Supplying as they do a large proportion of the
world's consumption of asbestos, the Canadian deposits of this
mineral are of particular interest. While occurrences of the mineral
have been noted in other localities and provinces, the principal
areas are those found in the Eastern Townships, province of Quebec.
The present workable deposits are—as far as exploration work has
shown, and with the exception of the Danville quarries—confined to
the great serpentine range which strikes through the townships of
Broughton, Thetford, and Coleraine. Leaving some scattered deposits
in the townships of Wolfstown and Ireland out of consideration, the
total length of this productive serpentine belt is twenty-three
miles, with a width varying from 100 feet in the extreme easterly
part to 0,000 feet in the Mock Lake area; however, the serpentine
belt as a whole in many places far exceeds the width indicated
above. Active mining began about 1SS0.
The principal deposits occur at Thetford, Black
Lake, Danville, and East Broughton: those at Thetford and Black Lake
being the most important. The mineral occurs in a series of narrow
and irregular veins, occasionally attaining a width of six inches,
though those of the larger size are comparatively rare. Veins with
three or four inches of fine fibre were, in the first years of
working, quite plentiful; but as the mines increased in depth these
appear to decrease somewhat in size. The veins reticulate through
the rock in all directions. The deposits are worked by open
quarrying, the long fibred asbestos of the larger veins being
readily separated out, while the smaller material is carefully
cobbed. This separation was at first accomplished entirely by hand,
but mechanical treatment has been gradually introduced and perfected
until now large mills are in operation in which the rock is broken
and crushed in various ways; and the fiberized asbestos taken up
from screens by suction fans, and blown into collectors or settling
The annual production is now over 100,000 tons,
valued at upwards of $3,000,000: and includes a wide variety of
grades from the long fibred crude asbestos, valued at $300 a ton,
down to the shortest mill fibre, valued at only $2 or $3 per ton,
and "asbestic" sand used for wall plaster, and valued at from 75c.
to $1.50 per ton.
The Production of Asbestos in Canada 1907-8
By John McLeish, B.A. (1909) (pdf)
Though chromite is found in several parts of
Canada, the only known occurrences of economic interest are situated
in the province of Quebec. In this province, it is found in
irregular deposits in the serpentine rocks of the counties of Brome,
Megan tic, Richmond, and Wolfe. Some of these deposits have been
worked, the principal ones being in the township of Coleraine,
Megantic county. The ore in some cases is sufficiently graded for
direct shipment, while in others concentration is necessary.
During the past few years the output of chromite—or
chrome iron ore, as it is also called—has been very small. This is
probably due to the falling off of the market value of the ore.
In its natural state, chromite is used in the
manufacture of special firebrick for metallurgical purposes, on
account of its high refractory and basic properties. It is also
employed in the making of electrodes for arc lamps, but the main use
for this mineral is found in the manufacture of chrome steel. The
chromium contained in it gives to the steel great toughness and
hardness, producing a product suitable for armour plate, metal
working tools, and many special uses. Various chromic salts and
colours used in commerce are derived from this mineral.
The principal market for chromite is in the
United States, but some of that produced in Canada has been
manufactured into chrome steel by electric smelting at Buckingham,
It may be permitted to mention here, as an item
of interest, that minute diamonds were discovered associated with
chromite, which is an accessory constituent of the peridotites in
the Tulameen district, British Columbia, and also with some of the
chromite in Quebec.
The Production of Chromite in Canada
During the Calendar Year 1907-8 by John McLeish, B.A. (1909) (pdf)
Canada is particularly fortunate in the
possession of enormous coal resources. Coal mining was one of the
first mining industries to be established, and is still the most
important in value of output. Though the development of this
industry has been rapid in the past, it seems certain that its
future growth will be even more rapid, owing to the settlement and
influx of population into those parts of the country—more
particularly in the western provinces—in which the principal coal
fields exist. Coal is found in five provinces, as well as in the
northern territories, the relative importance of each, based on
annual output, being as follows: Xova Scotia, British Columbia,
Alberta, Saskatchewan, Xew Brunswick, and Yukon Territory.
Two of the most productive of the Canadian coal
fields are situated on the sea-boards, one on the Atlantic coast,
and the other on the Pacific coast; a fact which is very important
from an Imperial standpoint. In each case these coal fields are
located on the respective coasts; both have extensive submarine
extensions, and are fortunate in possessing fine natural harbours,
capable of accomodating ships of any tonnage. Another coal field is
situated in the proximity of the metal mining centres of British
Columbia, and within easy reach of the copper and lead smelting
centres of both the southern part of the province, and of the
adjoining states to the south. Large tracts of the new western
provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan are underlaid by fossil fuels.
All of these coal fields, as well as others of less importance are
briefly described in the following notes, in geographical order,
beginning with the eastern provinces, and proceeding westward.
To convey some preliminary idea as to the
geographical position of the coal fields in the respective
provinces, the central point of each of the principal coal areas is
given in the accompanying list by intersections of latitudes and
longitudes (west of Greenwich). These, of course, are only to be
taken as a rough guide, and a help to locate the fields. Many of
these coal areas are at present well developed, and producing
steadily. In others, mainly in the western part of Canada, owing to
lack of means of transportation or present lack of market, only
prospecting work has been done; but their coals constitute valuable
reserves which, in many cases, will be drawn upon in the near
future, considering the rapid rate at which the west is developing,
and the establishment of numerous new means of transportation and of
of Coal Fields.
