small lenses,
less than 20 feet in thickness and 100 feet in length, to huge ore
bodies, such as that at the Knob Hill-Ironside mine at Phoenix,
which has a thickness of 125 feet, a known width of 000 feet and a
length of about 2,500 feet. The ore throughout is remarkably uniform
and is almost self-fluxing. It consists of finely disseminated
chalcopyrite with pyrites and hematite, in a gangue composed
essentially of epidote, garnet, quartz, calcite and chlorite.
Magnetite occurs in distinct masses, or lense-like bodies, both in
and along the borders of the main ore bodies. The chalcopyrite
carries all the copper, gold, and silver, the average ore containing
from 1'2 to 1'0% of copper, with about SI in gold and silver per
ton. The important producing mines are located in or near the town
of Phoenix, and at Deadwood, about 4 miles from Greenwood, B.C. The
ores are smelted in water-jacketed blast furnaces, producing a matte
that is afterwards treated in bessemer converters.
The ore deposits of the Coast district are of
three distinct types.
The Britannia mines, on Howe sound, are producing chalcopyrite ores,
containing small quantities of gold and silver. These ores occur in
a mineralized shear zone of considerable extent, and are highly
siliceous. The development work is very extensive, and there is
reason to believe that the deposits will prove to be very large. The
ores are concentrated and shipped to the United States for
treatment. Several mines on Texada island produce bornite, with
which is associated more or less chalcopyrite. The ore bodies occur
as a series of lenses in limestones, but usually more or less
closely associated with certain igneous intrusions. Very important
deposits of pyrites, with which is associated chalcopyrite, have
been found less than a mile from tide water, near Granby bay, and
about 110 miles from Prince Rupert. Extensive development work,
performed during the last three years, has shown that these deposits
are very large and preparations are under way to mine these ores and
to treat them in blast furnaces.
Copper sulphides, chiefly chalcopyrite and
bornite, occur at many points along the Pacific coast and on the
adjacent islands. Some prospecting and some development work have
been done at a few points and the future will probably witness the
development of other important producing mines.
There arc three copper smelting plants in
operation in southern British Columbia. One at Trail treats the ores
of the Rossland camp, producing? a copper matte in which the
precious metals contained in the Rossland ores are collected. This
matte is shipped to the United States for refining. A very extensive
plant, at Grand Forks, B.C., treats ores derived from Phoenix, in
the Boundary district, and another at Greenwood smelts ores from the
Motherlode, and some other mines belonging to the operating company.
Both of these plants are equipped with water-jacketed blast
furnaces, and with bessemer converters
for making blister copper. On the coast there is a fully-equipped
smelting plant, at Ladvsmith, on the east side of Vancouver island,
about 05 miles north of Victoria. This is a custom plant, and at
present it is not being operated. A new plant is also under
construction at Anyox, on Granby bay, and it is expected that it
will be in operation in December, 1913.
All smelting companies in British Columbia smelt
custom ores in addition to treating ores from their own mines, and
it is probable that the new smelter at Anvox will also accept custom
The total copper production of British Columbia,
in 1912, is estimated at 50,520,056 pounds, valued at §8,256,561,
Newr York market average prices for the year.
Ores containing copper have been discovered at a
number of points in the Yukon Territory, and one mine, the Pueblo,
at Whitehorse, gives promise of becoming an increasingly important
Gold, with its mystic influence on man, is
usually the first sought mineral in a new country. In Canada, as
elsewhere, we find the quest of gold one of the earliest of our
industries. In Nova Scotia, in Ontario, and in British Columbia,
mining may be said to have commenced in earnest at nearly the same
time, about 1860, largely due to the influence of the discoveries in
California. From this beginning the industry has growrn
until the gold production of Canada in 1912 was valued at
$12,648,794, of which §6,106,677 was recovered from alluvial
For a few years, 1898 to 1904, due to the
Klondike placer output, the production was higher, but otherwise the
growth of output has been uniform.
Gold was discovered in Nova Scotia in 1858, but
1862 really marks the beginning of gold mining. Since that date the
production has been fairly steady, averaging about $400,000 per
annum. The gold bearing rocks of the province form a belt varying in
width from 10 to 70 miles and extend some 260 miles in length along
the Atlantic coast. In this area the gold occurs in the free state
in saddle-shaped quartz veins in many respects similar to those of
Bendigo, Australia. At West Gore there is an occurrence of
auriferous stibnite. This deposit was worked for some time for the
antimony before the presence of the gold was recognized, but in
later years it was a fairly steady producer of gold.
The occurrence of alluvial gold in
southern-Quebec has long been known, the first recorded discovery
being in 1824 on the Gilbert river, a tributary of the Chaudiere, at
a point about 50 miles southeast of Quebec city. Mining commenced in
1847 and operations have been carried on intermittently since.
Alluvial gold has been found and worked along the valley of the
Chaudiere and many of its tributaries from a point some distance
below the mouth of the Gilbert river eastward almost to the
A small amount of gold also comes from the ores
of the Eastern Townships where pyrites ami chalcopyrite are found in
lenses replacing country rock. These are mined for their copper and
sulphur content, and the gold is recovered as a by-product.
Though gold has not yet been discovered in
paying quantities in northern Quebec, it is by no means improbable
that deposits similar to those of Porcupine may be found there.
Amongst the various gold bearing districts of
Ontario may be mentioned the eastern Ontario gold belt in Hastings
and neighbouring counties, Parry Sound district, the Porcupine and
Larder Lake areas, Wanapitei lake, the district north of Lake Huron,
Michipicoten, Shebandowan lake, Sturgeon lake, and Lake of the
The eastern Ontario gold belt was first
exploited in 1866. This district comprises the southeastern part of
Peterborough county and passes through the northern parts of
Hastings, Lennox and Addington, and Fronte-nac counties. The gold
deposits occur in the older rocks of the Hastings-
Granville series generally near granite
intrusions. There are many small mines in this area which have been
intermittently worked since discovery.
