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Mining Industry of Canada

As an introduction to Mining in Canada I wrote to the Minister of Natural Resources as he'd given a talk covering key facts on the industry and so hoped he might share this with us and indeed he has as you can see from the letter below. Having read the letter and the key fact below I then provide two links to good resources on the mining industry and then an old book which sets the scene from an historical perspective.


Canada is a global mining giant.

The value of mineral production exceeded $41 billion in 2010 (Source: Natural Resources Canada, Annual Census of Mines; Statistics Canada).

Canadian-headquartered mining companies accounted for more than 40 percent of budgeted worldwide exploration expenditures in 2010 (Source Metals Economics Group, Corporate Exploration Strategies).

Canadian exploration, mining and allied industries now operate in 100 countries around the world, with cumulative assets worth $129 billion outside Canada (2010) (Source: Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Mining Assets).

Canada is one of the largest mining nations in the world, producing more than 60 minerals and metals. The total value of Canadian mineral exports was $84.5 billion in 2010. These exports accounted for 21 percent of Canada's total exports in 2010 (Source: Natural Resources Canada, TRAGS; Statistics Canada).

Key exports in 2010 included aluminum, nickel, copper, gold, silver, uranium, coal, potash, zinc, diamonds, iron and steel, and iron ore. Exports of these specific products ranged from $1.7 billion to $15 billion (Source: Natural Resources Canada, TRAGS', Statistics Canada).

In 2010, the mining and mineral processing industries made significant contributions to the Canadian economy, including: $2.8 billion in mineral exploration and deposit appraisal (Source: Natural Resources Canada, Survey of Exploration, Deposit Appraisal, and Mine Complex Development Expenditures)-, $35.1 billion in GDP (Source: Statistics Canada, System of National Accounts); over $12 billion in capital investment (Source: Statistics Canada, Private and Public Investment in Canada, Catalogue 61-205); and $18 billion in trade surplus (Source: Natural Resources Canada - TRAGS', Statistics Canada. They also accounted for the majority of goods transported by rail and by vessel (Source: Statistics Canada, Marine Transportation Custom Run; Statistics Canada, Monthly Railway Carloadings, Catalogue 52-001).

In 2010, more than half (55.7 percent) of the world's equity financing for mineral exploration and mining was raised by companies listed on Canadian stock exchanges.

More than 308,000 Canadians are employed in the mining and mineral processing industries, creating employment opportunities from coast to coast to coast, and in urban and rural areas, including many Aboriginal and northern communities (Source: Statistics Canada, Survey of Employment Payroll and Hours).

Iron ore was the top metallic mineral produced in Canada in 2010, with shipments valued at $5.0 billion. Gold production was next, at $3.9 billion, followed by copper at $3.8 billion (Source: Natural Resources Canada, Annual Census of Mines) Statistics Canada).

The leading non-metallic minerals produced were potash at $5.7 billion, diamonds at $2.4 billion and cement at $1.5 billion (Source: Natural Resources Canada, Annual Census of Mines) Statistics Canada).

Canada continues to be the world leader in the production (by volume) of potash (Source: United States Geological Survey).

Canada ranks in the top five countries for the production of aluminum, cadmium, molybdenum, nickel, platinum metals, salt, sulphur, titanium concentrates, uranium and zinc, and ranks third in the production of diamonds (by value) (Source: United States Geological Survey).

You may wish to access Natural Resources Canada’s (NRCan) Web site ( for more detailed information.

A further source of information, which draws heavily on NRCan’s statistics, is the annual
"Facts and Figures" publication of The Mining Association of Canada. Annual editions
may be found at

Economic Minerals and Mining Industry of Canada
By the Staff of the Mines Branch


Mineral production of Canada in 1912

Economic minerals and associated industries

Metallic Minerals

Platinum and palladium

Non-Metallic Minerals

Mineral pigments
Iron ochres
Mineral water
Natural gas
Pyrites and sulphur

Clay and quarry products—

Clays and clay products
Stone quarries and lime

The Real Cobalt
The Story of Canada's Marvellous Silver Mining Camp by Anson A Gard
Hunter Dickinson Inc. (HDI)
A Diversified Global Mining Company
Here we provide a few videos about mining in Canada
The Canadian Mining & Mechanical Review
The Official Organ of the Gold Miners Association of Nova Scotia and the Representative Exponent of the Canadian Mining & Mechanical Industry
Mineral Resources of Canada
To Celebrate The Visit of the British and Continental Mining Engineers and Metallurgists to Canada in the Summer of 1908 published by the Canadian Mining Journal (1908) (pdf)
Annual Report of the Mineral Production of Canada
During the Calendar Year 1923 (pdf)
Mining camps of British Columbia (pdf)

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