Fields. Latitude. Longitude.
.......... 40° 10'
.......... 40° 10'
.......... 45° 3o'
.......... 45° 40'
Grand Lake field.................
.......... 40° 05'
Turtle Mountain field............
.......... 49° 00'
Estevan or Souris field............
.......... 49° 05'
Bellv River field.................
.......... 49° 40'
.......... 49° 35'
..........' 51° 12'
Jasper Park field.................
.......... 53° 12'
.......... 53° 50'
.......... 49° 30'
Nicola Yallcv field................
.......... 50° 20'
Telk)va Valley field...............
.......... 54° 30'
Groundhog coal field..............
.......... 56° 45'
Nanaimo field, V.I...............
.......... 49° 10'
Comox field, V.I.................
.......... 50° 00'
.......... 50° 37'
Graham island, Q.C.I............
.......... 53° 10'
Tantalus field.............................. G2°
10' 130° 10'
Yukon River field.......................... 04°
30' 140° 00'
In the province of Nova Scotia there are several
large areas of bituminous coal, most of which are being actively
worked. Besides supplying local requirements, these coals are
shipped to the provinces of Quebec and Ontario, the eastern part of
the United States, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Prince Edward
Island, and the West Indies.
The coal bearing measures of this province
belong to the Carboniferous, and are practically confined to the one
horizon usually designated as the Productive Coal Measures.
The Sydney field is situated in the northeast
corner of Cape Breton county, with the magnificent deep water
harbour of Sydney as its central point; it also includes a small
portion of Victoria county. It is bounded on three sides by the
Atlantic ocean, and the land areas amount to approximately 200
square miles, being about 32 miles in length from northwest to
southeast, and about 6 miles in width. The extent of the sea areas
is unknown; but a great part of the local field is submarine.
Within this area the existence of nine different
seams has been recognized, ranging in thickness from 3 to 12 feet;
these dip at low angles 5 to 12 seaward. There are now working in
the district 24 collieries, the output of some amounting to as much
as S90,000 tons a year each. The total production of the field for
the year 1912 was nearly 0,000,000 tons.
The coal measures of the Inverness field
comprise a series of narrow-areas on a line extending from Judique
to Margaree, along the western shore of Cape Breton island. The
exposed measures skirt the shores of the Gulf of St. Lawrence for a
distance of about 60 miles and extend inland a few miles, but dip
under the sea to unknown distances. Some of the areas have been
worked since 1866, but no extensive operations were undertaken until
railway connexion was made with the Intercolonial in 1900.
The Pictou field, situated in the centre of
Pictou county, in the easternmost field on the mainland of Nova
Scotia. Its area is comparatively small; the coal measures which
constitute it extend about 12 miles in an east and west direction,
and have a maximum width of about 3 miles; its total area is
approximately 25 square miles. The town of New Glasgow- lies on its
northern boundary about half-way between the eastern and western
extremities. The field, therefore, lies about 9 miles from the shore
of Northumberland strait. Although small in extent, its geology is
complicated, and the correlation of strata is rendered difficult
owing to the occurrence of numerous faults which surround it, and
cross it in diverse directions. Active mining began at about the
same time as in the Cape Breton field. There are now five
collieries, with a total annual output of about 785,000 tons.
In Cumberland county there are two areas of
Productive Coal Measures, and active operations are carried on in
both districts. One of these, the Springhill coal field, is situated
approximately in the middle of the county and about 20 miles from
the sea-coast; the other, the Joggins or Northern Area, is bounded
on the west by Chigneeto bay. The coal seams range from 25 to 13
feet in thickness. In both fields are well developed collieries
worked by slopes driven into the seams. The total production of the
Cumberland field for the year 1912 was about 654,525 tons.
In the produce of New Brunswick the coal seams
which are being worked are referable to the Millstone Grit
formation, which in Nova Scotia underlies the Productive Measures.
Only two areas have been developed into producing coal fields. The
first of these, which is also the largest, is the Grand Lake area,
situated in Queens county. In this coal field the measures are very
nearly horizontal, and for this reason, while they do not comprise a
great thickness of strata, they occupy a considerable area. Two
seams of coal occur in this field, separated in places by partings
of various thicknesses. The top of one is about 20" thick, while the
lower bench is 10". Sometimes they come together and make a workable
seam of 30". The coal occurs quite near the surface, and the deepest
shafts in the district do not exceed 40 feet. This field embraces an
area of about 112 square miles. The coal industry in the district
can hardly be said to have passed the preliminary stages, although
it has been established for many years. Small mines are
comparatively numerous, each being worked individually and many of
them intermittently. The sccond field in which mining is being
carried on on a small scale is in Kent countv, in the vicinity of
Beersville. A small seam,
under 20" in
thickness, is worked on the banks of Coal
branch, a tributary of the Richibncto river. The annual output of
the province is now from ">0,000 to 00,000 tons.
In western Canada, unlike the eastern part of
the Dominion, where the coal seams are found in horizons of
Carboniferous age, the mineral fuels are associated with rocks of
Cretaceous and Tertiary ages. This remark applies to the coal fields
of the plains and the interior of British Columbia, as well as to
the coal-bearing areas of Vancouver and Graham islands.