The Porcupine gold area is situated in northern
Ontario, about 1")0 miles north of Toronto and 120 miles north of
the Cobalt silver district. The most important developments have
taken place in the township of Tisdale, but promising discoveries
have also been made in other townships in the vicinity including
Whitney, Ogden, Shaw, Deloro, and Langmuir. There are also producing
properties in Munro and Guibord near Matheson, in Otto at Swastika,
and in the vicinity of Larder lake. The occurrence of gold bearing
quartz has been known in this district for a number of years, but it
was not until the summer of 1909 that discoveries of importance were
made and interest aroused. Early in 1910 a rush started and around
the original discoveries lots were staked for miles regardless of
the values they contained. The best looking finds were tested during
1910 and early in 1911 the construction of several mills was well
under way. Although the first mil only started in Julv 1912, the
gold production from the district for that year was about
The rocks of the Porcupine area may well be
classed as Pre-Cambrian, and are similar to the older formations
occurring at Cobalt. The gold is associated with quartz in irregular
fissures running through both the Keewatin and Timiskaming series.
Gold as well as others of the rarer metals is
recovered in the refining of the mattes from the Sudbury
The mines of western Ontario embrace a number of
classes, but all are located in Keewatin rocks or in intrusive
granites or gneisses. Many properties have been worked
intermittently though few continuously.
In Manitoba some attention is at present being
paid to the area lying southeast of Lake Winnipeg and along the
Ontario boundary where some discoveries have recently been made.
Alluvial gold has been found in many of the
rivers of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and the North West Territories,
though actual production has been limited to a small recovery from
the Saskatchewan river immediately above and below Edmonton.
About the time Simon Eraser, in the first years
of the nineteenth century, crossed the Rockies to the head of the
river now bearing his name, the early settlers of Vancouver island
had begun to realize the wealth of British Columbia, and had sailed
away from Moresby island, one of the Queen Charlottes, with a cargo
of rich gold ore which paid them well for their enterprise, but for
some reason they did not repeat the venture. Practically, therefore,
the first mineral development is that due to the Fraser River gold
rush in 1S5S and succeeding years, when the Cariboo and Quesnel
districts were discovered, followed in 1S74 by the discovery of gold
Lode gold mining may be said to have commenced
in 1S90 with the staking of the Rossland gold-copper camp, followed
by the discovery of the large low grade copper-gold ore bodies of
the Boundary. These ores, though one of the main sources of the
province's gold production, are complex gold-silver-copper ores and
are mentioned under the head of copper. Practically all the copper
ores of the province are auriferous to a greater or less extent. The
Nickel Plate mine at Hedley in the Similkameen is the premier gold
mine of the province and its 40 ski nip mill has been a steady
producer for a number of years, its 1911 output being valued at
The ore here is an auriferous mispickel with
varying amounts of copper and iron pyrites occurring in bodies
replacing country rock along or near the contact of igneous rocks.
Helen iron mine, Michipicolen, Ont,
Blast furnace and ore docks, Sault Ste. Marie,
In the Nelson district there are several gold
properties working, some shipping ore to the smelters, but the
larger number stamp milling and shipping the concentrates. Amongst
these are the Granite, near Nelson, the Dundee, Wilcox, and Yankee
Girl at Ymir, the Mother Lode and Queen, on Sheep creek, and the
Second Relief at Erie. Besides this district, there are a few gold
mines operating in the Lardeau; at Paulson and Carmi, in the
Bridge river west of Lillooet; Princess Royal island; Moresby
island: and on Taku Arm, Atlin lake.
There is still a very considerable production of
gold from the placer and hydraulic properties of the province, the
chief centres being the Cariboo district, Quesnel, the Omineca and
Atlin, and there is yet much country which is comparatively
unexplored. The gold is either in the original pre-glacial gravels,
or in more recent deposits derived from these.
As earh' as 1878 miners began to enter the Yukon
and finds were made in various parts of the district from year to
year. Discoveries were made on Fortymile creek, on the Lewes river,
and Upper Pellv and Stewart rivers, tributaries of the Yukon, but it
was not until 1894 that gold was found on Quartz creek, a tributary
of the Indian river, which enters the Yukon above the Klondike river
at whose mouth Dawson City nowT stands. Discoveries
followed on Hunker and Bonanza creeks, the latter being especially
rich. The news of this discovery resulted in the historic rush of
1897-8, a stampede which is probably unparallelled in the history of
mining. The building of the Whitehorse and Yukon railway from
Skagway to the foot of the White-horse rapids greatlv aided the
development of the district. The population in 1900 reached 30,000
and the gold production amounted to §22,275,000. From that year it
decreased annually, having fallen by 1907 to 83,150,000. Since that
date, owing to the introduction of improved methods and machinery,
chiefly large electrically operated gold dredges, the production has
again increased until in 1912 it was 85,549,290.
The gold production of the Yukon from 1885 to
December 31, 1912, amounted to 7,0S7,141 fine ounces, valued at
8140,503,749. The principal sources of production of the Klondike
River area were Upper and Lower Bonanza, Eldorado, and Hunker
creeks, while on the Indian River slope are Dominion, Gold Run,
Sulphur, and Quartz. These creeks are estimated bv Mr. R. G.