The Turtle Mountain coal field in southern
Manitoba is approximately bisected by the longitude meridian 100°
15' west, and its length in Canada is about 40 miles east and west
along the 49th parallel of latitude, which practically bisects it.
The southern half lies in the State of North Dakota. The breadth in
Canada is about 20 miles north and south.
According to Mr. D. B. Dowling, " the coal
horizon does not appear to consist of a series of seams in
continuous sheets, but rather of deposits which are limited in
extent, though repeated over large areas, and often superposed
without the intervention of much clay and sand. The material from
which the coal was derived seems in many instances to have been made
up of a large percentage of woody matter, but a great part is
probably composed of much smaller plant remains, similar in
character to much of that in our present swamps and peat bogs,
though of different species, such as would be found in a warmer
climate." In quality, this fuel is lignite, rather high in moisture.
It disintegrates easily on drying, and will not stand long
transportation in its natural state, but could be of great
importance for local usage. Seams have been worked at various points
in a small way, but no regular mining is done.
In the province of Saskatchewan, the Souris coal
field forms the northern extension of the North Dakota lignite
bearing region. The brown coal beds are in this case contained in
horizons constituting the base of the Tertiary. The seams arc
numerous, but owing to the character of the country and to the thick
covering of superficial deposits, it is very difficult to study the
coal formation in this district. The area covered by the
coal-bearing horizons in this part of the province of Saskatchewan
exceeds 4,000 square miles; it extends some 150 miles along the
International Boundary, from longitude 102° westward, and has an
approximate average width of 25 miles north and south. Of this
immense tract, only a very small portion is being worked or has been
studied in detail; very little is known of its possibilities beyond
the small area in which are situated the mines near Estevan on the
St. Paul line of the Canadian Pacific railway.
The lignite is rather low in fixed carbon, and
high in moisture. These conditions make it difficult to transport or
to store without great loss, and are also productive of great waste
in the course of mining. On a comparatively short exposure to the
air, the contained water is lost, and this causes a disintegration,
and in time a reduction to powder.
From the commercial standpoint, the lower seam
is the most important, and as it attains a thickness of 8 feet, this
would yield some 11,000 tons an acre, or nearly 10,000,000 tons to
the square mile.
Gas producer trials on these coals as wrell
as on other lignites from Alberta show them to be excellent fuels
for use in gas producers. The annual output of the Souris field is
about 200,000 tons, which finds a market locally and in the Province
Alberta possesses by far the most extensive coal
areas of any province in Canada—in fact, the greater part of the
southeastern part of the province
Lappwars to be und^llp witjyoal- -Dowling lias
(\stimat(Ml the known mui mineable coal areas at not less than
30,000 square miles. These coal areas occur in three divisions of
the Cretaceous. The lowest is exposed in long narrow belts in the
outer ranges of the Rocky mountains and the foot-hills. These areas
besides providing the best coal, are also important in that they
contain many thick seams, thus ensuring a large supply of valuable
coal. The middle division found occasionally in the foot-hills is
better known as the Lethbridge coal-bearing rocks which are exposed
over a largo area in eastern Alberta, and furnishes a coal which
grades from bituminous to sub-bituminous and lignite. The higher
coal-bearing beds are well exposed in central Alberta, and from the
well-known coal seams on the North Saskatchewan have received the
name " Edmonton beds." These, in the western edge of the area,
contain seams approaching bituminous, but in the eastern part the
coal is sub-bituminous.
Coals of the
Edmonton Formation or Upper Cretaceous
The area occupied by these rocks is a large
triangle, with its western edge parallel to the Rocky mountains, and
the eastern edge nearly north and south adjacent to Lethbridge coal
areas. It forms a trough in the centre of which is the remnant of
the sandstone formation of the early Tertiary. The western portion
produces coal that may in many cases be classed as a soft
bituminous, w7hile the eastern portion contains
sub-bituminous coals only.
In the immediate vicinity of Edmonton there is a
very persistent bed of lignite, lying practically horizontal a few
feet above the level of the river, and this is extensively worked.
This seam gives from 5 to 0 feet of good, clean, lignite, which is
mainly used for domestic purposes.
The Belly River coal formation occupies the
middle of the Cretaceous in the geological scale and includes the
Lethbridge-Medicine Hat area, the Battle River area, as well as
areas in the foot-hills and on the Peace river near Dunvegan. The
principal collieries are being operated between Taber and Lethbridge
and at Lundbreck. The quality of the coal varies from sub-bituminous
to lignite, the higher class coal being found on the western margin.
On the eastern slopes of the Rocky mountains
there occurs a zone of crumpled rocks which have been subjected to
very great dynamic disturbances including folding and faulting. The
coal bearing areas of this zone consist of elongated troughs of
lower and middle Cretaceous rocks formed by the folding of the
strata. The quality of the coals of these measures varies from
bituminous coking and non-coking coals to anthracite containing 85
per cent or more of fixed carbon; the amount of volatile matter
depending largely on the degree of dynamic disturbance undergone by
The whole belt of the foot-hills and adjoining
disturbed country to the east of it might be considered as an almost
continuous zone strung with disconnected coal-bearing troughs of
rocks of the Kootanie series; but from the commercial standpoint it
may be divided into separate, and more or less well-defined coal
fields, of which the Blairmore, Frank, Cascades, and Jasper Park
areas are being worked. The Blairmore-Frank field is situated in the
southern part of the province and is served by the Crows Nest branch
of the Canadian Pacific railway. The coal, as a rule, is of good
quality, although generally high in ash; when sufficiently pure or
after washing, it yields a good coke. There are 12 large collieries
in active operation, besides a number of less important openings. In
the Cascade Mountain region on the main line of the Canadian Pacific
railway, of which Banff is a well known point,
two coal area*; are inw\ Iptng wurked. the
respective centres of which Canmore and Bankhead. The coal produced
at Bankhead mine is very high in fixed carbon, and is practically an
anthracite. It is very friable, and as prepared for the domestic
market, it requires a great deal of sizing and screening. This
results in the production of a very large1 proportion of
fines, or anthracite dust, which is briquettcd and makes a very
satisfactory fuel. The Cascade basin also extends south of the main
line of the Canadian Pacific railway, below the Canmore area, and
good seams of coal have been discovered in the district of the
Kananaskis river. Farther northward, important areas have been
discovered in the Bighorn basin between the Saskatchewan and Brazeau
rivers, the Xekanassin area extending from the Brazeau river to the
head waters of McLeod river, and the Jasper Park areas. There are
important developments in progress on the line of the Grand Trunk
Pacific railway, or tributary to it, and one or two collieries are
already in operation. Altogether, including large and small, there
are nearly 250 collieries now in operation in the province.
The coal production of the province of Alberta
has increased from less than 100,000 tons in 1SS0 to nearly
4,000,000 tons in 1912, and it will probably not be many years
before the output exceeds that of any other province.
In British Columbia there are three main
districts in which coal mining operations arc being actively
pursued. These are the Crowsnest Pass region in the eastern part of
the province; the Xicola Valley district, in the central part; and
the east coast of Vancouver island. Besides these, other coal basins
are known and more or less prospected, but at present are too remote
from means of communication to be of immediate economic value,
although they constitute a reserve of fossil fuels with great
The Crowsnest Pass coal field is situated
immediately west of the summit of the Rocky mountains, in Crowsnest
pass. It is all included within the province of British Columbia,
excepting a small portion in the immediate vicinity of the pass,
which crosses the watershed into the province of Alberta. The Crows
Xest branch of the Canadian Pacific railway crosses the northern
part of the coal field, and skirts its western edge for a distance
of 25 miles. The rocks of the coal field are of Cretaceous age. Mr.
Jas. McEvoy has made an approximate estimate of the total available
coal in this field. By taking the area covered by the coal measures
as being 230 square miles, and assuming a workable thickness of coal
seams of 100 feet, which does not appear to be excessive, he arrives
at a total quantity of 22,595,200,000 tons. The opening of the coal
mines in this field marked an epoch in the development of British
Columbia. Before this time the smelting industries of the
Koote-nays, and of Washington in the United States, had to depend,
in a great measure, on coke from the coast coal mines, the
transportation of which, added to a comparatively high initial cost,
rendered this fuel very expensive; in fact, the cost of fuel to the
smelters has since then been reduced to about one-half. Three large
companies are now operating, and the output in 1912 was 1,413,5S3
tons or about 50 per cent of the total output of the province.
Immediately to the north of the Crowsnest Pass
basin of coal measures, but separated from it by a belt of the
underlying limestones, there is another trough of coal-bearing
Cretaceous rocks, which extends for a distance*of some 50 miles,
crossing the summit of the main range. into Alberta, at the
Kananaskis pass. The difficulties of access, as compared with the
other coal areas lying close to the railway, have militated against
the immediate active development of these areas; but a railway line,
connecting with the Canadian Pacific railway at Michel, has been
located, and it is probable that before long this coal field will be
exploited. That large quantities of coal exist in these measures was
definitely proved in 1901, by a party of the Geological Survey, when
in a section of 3,380 feet, some 12 seams were observed, varying in
thickness from 8" to 35 feet.
The southern interior of the province contains a
number of coal fields of growing importance. Near Princeton, one
colliery has been already opened and has made small shipments of
lignitic eoal; but the area of this field is great—probably nearly
50 square miles—so that there appears a certainty that several other
mines will eventually be opened up. In the Tulameen valley, near
Granite creek, the Columbia Coal & Coke Co. is endeavouring to open
up a colliery; there are some very promising outcrops, etc., high up
on Granite creek and Collins gulch, but the long tunnel which the
Company is driving to cut the coal at depth has not, as yet, been
successful in cutting workable eoal. Mr. Camsell, of the Geeological
Survey, estimates this basin to have an area of about five square
miles. The Nicola Valley coal field is situated to the south of
Nicola lake in the Ivamloops district of British Columbia. Although
not as extensive as the Crowsnest field, or the Vancouver Island
field, it is yet of great economic importance. It stands mid-way
between them, hence the coal of the Nicola valley is manifestly
destined to find a market in a considerable part of central British
In the northern interior there is another
prospective field which attracts great interest at present, owing to
its proximity to the line of the Grand Trunk Pacific railway, which
is being constructed through this district. This is the Telkwa
Valley field, in the northern part of British Columbia. Some of
these areas are of considerable extent, and several have been proved
to contain coal of good quality and in beds of workable thickness.