McConnell to have produced a total of 8119,000,000 in gold up to
1907, while he estimated a future production from the Klondike basin
alone of 853,000,000
Gold is also recovered at the head waters of the
Sixtymile river, south of Dawson, and in the Kluane district in the
southwestern part of the Yukon, as well as being widely distributed
throughout the territory. Further prospecting will probably reveal
other gold bearing creeks, some possibly as rich as previous
Within the last few years increasing attention
has been paid to the quartz properties of the district and one mill
is now operating near Dawson. The development of lode mines is yet
in its infancy but promises well for the future.
Although iron ores are widely distributed in
Canada, the present extensive metallurgical industry in iron and
steel has been developed to a very large extent on the basis of
imported ores, chiefly the conveniently situated and comparatively
cheaply mined ores of Bell island, Newfoundland, and ores from the
iron ranges on the south shore of Lake Superior. There are.
nevertheless, a number of important iron ore deposits that have
already contributed considerable outputs in the past, and there are
numerous occur-rcnces which in the future may constitute valuable
sources of supply for this metal.
In tlw province of Nova Scotia the principal
iron ore deposits are those at Clement-Sport, Nictaux, and Torbrook
in Annapolis county; Brookfield and Londonderry in Colchester
county; the Pictou iron range in Pictou county; and Whycocomagh in
Inverness county. A wide variety of ore is found including
hematites, magnetite, bog ore, limonitc, and carbonates.
The Nictaux and Torbrook field is practically
the only one being actively exploited at the present time. Formerly
this, together with the Londonderry and Pictou deposits, produced
considerable quantities of ore which were smelted at Londonderry,
Pictou, and New Glasgow. For a number of years past blast furnace
operations have been transferred entirely to Sydney and North
Sydney, Cape Breton, where large and extensive plants have been
erected by the Dominion Iron and Steel Company and the Nova Scotia
Steel and Coal Co.
These two plants include blast furnaces with a
total daily capacity of about 1700 tons. Coking plants with
by-product recoveries, Bessemer convertors and open hearth furnaces,
steel finishing mills for billets, rails, rods, wire nails, bolts
and nuts, etc. The Nova Scotia Steel and Coal Co. has an extensive
steel plant at New Glasgow. Both companies own or control their own
collieries near Sydney and limestone quarries conveniently situated.
They own and operate their iron mines on Bell island, Newfoundland,
the ore from which not only supplies all demands at Sydney, but is
shipped to the United States and Europe.
Iron ores are found in the province of New
Brunswick in Carleton county near Woodstock. These ores were
utilized in blast furnace operations at Woodstock begun in 1848, and
carried on at intervals for 20 years thereafter. Other occurrences
of iron have been noted at West Beach and Black river on the Bay of
Fundy, near St. John, and also in Charlotte county, near Lepreau.
The most important deposits, however, yet found in this province are
those in the township of Bathurst, county of Gloucester. One of
these, the Nipisiguit deposit consisting chiefly of magnetite, was
discovered in 1902, and has since been actively developed. Shipments
of ore have been made to the United States and to Great Britain. It
seems reasonable to expect that in the future other deposits of iron
ore may be located over a considerable extent of territory in this
Along the north shore of the St. Lawrence river
in the province of Quebec, beds of magnetite have been reported at
many points. The ore is found in two forms, viz., as massive
deposits interstratified with the gneiss and limestone of Laurentian
or as beds of iron sands along the beaches often in considerable
thickness and of great extent. These ores, while carrying a large
percentage of magnetic oxide of iron also frequently contain a
considerable amount of titanic acid, in fact during the past few
years several thousand tons have been shipped for the titanium
Deposits of ilmenite or titanifcrous iron ore
also occur north of Montreal at St. Jerome, St. Lin, Ivry, and other
In the townships of Leeds, Inverness, South Ham,
and Ascot, several small deposits of magnetite are known to occur,
but they have not as yet been proved to be of commercial importance.
Limonitc or bog iron ores have been mined for
ISO years in the St. Francis River district, east of the St.
Lawrence, and the St. Maurice river to the west-Small furnaces have
been in fairly continuous operation at Drummondville and Radnor
Forges and the product has been an excellent quality of charcoal pig
Magnetite ores have also been found in the
townships of Grenville, Templeton, Hull, and Bristol, some of which
have been worked to a considerable extent in past years.
As early as the year 1800 attempts were made to
smelt iron ores in Ontario and between that date and 1883 several
enterprises were started only one of which was successful. This was
the furnace at Xormandale in Norfolk county, now long since
abandoned, where the bog ores of the vicinity were smelted with
charcoal as fuel.
In eastern Ontario, chiefly in the counties of
Hastings, Frontenac, and Renfrew, and served by the Central Ontario
railway and the Kingston and Pembroke railway, numerous deposits of
iron ore, both hematites and magnetites, are found. Some of these
such as those in the township of Mayo , are of considerable extent.
Many have been opened up and several hundred thousand tons were
shipped to smelters in the United States and Canada.
In the northern portion of the province active
mining operations are at present being carried on at Moose mountain,
20 miles north of Subdury, at the Helen mine near Michipicoten,
northwest of Sault Ste. Marie, and at the Atikokan range west of
Port Arthur. The Moose Mountain deposit situated in the township of
Hutton is a large and important deposit of magnetite, there are in
fact several deposits constituting what is known as the Moose
Mountain range. Shipments are being made by way of the Canadian
Northern railway and Key harbour on Georgian bay.
The Helen mine in the Michipicoten range is the
largest iron ore producer in Canada, the output approaching 1,000
tons per day. The deposit is some 1,400 feet long with an average
width of 400 feet. The ore produced is of three grades,
hematite—hard and compact, containing 60 per cent or over, hard
brown limonite and hematite, 57 to 55 per cent iron, and soft brown
limonite containing 53 to 54 per cent iron. The ore is shipped by
rail to Michipicoten harbour and thence by boat to the smelters at
Sault Ste. Marie, Midland, Hamilton, or the United States market. A
number of other deposits in the same vicinity are being developed.