The character of the coal varies from a bituminous to a
About 140 miles by trail north from Hazelton
near the headwaters of the west fork of the Skeena river, is another
coal field of great promise, known as the Groundhog coal field. This
coal is anthracite or semi-anthracite in character. From present
indications and developments it would seem though this eoal field
would prove to be one of the most important developments that the
province has seen for many years. The field is, as yet, only
slightly developed, and, if but a fraction of its present promise is
fulfilled, it is bound to have a wonderfully stimulative effect upon
the future of the province. The centre of this field lies
approximately in 50° 45' north latitude, 128° 15' west longitude. It
was first discovered in 1903, though its full extent was not at that
time recognized. More recent explorations have shown the field to
extend in a northwesterly direction about 75 miles, and to have a
width in places of about 30 miles. The rocks in which the coal
occurs have been classed as of Cretaceous age. As illustrating the
comparative importance of such an area as this, it may be stated
that this area alone probably contains as much coal—possibly ten
times as much— as is found in all the present known coal areas in
the province of Nova Scotia.
Vancouver island has been the seat of a eoal
mining industry since 1836, which in recent years has not only
supplied a local demand but has been largely exported, to the State
of California. The Vancouver Island fields, now being exploited are
situated on the east coast of the island. These coal measures may be
naturally divided into two distinct fields, separated by a gap of 12
miles of crystalline rocks in the district of Nanoose. The northern
area is the Comox field, and the southern one the Nanaimo field.
Another field, until recently quite undeveloped, exists in the
vicinity of Suquash, about 125 miles to the north. Seven collieries
are now in operation in the district, and the production in 1912 was
The coals of the various scams, although each
has its own individual characteristics, are, as a whole, much alike,
and furnish a bituminous coal of fair grade, the amount of fixed
carbon in the best quality ranging from 50 to 00 per cent, and the
percentage of ash from 5 to 10 per cent. The most striking feature
of the seams is their great variability in thickness and character.
The thickness varies from a few inches to over 30 feet, sometimes
within a lateral distance of less than 100 feet.
Coal is also found in the Queen Charlotte
islands, the most important coal-bearing group known in this group
of islands being that found in a development of Cretaceous rocks on
Graham island, the most northerly island of the group. In this
field, coal outcrops have been located in several places between the
Skidegate channel and Yakoun lake in the interior of the island.
In the Peace River valley extensive coal fields
are located and partly prospected, but these are as yet far from
Xear Bear lake and river, tributaries of the
Fraser river near its most northerly head, and near the located line
of the Grand Trunk Pacific railway, a coal area is being developed
which, according to recent reports, has considerable promise and,
being near the railway, assumes importance.
In the Yukon territory, coal and lignite occur
quite extensively. Three of the most important localities containing
these fossil fuels are: (1) The Whitehorse c-oal area: (2) the
Tantalus coal area; and (3) the Rock Creek coal area. In the two
most southerly localities first mentioned, the coal measures occur
mainly in the Tantalus conglomerates, but are also found, to some
extent, in the upper portions of the underlying Laberge series.
These rocks ar.e all Jura-Cretaceous in age. The coals in the Rock
Creek area, so far as is known, are all lignites, and occur in beds
of Tertiary age. Probably the most important of these coal-bearing
districts is the Tantalus area, which crosses Lewes river midway
between Whitehorse and Dawson, and in which are situated the
Tantalus mine, the Tantalus Butte property, and the Five Fingers
mine. Coal is being mined in the Tantalus field and in the Rock
Creek area at Coal creek below Dawson.
The total production of coal in Canada in 1912
was 14,498,302 tons. Canada is also a very large importer of coal,
the imports in 1912 having amounted to 14,595,810 tons, and exports
2,127,133 tons. The central provinces of Ontario and Quebec being
the chief centres of population, are large consumers of coal, and
owing to their extreme distance from domestic source of supply find
it more economical to import coal from the nearer fields of the
Importance of the Canadian Coal Industry
In spite of the large increase, in late years,
in the manufacture and consumption of artificial abrasives, such as
carborundum, alundum, etc., natural corundum is still preferred for
certain purposes, and the Canadian deposits of this mineral vield
practicallv the entire supply. In 1912 the production amounted to
i,900 tons, valued at §239,091.
The corundum mines are situated in the eastern
portion of the province of Ontario, in the townships of Carlow and
Raglan, and mining operations have been in progress since 1900. At
present, mining is being conducted solely by one corporation—the
Manufacturers Corundum Company—who have acquired the mines and mills
formerly operated by the Ontario Corundum Company, in Carlow, and
the Canada Corundum Company, in Raglan.
The corundum occurs in the form of crystals of
various sizes, disseminated in syenite, and is won by quarrying the
matrix, hand-sorting the broken rock, and crushing the richer
material, with subsequent wet concentration. The average corundum
content of the rock treated does not much exceed 0 per cent, and, as
from U to 2 per cent are lost in concentrating, the recovery
represents about 4 per cent of the crude material.
Corundum-bearing rocks were first recognized in
this area in 1897, and the mineral is found sparingly, but widely
distributed in the rocks of this district.
Its Occurrence, Distribution, Exploitation, and Uses by Alfred
Ernest Barlow (1915) (pdf)
This mineral is employed at the present time
almost entirely in the pottery industry (where, in a finely ground
form, it is mixed with the clay to act as a flux), or in the
enamelling of cooking and similar utensils. Attempts are being made,
also, to utilize the mineral as a source of potash,*_of which it
contains as high as 14 per cent.
Feldspar has been mined in Canada since the year
1890, and the present average annual production is 12,000 tons.