The Atikokan range is situated along the
Atikokan river, 140 miles west of Port Arthur on the Canadian
Northern railway. Outcrops have been traced for a distance of nearly
12 miles but prospecting has been carried on chiefly in the vicinity
of Sabawe lake. The ore from this range is used in the blast furnace
at Port Arthur.
In addition to the iron deposits being actively
operated, there are in northern Ontario a number of known iron
ranges some of which may prove to be valuable ore reserves. About 26
miles east of Port Arthur in the vicinity of Loon lake, is an iron
range which has already attracted considerable attention. The ore
consists mainly of hematite but is mixed with a great deal of lean
material. The Mattawin range is situated in the district of Thunder
Bay about 48 miles west of Port Arthur and follows the Mattawin
river for a distance of about 4 miles. The ore consists of alternate
bands of jasper and magnetite, and is low grade and siliceous and
would require concentrating.
East of Lake Nipigon is an iron formation known
as the Lake Nipigon range. The iron bearing rocks are here divisible
into three ranges called the Northern, Southern, and Middle ranges.
The ore is magnetite or hematite associated with jasper. No
commercial ore bodies have been found as yet.
In the district of Nipissing the Timagami and
other ranges, have attracted considerable attention but remain
These arc but a few of the known occurrences of
iron in Ontario. In a review of the iron ores of this Province' A.
B. Willniott records about 50 separate occurrences of iron ore in
the northern and western portions, and not including the deposits in
Hastings, Frontcnac, and other counties in the eastern part of the
The smelting industry has grown to large
proportions in this province, furnaces have been installed at
Deseronto, Hamilton, Midland, and Sault Ste. Marie, the present
capacity of which is about 2,000 tons per day. In addition to these
a new furnace is under construction at Port Colborne, and the United
States Steel Corporation is making preparations for the erection of
a large plant near Sandwich. At Hamilton and Sault Ste. Marie there
are large and well equipped steel plants and rolling mills producing
bars, steel rails, and other steel products.
The prairie provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan,
and Alberta have as yet furnished no production of iron, but there
are a number of known occurrences of hematite, limonite, and clay
In the province of British Columbia, some iron
ore has been mined on Texada island and shipped to the smelter at
Irondalc, Wash., but beyond this the iron industry of the province
may be said to be as yet undeveloped. A number of occurrences of
iron ore, chiefly magnetite have been noted on Vancouver island.
These, so far as observed, on the coast, are usually found on the
end or flank of a ridge following roughly the contours of the hills
and occur almost always along and adjacent to the contact of
limestone and some eruptive rock. Among those that have attracted
attention might be mentioned the properties at Head bay, Klaanch
river, Quinsam river, and Gordon river on Vancouver island, and the
Texada Island ores already mentioned. In the interior of the
province occurrences of iron have been noted at Kam-loops,
Kitchener, Bull Run, Burmis, and elsewhere, but no mining has been
done on any of these deposits with the exception of a small shipment
of ore as a flux from the Cherry Bluff mine near Kamloops.
The total production of pig iron in Canada in
1912 was 1,014,5S7 short tons and of steel ingots and castings
957,0S1 short tons. That the domestic production is insufficient to
meet home demands is indicated by the large imports which in 1912
exceeded 1,300,000 tons of pig iron, ingots, blooms, etc., plates,
bars and rods, structural steel, rails, pipe, nails, wire forgings,
castings, etc. The opportunity in so far as the market is concerned
for the development of Canadian iron resources is evident.
In Canada lead is derived entirely from galena
ores the great majority of which are argentiferous, and therefore
much that is said of silver is applicable to lead and similarly on
account of associated blende much that is said of lead covers the
ground in connexion with zinc.
In Nova Scotia argentiferous galena ores have
been worked near Mus-quodoboit in Cape Breton county in the
Pre-Cambrian rocks. They also occur at various points in the lower
Veins of galena are found in the Silurian rocks
of New Brunswick and have been found at various points through the
Eastern Townships, in Gaspe, in Portneuf county, and on Calumet
island, where they have been worked to some extent.
lrThe Iron Ores of Ontario, A. B.
Willmott, Journal of the Canadian Mining Institute, Vol. XI. p. 10$.
Copper and lead smelter at Trail, B. C.
Electrolytic lead refinery at Trail, B.C.
In Ontario the Frontenac lead mine was opened
about 18G8 and a smelter was erected in 1879; operations however
ceased in 1882. Various properties have been worked from time to
time, and the Frontenac is once more being operated. The ores are
galena carrying little silver.
A lead smelter, that of the North American
Smelting Co., is in operation at Kingston, treating Ontario, United
States, and British Columbia ores.
Practically all the lead produced in Canada in
recent years has come from the British Columbia silver bearing
galena ores. The Blue Bell mine was discovered in 1825 but active
operations in the Ainsworth camp date from about 1888, with Sandon
camp following in 1892 and the discovery of the North Star, St.
Eugene, and Sullivan in East Kootanay in that year and the next. The
latter are large bodies, comparatively low in silver content, the
St. Eugene ore being argentiferous galena with some zinc blende and
a little pyrite forming irregular lenses in a fissured zone within
There are a few producing mines in the Sheep
Creek district, south of Nelson, but the largest number of mines are
located in the Ainsworth and Slocan districts. The Sandon-Silverton
camps especially are showing promise, development at depth having
been very satisfactory. The ores are argentiferous galena and
tetrahedrite with native silver and sometimes gold, argentite, zinc
blende, etc., in veins cutting sediments. The ores of the Lardeau
may be said to belong rather to the silver ores than to the lead,
and the same may be said of the Greenwood camp. The West Fork of the
Kettle river will probably add some shippers to the list with the
opening of traffic on the Kettle Valley railway, and the Canadian
Northern railway may provide shipping facilities for the silver-lead
properties of the North Thompson River valley.