Practically the whole of the output is exported to the United
States, where it is consumed in the New Jersey and Ohio potteries.
Almost the entire production of Canadian feldspar is derived from
the province of Ontario—the principal mines being located in the
county of Frontenac, about twenty miles north of the town of
Kingston on the St. Lawrence river. A few small deposits, also, have
been worked in the Parry Sound district, in the vicinity of the
Muskoka lakes. Formerly feldspar was mined to some extent, also, in
the province of Quebec—the deposits being located in Ottawa county.
No development of these properties has taken place during recent
years—the distance from the United States factories rendering mining
unprofitable. One mine in this region yields a remarkably pure white
feldspar, which is in demand for the manufacture of artificial
Veins or dykes of pegmatite (a rock having
feldspar as its main constituent) are of common occurrence
throughout large areas in both Ontario and Quebec, and have in some
instances been mined for the mica which they often carry. These
deposits vary in width from mere stringers of a few inches to
massive bodies of over a hundred feet. Such deposits, while, at the
present time, often too remotely situated, or containing too many
impurities in the way of accessory minerals to allow of the feldspar
being employed for pottery purposes without considerable expensive
cleaning, constitute large reserves of the mineral, which may
ultimately prove of value as a source of potash or for other
Feldspar in Canada
By Hugh S. de Schmid, M.E. (1916) (pdf)
A deposit of fluorspar has been worked in the
county of Hastings, province of Ontario, where a large vein of this
mineral occurs. About 250 tons have been mined to date, the output
being consumed in steel furnaces and other smelting works. 4"he vein
averages two to three feet in width and has been traced for a
distance of about fifty feet. The fluorspar occurs often in large
and well-formed crystals of a beautiful green colour. These are
frequently coated with crystallized barvtes, and are much prized as
Mineralogically the occurrence of fluorite has
been noted at several points in New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario and
British Columbia, and one occurrence near Nelson, B.C., was
investigated as a possible source of the mineral.
Further uses of fluorspar are: as a substitute
for cryolite in the manufacture of aluminium; as a bond in the
manufacture of emery wheels; in carbon electrodes—to increase the
lighting efficiency and to decrease the current; as a desulphurizing
agent in the open-hearth roasting of ores. It is also used in the
manufacture of hydro-fluosilicic acid employed as an electrolyte in
the electrolytic refining of lead.
On the Optical
Transparency of Certain Specimens of Fluorite (1919) (pdf)
Graphite is found in many partj^ of the
provinces of Ontario and Quebec, and also, to a lesser extent, in
several of the other provinces.
On Cape Breton island and in the counties of
Guysborough, Colchester, and Kings, Nova Scotia, graphite has been
observed, but no deposits of commercial importance have yet been
In New Brunswick—though in late years no
graphite has been mined— there are several deposits that have been
worked 011 a small scale, at intervals, since 1853. These arc
situated in St. John county near the city of St. John. It also
occurs in the counties of Charlotte, Kings, and Westmorland.
In Quebec, only one company is operating at
present , though several others have been mining and milling
graphite until recently, and will probably resume work later. The
principal deposits of graphite are situated in the townships* of
Buckingham and Lochaber, Ottawa county, near the town of Buckingham,
and in the township of Grenville, Argentcuil county.
In Ontario four companies are engaged in mining
and milling graphite. The operating mines are situated in the
following townships: Brougham, Renfrew county; Cardiff and Monmouth,
Haliburton county; Montcagle, Hastings county; and North Elmsley,
Lanark county. Other important deposits of graphite are found in the
counties of Haliburton, Hastings, Ad-dington, Frontenac, Leeds, and
Lanark. Some of these deposits have already been worked to some
Both in Quebec and Ontario the majority of
deposits of graphite occur in the rocks of the Hastings-Grenville
series and are of three classes:—
(1) Vpins of columnar or foliated graphite.
(2) Lenticular masses of flake or amorphous
(3) Flakes of graphite disseminated through the
country rock (crystalline limestone, gneiss, and quartzite.)
Practically all of the deposits in which mining
has been done belong to the third class. The graphite is extracted
from the rock and prepared for the market by an elaborate system of
In British Columbia graphite is reported to have
been found at Rivers inlet and Alkow harbour.
Explorers have reported the presence of this
mineral in several localities in the far northern parts of Canada.
Graphite is used in manufacturing pencils,
crucibles for metallurgical purposes, electrical apparatus, stove
polish, lubricants, heat and weather resisting paints, foundry
facings, etc., etc.
Artificial graphite is made in Canada near
Niagara Falls by means of an electric process.
Report on Canadian Graphite
By Christian Hoffman (pdf)
The Millstone Grit, a carboniferous formation
which is widely distributed in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, is
quarried and manufactured into grindstones of excellent grades.
These range in size from very small stones to those used for the
grinding of wood pulp, which weigh about tons each.
The producing quarries and works are situated at
Lower cove and Quarry island in Pictou county, Nova Scotia; and in
New Brunswick at Woodpoint, Rockport, and Beaumont in Westmorland
county, Stonehaven and Clifton in Gloucester county, and Quarryville
in Northumberland county.
Stone, reported to be suitable for grindstones,
is found in a number of localities in other provinces, but has not
been quarried to any extent.
Many large deposits of gypsum occur distributed
throughout Canada; the most extensively mined areas being those in
the Maritime Provinces of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick where the
mineral is found associated with rocks of the lower Carboniferous
series. Many of these deposits are exposed in cliffs which vary from
50 feet to 200 feet in height.
In Nova Scotia, the principal districts in which
gypsum is found are in Hants county', near Windsor; in Cumberland
county near Amherst; in Victoria county near McKinnon Harbour;
Baddeck, and St. Anne; and in Inverness county near Cheticamp.
Gypsum also occurs in large quantities along the coast of Cape
Breton island, in the interior, and along the shores of the Bras
In New Brunswick the principal deposits occur in
Albert county in the district around the town of Hillsborough; near
Petitcodiac in Westmorland county; and in the northern part of the
province on the Tobique river at Plaster Rock, in Victoria county.
A comparatively small proportion only of this
mineral mined in these two provinces is manufactured in Canada into
plaster of Paris, wall-plaster, fertilizer, etc., the greater part
being shipped crude to the United States.
Gypsum occurs in several of the islands of the
Magdalen group, province of Quebec, where it is also associated with
the limestones of the lower Carboniferous series.
In Ontario deposits are found in Haldimand
county along the banks of the Grand river, the occurrence being in
the Onondaga formation in beds averaging about 4 and 11 feet in
thickness. A small annual output, which is mostly calcined, has been
maintained for many years. Occurrences have also been noted in the
northern part of the province along the banks of the Moose river in
the Hudson Bay basin, about 30 or 40 miles south of Moose Factory.
In Manitoba large workable deposits of gypsum
occur in an area about 8 miles square situated about 170 miles north
of the city of Winnipeg. These deposits are being operated and the
rock transported to Winnipeg, where it is calcined. Gypsum has also
been encountered in drilling operations in the southern part of the
In the prairie provinces gypsum is found north
of the city of Edmonton at several localities in the district
tributary to the Mackenzie river.
Gypsum quarry, Cheverie, N. S.
It is also found in British Columbia at the
following places: Salmon river in the southern part of the Kamloops
Mining Division; Spatsumon the main line of the C.P.R. about 189
miles to the northeast of Vancouver; on the banks of the Thompson
river about 20 miles to the north of the town of Kamloops; at
Merritt in the Nicola valley, and in the Tulameen district on
Granite creek, about 10 miles up the Tulameen river from the town of
The quality of the gypsum found in Canada, more
especially the white rock found in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and
Ontario, is of an exceptionally high grade. The mineral is used in
many of the fine arts, and is extensively employed in the
manufacture of structural materials, such as plaster of Paris,
hardwall plasters, cement, etc. It is also used in the crude state
as a fertilizer. The output of crude gypsum for the year 1912 was
576,498 short tons, valued at $1,320,883.
Gypsum in Canada
Its occurence, expoiation, and technology by L. H. Cole (1913) (pdf)
Magnesite is being quarried in the township of
Grenville, Argenteuil county, Quebec, about 10 miles north of the
town of Calumet. It occurs in the crystalline dolomitic limestone of
the Hastings-Grenville series, at several points in this township,
but the extent of the deposits is not known as much of the country
is covered with soil and vegetation.
This mineral also occurs in deposits of
considerable size in Brome county, Quebec; in several localities
near Atlin, British Columbia, and in Yukon territory. These deposits
have not been worked on account of contained impurities in some
cases, and in others on account of lack of a close market.
Magnesite, after being calcined, is used in the
making of sulphite pulp, fireproof flooring, firebrick for basic
steel and copper furnaces, etc., and in the preparation of chemical
products of magnesia.
During calcination it gives off carbon dioxide
equal to about half its weight. Where the calcining is done in
retorts, the carbon dioxide may be saved and stored in iron
cylinders, under pressure, for use in aerating soda water, etc.
Magnesite Deposits of Grenville District
Argenteuil County, Quebec by M. E. Wilson (1917) (pdf)
Ores of manganese found in Canada comprise
pyrolusite, manganite, psilomelane and wad or bog manganese, and
these are found principally in the eastern provinces of Nova Scotia
and New Brunswick.
Alining operations have been conducted at Loch
Lomond, Cape Breton, Tennycape, Walton and Cheverie in Hants county,
East Onslow and Londonderry in Colchester county in Nova Scotia. In
New Brunswick there are numerous occurrences and production has been
obtained from Markhamville and Jordan Mountain in Kings county;
Ouacco head, St. Johns county; Shepody mountain and Dawson
settlement, Albert county.
Considerable deposits have been found on the
Magdalen islands in Quebec, and occurrences have been noted at
various points in Ontario and on the east coast of Hudson bay.
The only active operations being undertaken at
present are those at New Ross in Hants county, Nova Scotia, where
the Nova Scotia Manganese Co. are developing a property from which
several hundred tons have already been shipped.
Notes on Manganese in Canada
By H. p. Brumell (1892) (pdf)
Canada is one of the three principal
mica-producing countries of the world, the others being India and
the United States. The average value of the mica produced annually
in Canada during the last ten years has been about §185,000.
With the exception perhaps of Ceylon, Canada is
the only country, as far as is yet known, in which the variety
phlogopite—or " amber mica," as it is termed in the trade—is known
to occur in economic quantities. The mica of commerce is of two
kinds—muscovite, or " white mica," and phlogopite, or "amber mica."