West of Princeton in the Similkameen, at
Leadville, a new camp is opening up but no shipments have yet been
made. On the coast, Portland Canal district is another silver-lead
camp,, and the newer discoveries toward the Bear river are most
The present year will see shipments from several
mines in the neighbourhood of Hazelton on the Skeena river.
Development has been going on quietly for several years awaiting the
advent of transportation, with the result that the camp starts
shipments with a fair amount of development clone.
The lead ores of British Columbia are nearly all
shipped to the smelter of the Consolidated Mining & Smelting Co., at
Trail, which operates in connexion therewith an electrolytic lead
refinery, the products of which are refined gold, silver, and lead,
copper sulphate, and antimony.
A few of the Coast ores find their way to
In the Yukon there are several properties which
have been developed and have shipped occasionally, but in most cases
as yet the transportation charges have been found too heavy a
burden. With further development of the country these wall probably
As mentioned elsewhere the prospects of finding
more lead ore bearing areas throughout Canada and especially in the
more remote districts are most favourable, and many districts now
known only await transportation facilities.
This mineral occurs as molybdenite or molybdite,
and although found in numerous localities in many parts of the
country, there has as yet been practically no recovery of the metal
in Canada with the exception of small amounts obtained while
developing or exploring properties. With regard to the loca-lion
of molybdenite deposit?, Dr. T. L. Walker, in his special report >
on this subject, states that in Canada they are usually found in the
Arclueau regions, and are probably due to the influence of masses of
granite. Molybdenite occurs in quartz veins, pegmatite dykes
(probably connected with the granite masses), and along contact
borders of granite or pegmatite with crystalline limestone.
Most of the known occurrences are described by
Dr. Walker who selects the following list as representing the most
promising deposits as they were to be seen in 1909 and 1910: island
opposite Romaine, lower St. Lawrence; Aldfield and Egan townships,
north of the Ottawa river. Deposits in the vicinity of Kewagama lake
in the northern part of Pontiac county, Que., near the Grand Trunk
Pacific railway; Brougham, Lvndoch, and Ross townships in Renfrew
county, Sheffield township, Addington county, and Cardiff township,
Haliburton county, in eastern Ontario; and the Giant mine, Rossland,
Minerals containing nickel have been found in a
number of localities throughout Canada, but the important commercial
deposits at present exploited are confined to two localities, both
in the province of Ontario. These are the Cobalt and Subdury
districts. It should be mentioned, in passing, that pyrrhotites
carrying a small amount of nickel are known to occur near St.
Stephen, New Brunswick, and also in several other localities in
Ontario. Similar occurrences have been reported from British
Columbia. These, however, are comparatively low in grade and have
not been successfully exploited.
In the Cobalt district niceolite, an arsenide of
nickel, occurs either alone or associated with other less important
nickel-bearing minerals in the veins in which the native silver and
silver-bearing minerals are found. The average percentage of nickel
in the ores shipped from Cobalt varies considerably for the
different mines. For the whole district the average is probably
between 3 and 5 per cent. The total tonnage is very small and only a
portion of the nickel is recovered as the oxide.
The Sudbury nickel region has sharply defined
geological boundaries, since all the ore deposits are connected with
a single great sheet of eruptive rock, called norite. This sheet is
roughly boat-shaped, with a blunt bow turned towards the southwest
and a square stern towards the northeast. The sheet is basin-shaped,
its interior is filled with sedimentary rocks and only the upturned
edges are exposed. The basin is 30 miles in length, from southwest
to northeast, and 10 miles in width. All the known ore deposits
occur either along the edge of the sheet, or less than 4 miles away
from it, on projections or "offsets." In the early days the nickel
deposits were grouped in two ranges—a main, or southern, range, and
a northern range, but since it has been proved that the ores are all
connected with the edges of a single sheet of eruptive rock, one may
think of them all as belonging to a single oval range. It is found
that the important deposits are not distributed uniformly around the
basin, but that there are rich portions separated by barren
portions. It is probable that in the near future a third, or
eastern, range will be recognized, and possibly a fourth, or western
range, though at present the ore deposits at the west end are not
known to be of much importance.
Creighton nickel-copper mine, Ont., Canadian
At. ipnesent, t»he inAkiiickel range may
bejfcfined as running from the Sultana mine, 6 miles southeast, to
the Victoria mine, then turning northeast
for 23 miles to the
Sheppard mine, and finally east for 4 miles to the Garson mine.
There is, however, a gap of about 5 miles towards the southeast,
between the Crean Hill and Gertrude mines, where no ore has been
found. Along this somewhat irregular line of 33 miles on the
southern margin of the nickel-bearing eruptive, 17 mines have
produced ore, and within 2 or 3 miles to the south of it, 10 other
mines have been worked.
Practically all the ore hitherto mined and
smelted in the region must be credited to the southern range. The
northern range is not so continuous as the southern, but is
generally reckoned as extending from certain deposits in Levack
township to the Whistle mine at the northeast corner of the basin, a
distance of 25 miles. There are, however, two gaps of 0 miles each,
so that there are only 13 miles of the margin of the nickel eruptive
which are ore-bearing. In addition, however, some ore has been found
for 0 miles west along an offset.
Coleman recognizes two main varieties, or types,
of ore bodies in the region, which he designates as " marginal " and
" offset " deposits.
Many of the more important nickel deposits occur
at the basic margin of the norite, lying between it and the
adjoining country rock. They are commonly irregular sheets of ore,
occupying the lowest parts of the country rock, penetrating all its
fissures and enclosing blocks of it of all shapes and sizes. They
may, however, have a very distinct foot wall, where the country rock
was not shattered by the influx of ore and norite, or where faulting
has brought a smooth surface of country rock against the ore.
Passing upward through a varying thickness of pure ore containing
very little of the rock minerals, the blending of rock and ore.
called pyrrhotite-norite, occurs, passing finally into norite with a
few blebs of ore. The inner and upper margin is very indefinite,
being fixed in mining simply by commercial considerations. The
thickness of workable ore may vary from a few feet to 100 feet, or
more; the length is equally variable, ranging from 100 feet or 200
feet to 700 feet. The depth to which marginal deposits go is
unknown. The Creighton has been explored by mining to 700 feet and
diamond drilling has shown that it extends to at least 900 feet.
The "off-set" deposits of Coleman include ore
bodies connected with dyke-like
projections from the basic edge of the norite, or more or les.>
separate masses of ore and norite not visibly connected with the
main body of rock, but almost certainly having underground
connexions. Typical offset deposits differ completely from the
marginal deposits. They are often more or less columnar in shape,
forming pipe-like ore bodies. The contents of these pipelike bodies
differ considerably from those of the marginal deposits, being more
rocky, and containing usually more copper ore, as well as more of
the precious metals: gold, silver, platinum, and palladium. Another
type of offset, with very different features from the columnar type,
is recognized in the Frood-Stobie offset, which contains the
greatest mass of nickel ore thus far discovered in the district, or
in the world. In this case there i.Mio observable connexion with the
basic norite edge. The offset, however, lies parallel to the edge
and at a distance varying from 4,000 feet to 8,000 feet to the
southeast. The ore resembles that of a marginal deposit more than
that of the columnar offsets, and the ore body dips at an angle of
00° towards the basic edge. It is a long irregular sheet, enclosing
much rock, and its connexion with the edge of the norite is probably
at a considerable depth below the surface. The ore is known bv
diamond drilling to extend northwest beneath the country rocks to a
depth of more than 1,000 feet. This deposit probably contains over
35,000,000 tons of ore.
The nickel-bearing minerals that have been
reported from the Sudbury region are pyrrhotite, pyrite, marcasite,
pcntlandite, polydymite, gersdorffite,
millerite, and nickelite. Of these,
pyrrhotite and pcntlandite are the only ones having any important
relation to the ore deposits, and the former is the only one visibly
present in all the ore deposits. There is some doubt, however, as to
whether pyrrhotite is nickel-bearing in itself, since its nickel
content may be due to finely disseminated pentlandite. In addition
to the sulphides containing nickel and iron, a sulphide of copper
and iron, in the form of chalcopyrite, is almost invariably present.
It comes next in amount to pyrrhotite and pentlandite and is always
a more conspicuous component of the ore, because of its colour.
Copper pyrites may be cither intimately mixed with the pyrrhotite or
form considerable masses by itself. It is especially common near the
walls of ore bodies or associated with masses of rock enclosed in
the sulphides, so that, as a rule, rocky ore contains a higher
percentage of copper than ore rich in sulphides. In two important
mines— the Copper Cliff and Crean Hill—copper is present in larger
amounts than nickel, and at Garson and Victoria mines it about
equals the nickel; but all the other mines contain more nickel than
The metallic content of the ores varies
considerably in the different mines. The nickel content reported
averages about 2-09% and the copper 1*85%. If the losses in roasting
and smelting are assumed to be 15% of the metallic contents, the
proportions of metals in the ores will be 3-09 of nickel and 2-12 of
copper, making a total of 5*21 per cent. The ores also contain small
amounts of the precious metals, including platinum and palladium.
The metallurgy of the Sudbury ores includes four
Roasting of the ores in open heaps, to remove
part of the sulphur.
Smelting in water-jacketed blast furnaces, to
produce a low grade matte, containing about 33 per cent
copper-nickel and nearly all the precious metals.
Converting the furnace matte in Bessemer basic
converters, to make a matte containing about 80 per cent
Refining the converter matte, separating the
nickel, copper, and precious metals.
At the present time, the first three processes
are carried on in Canada in the Sudbury district. The converter
matte, however, is shipped either to the United States or to England
for final treatment in the refineries.
The most promising recent find of nickel ore in
Canada, aside from the Sudbury deposits, is the Alexo mine in
northern Ontario, near the town of Matheson. This deposit consists
of pyrrhotite, containing nickel, associated with chalcopyrite in a
serpentine rock, the latter having been formed by the alteration of
a pcridotite. This occurrence of ore is similar to the Sudbury
deposits. Mining operations are in progress and a small amount of
ore has already been shipped to the smelter at Copper Cliff.
There are two strong companies carrying on
mining and smelting operations in the Sudbury nickel region. A third
company has recently acquired properties containing great reserves
of ore, and is planning the erection of an extensive plant.
The total production of nickel (contained in
matte) in 1912 was 44,841,542 pounds, valued on the basis of refined
metal at $13,452,463. There was also a recovery from the same ores
of 22,231,725 pounds of copper, valued at $3,032,88(3, on the basis
of the Xew York market average price of copper for the vear.
Power plant, High Falls, Spanish river, Canadian
Both platinum and palladium occur as
constituents of the nickel-copper ores of the Sudbury district in
Ontario, though in very small amounts. After smelting the ores to a
Bessemer matte containing about 80 per cent of the combined metals
nickel and copper, it is found that this matte contains from 0" 17
to 0-5 oz. of the platinum metals per ton, the proportions varying
with the ores from different mines. The precious metals are
recovered from the residues remaining after the treatment of the
mattes for nickel and copper.
Platinum has also been found in many of the gold
placer deposits, its occurrence in this manner having been noted on
the Riviere du Loup, Quebec, on the Similkaineen, Tulameen,
Tranquille, Eraser, North Thompson, and other creeks and rivers of
British Columbia, on the Yukon and its tributaries, and the Teslin
and other rivers of the Yukon district.
The silver produced in Canada at the present
time is derived from three main sources, the silver-cobalt-nickel
ores of the Cobalt district, Ontario, the argentiferous galena of
British Columbia, and the recovery at the smelters from the complex
gold-silver-copper ores of the different provinces. There is also a
slight recovery from gold mill bullion and from placer gold.
In Nova Scotia there are some argentiferous
galena deposits near East Bay and Musquodoboit, Cape Breton, which
have been intermittently worked.
Champlain mentions a galena property on Lake
Timiskaming, Quebec; this was afterwards known as the Wright mine,
and was worked for some time. At Calumet island there are several
silver bearing galena deposits which have been worked at various
A small amount of silver is also contained in
the copper sulphide ores of the Eastern Townships, and whilst, as
yet, no discoveries have been made, it is by no means improbable
that areas similar to Cobalt district may yet be found in this
In Ontario, as early at 1846, veins carrying
silver were found on the shores of Lake Superior in the district
about Port Arthur, and from 1806 to 1903 the district produced
silver. The most famous silver mine was known as the Silver Islet
and the vein was found on a small island, some 90 feet square, lying
near Thunder capc. The ore bearing veins of quartz and carbonates
traversed a large dyke of diabase cutting it along a fault plane.
Only where the vein traversed the diabase, did it carry silver,
elsewhere except gangue material, it bore only galena, sparingly
disseminated. When the mine was abandoned in 1884, work had been
carried to a depth of 1,160 feet, and it is estimated that
$3,250,000 of silver had been extracted.
The position that Canada now holds as a silver
producers country, being third on the world's list of silver
producers, must be credited in large measure to the mines of the
Cobalt, situated on the main line of Ontario's
government railway, 330 miles north of Toronto, has the mines
closely clustered round and even beneath the town, while other are
distributed in a southeasterly direction for a distance of 4 miles.
This comprises the Cobalt silver district proper, and while isolated
productive mines have been found in the outlying country, such as
the Casey, 19 miles north of Cobalt, the Wettlauffer, 20 miles
south, and the Millorctt and Miller-Lake O'Brien, 50 miles
northwest, nevertheless none of these newer discoveries have yet
disclosed a district comparable to the parent camp.
The silver deposits of Cobalt are found in
association with Pre-Cambrian rocks. These belong to the Huronian
and Keewatin formations and through them has been introduced a later
diabase in the form of a sill. This intrusive need not necessarily
be considered the source of the ore deposits, but the indications
are that it was the means of opening up the way for their
introduction from other adjacent sources. About 80 per cent of the
productive veins occur in the Huronian formation, while tin1
remaining 20 per cent is about evenly divided between the Keewatin
and the later diabase. As a rule the Cobalt silver deposits are not
known to extend to great depths. Below the sill most of the silver
is found within a depth of 200 feet.
The Beaver which is above the diabase has the
deepest workings in ore
in the district, having attained a depth of 700
feet. To offset this shallowness of the ore, the salvation of the
cam]) seems to lie in .the fact that the veins are numerous. The
veins are approximately perpendicular and vary in width from a mere
crack up to 12 inches or more occasionally. The values are not
confined to the vein rock itself, but in many cases extend into the
adjacent wall rock, making a valuable milling ore. In exceptional
cases this disseminated ore has a stoping width of 15 feet and from
5 to 0 feet is not uncommon. The vein filling is usually calcite or
dolomite carrying native silver associated with the arsenides of
cobalt and nickel. A trace of gold is found in the ores as well as a
small amount of mercury, and in 1912 one of the mines was paid for a
small copper content. ^ .-> ^
There are in Ontario six smelters for the
treatment of ores from the Cobalt district. The products from these
include, fine silver, white arsenic, cobalt oxide, nickel oxide, and
in some cases a semi-refined mixture of the cobalt and nickel
From the copper-nickel ores of the
Sudbury district silver is being recovered in the refining of the
The silver production of British Columbia comes
mainly from the argentiferous galena ores of the province which will
be more fully described in the chapter on lead. In the East Kootenay
the ore bodies are large and the silver content low, and the same
may be said of the ore bodies in the Sheep Creek division of West
Kootenay and the Blue Bell mine on the east shore of Kootenay lake.
The ores of the Slocan district are much higher in silver, probably
averaging 75 oz. per ton of ore, whilst the ores of the Slocan City
and the Lardeau divisions are what are known as dry ores, containing
little galena, the values being in native silver and sometimes a
little gold associated with argentite, pyrargyrite, tetrahedrite,
A few galena and high grade deposits are being
worked in the Boundary district, notably near Greenwood, and the
completion of the Canadian Northern may see shipments from the North
Thompson River valley.
In the neighbourhood of Hazelton on the Skeena,
a number of new properties are just entering the shipping list. The
ore is galena carrying gold values in silver.
As mentioned before there is a considerable
amount of silver recovered from the gold and gold-copper ores and
alluvial gold production of the province. These are more fully
described under gold and copper. The copper-gold ores are treated in
the various copper smelters of British Columbia, whilst the galena
and silver ores go mainly to the lead smelter of the Consolidated
Mining & Smelting Co. at Trail, B.C.
The silver from the Yukon (outside of the small
amount from the few lode mines now working) is derived from the
placer gold bullion, but there are
Mines in Kerr Lake section, Cobalt district.
Silver vein, Casey Cobalt mine, Cobalt district,
many silver lead properties which will probably
become steady shippers with further development of the country.
The occurrence of tin ore has been reported from
several localities, the most important being perhaps the discovery
of cassiterite, near Xew Ross, Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. With respect
to this occurrence Mr. Faribault states i that "A tin bearing vein
was also discovered by Ernest Turner, at Mill Road, four miles north
of New Ross, and has been prospected under the management of A. L.
McCallum. It has been proved to a depth of 20 feet, and for a length
of 250 feet, while the float has been traced half a mile towards the
north. The vein is 24 inches wide, mostly made up of quartz, merging
with granite at the sides, and carries at the middle a streak of
rich ore from three to five inches wide. Several assays of the ore
made by Mr. McCallum have given from 10 to 30 per cent tin, and 8
per cent copper, present in the form of cassiterite and
chalcopyrite, with association of tungsten-bearing zinc minerals."
Tin minerals have also been reported from
several localities in British Columbia and from the Yukon district.
There has as yet been no commercial production
or recovery of tin from Canadian sources.
The tungsten bearing mineral sclieelite has been
found at a number of localities in Canada, but the only place at
which it has been worked commercially is at Scheelite Mines, Moose
River district, N.S. Here it occurs in quartz veins cutting the
quartzites and slates of the gold bearing series. The quartz veins
also carry mispickel and several other minerals but are not gold
bearing. A mill has been erected and about 15 tons of concentrated
ore (72% scheelite) have already been shipped. Scheelite also occurs
in the Malaga gold mining district, Halifax county, while at one
locality near South East Margaree in Inverness county, C.B., from
300 to 500 lbs. of hiibnerite (Fe, Mn) W04 were recovered
from a large detached mass of quartz. The mineral has also been
noted at New Ross, in Lunenburg county, and at Perry lake, West
Waverley, Halifax county, N.S.
In the province of Quebec, scheelite has been
found in Beauce county, in a quartz vein traversing Pre-Cambrian
rocks, while in Ontario it is found occurring in small nodular
masses in parts of the veins around Pearl lake, Porcupine gold
In British Columbia its occurrence has been
noted in quartz veins on the Meteor claim, Slocan City mining
division, West Kootenay, and also in the •Cariboo district at
Hardscrabble creek where the scheelite appears to be very
irregularly distributed in the country rock.
In the Yukon territory at Dublin gulch,
scheelite is encountered in small water worn nodules of yellowish
colour, which are caught in the sluice boxes .at Highet creek.
The mineral is employed in the steel
manufacturing industry making a tungsten steel of high tensile
The close association of zinc blende with galena
and its wide distribution has made its treatment one of the economic
problems of mining in Canada, and its history is interwoven with the
history of the silver-lead mines.
In the province of Quebec. Calumet island has
been the centre of the greater part of the lead-zinc mining. Several
tons of mixed galena and blende were obtained on lots 10 and 11,
range IV, Calumet township, in the early nineties, and in 1897 and
1898 The Grand Calumet Mining Co. shipped several hundred tons of
ore to Belgium. In 1903 the Lawn mine shipped tons of zinc ore to
England. Some exploration work was done in later years, and in 1910
the Canada Metal Co. started work, making a trial shipment the next
In Ontario the Zenith mine at Rossport, Thunder
Bay, was discovered in 18S1, and in 1899 the first Ontario zinc
shipment appears to have been made from it. The Balfour mine was
also worked for zinc. In 1902 the Richardson mine at Long Lake,
Frontenac county, began shipping, and, in recent years, has been the
zinc producer of the province. The last couple of years no zinc
shipments have been made from this property.
The occurrence of zinc blende in British
Columbia is frequently mentioned in the earlier reports on the
province, but only in 1902 is definite reference made to zinc
shipments from the Payne and Bosun mines.
In 1904 we find a number of mines producing zinc
concentrate, though of this a great deal was apparently never
shipped. In the next few years much experimentation was done on
processes for zinc treatment, impelled by the high American import
duty on zinc in ores. 1905 saw the appointment of the Zinc
Commission by the Dominion Government, for the purpose of
investigating the zinc resources of British Columbia and their
commercial possibilities. The exhaustive report of the Commission
was published in 1900. An electric smelting furnace was erected at
Nelson in 1908, but did not go into commercial operation. At the
present time two mines in the province, the Lucky Jim, and the U.S.
are operating for zinc alone, while the Monarch, Hewitt, Noble Five,
Ruth, Slocan Star, Standard, Van Roi, and Whitewater are producing
hand picked zinc ore or concentrates as a by-product from the
milling of galena ores. These concentrates as a rule carry values in
silver. It is a notable fact that for some years the Lucky Jim was
worked for its silver-lead values only.
Other properties occur on Lynn creek near
Vancouver, at Quatsino on Vancouver island, and at Owen lake, near
Hazelton. These as yet, however, have made no shipments.
The majority of the British Columbia galena
properties carry enough zinc blende to make its separation and
possible recovery a question of much importance.
At present all British Columbian ores are
shipped to the smelters in the United States. Shipments from Ontario
are usually made to European smelters.
The Mines Branch of the Department of Mines is
now investigating the possibility of producing spelter by an
electric smelting process. While considerable progress has been made
during the last two years, the commercial practicability of the
results obtained has yet to be determined.
Asbestos quarry, Black Lake, Que.