The former is obtained from both India and the United States, while
the latter is secured almost wholly from Canada. Of the two
varieties, phlogopite commands rather the higher price, being softer
and more flexible and altogether more suitable for use as an
insulator—this being the principal use to which mica is put at the
The amber mica deposits of Canada are comprised
within an area of approximately 1200 square miles in the province of
Quebec, and 900 square miles in the province of Ontario. The two
districts are separated geographically by the Ottawa river, and
geologically by a belt of sedimentary rocks about 40 miles wide. The
city of Ottawa lies between the two productive areas and is the seat
of the mica industry—all the important works engaged in trimming and
in otherwise preparing the mineral for the markets being located in
Deposits of white mica, also, occur in Canada,
and occurrences of this variety (some few of which have been worked
at various times), are known from Labrador in the east to the Rocky
mountains in the west, while several Arctic expeditions have
returned with good specimens from the far north.
Though the average dimensions of mica sheets do
not much exceed 3 x 5 inches, plates of enormous size are sometimes
obtained. Crystals have been found which measured over 4 feet across
and weighed nearly two tons.
About 300 mines have been worked for mica at
various times in Canada, but at the present day no more than 25 are
in active operation. Among the large operators may be named: The
General Electric Company, of
Schenectady, N.Y., Webster & Company, Ottawa; Blackburn Bros.,
& Company, Ottawa; O'Brien & Fowler,
Ottawa; Kent Bros., Kingston.
Its Occurrence, Exploitation and Uses by Fritz Cirkel, M.E. (1905) (pdf)
Ochres, wad and ferruginous clays, suitable for
manufacturing into paint, are found in many parts of Canada. These
mineral pigments, when raw or burnt, give a range of colours
including golden ochre, yellow ochre, cinnamon yellow, sienna,
umber, Vandyke brown. Indian red, etc., etc.
Though they have been employed in small
quantities, for local use, in many districts, the commercial
exploitation is limited, at present, almost entirely to the
provinces of Quebec and Ontario.
In Quebec there are numerous deposits of ochre
in the counties to the north of the St.
Lawrence river, resulting from the
decomposition of iron pyrites contained in the rocks of the
Laurentian hills. In the neighbourhood of Three Rivers much ochre of
good quality is dug each year and manufactured into paint. Deposits
are also being worked in Xicolet county, on the opposite side of the
In Ontario deposits of importance are found in
various sections of the province, including Algoma district and
Norfolk, Leeds, and Halton counties.
In Nassagaweya township, Halton county, there is
a deposit from which ochre is now being produced in small
In Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, deposits of
ferruginous clays and wad, as well as the ochre deposits of
Colchester county, Nova Scotia, have been worked on a small scale
from time to time. In the western provinces, deposits of workable
size and grade are said to exist, but no production is reported.
The Mineral Pigments of Canada
By C. W. Willimott (1906) (pdf)
Deposits of barytes (BaS04) are found
in commercial quantities distributed throughout northeastern Nova
Scotia at Lake Ainslie, Inverness county, North Cheticamp, Inverness
county, Five Islands and Stewiake, Colchester county, and near River
John, Pictou county. At the three latter places, deposits have
proved to be pockety and difficult to work at a profit, but in the
vicinity of Lake Ainslie the deposits have been found to be larger
and more continuous, and since 1890 the shipments of this mineral
have averaged nearly 2000 short tons per annum.
At Lake Ainslie, the barytes, with some calcite
and fluorite, forms a series of roughly parallel veins cutting
Pre-Cambrian felsites. The veins, though showing many irregularities
in size, are fairly persistent, one nearly vertical vein having a
width of from 7 to 14 feet for a depth of at least 250 feet. In
several instances the veins locally attained thicknesses of 20 feet.
Although this mineral is mined only at Lake
Ainslie, barytes deposits are known to occur at several other
localities in Canada, the more important localities being: township
of Hull, province of Quebec; in the province of Ontario in the
townships of Bathurst and North Burgess (Lanark county), McNab
(Renfrew county), Drummer and Galway (Peterborough county), and
Summerville (Victoria county). Large veins also occur on Jarvis,
McKellars, and Pie islands in Lake Superior and also in northern
Ontario near the headwaters of the Wanapitei river.
The product of the mill in operation at Lake
Ainslie is used in the paint manufacturing trade.
The Barytes deposits of Lake Ainslie and North
Cheticamp, N. S.
By Henry S. Poole (1907) (pdf)
Spring waters containing minerals in solution,
or, as they are usually termed, mineral waters, occur in very many
sections of the country. Many of them are being utilized
commercially, both as potable waters and for bathing purposes. At
several of the springs, where the water has curative properties,
hotels and sanitariums are being operated. Some of these are thermal
or hot springs and are principally used for baths.
Mineral Springs of Canada
In two Parts (1917) (pdf)
Part 1 |
The oldest and, at the present time, the largest
natural gas producing district in Canada is the territory bordering
on the east and north shores of Lake Eric. This area can at present
be divided into several distinct fields, but the intervening areas
between these fields are fast being drilled, and the results tend to
show that in all probability the whole of this district is underlaid
by gas producing strata. In the counties of Haldimand, Welland,
Essex, and Kent, large supplies appear to be available. In these
counties the gas horizons are in the Clinton, Medina, Trenton, and
Guelph formations. In Essex, county, a single well, drilled 1020
feet to a horizon in the Guelph formation, yielded gas at the rate
of 10,000,000 cubic feet per day. The gas from the Ontario district
is piped to all the larger towns in the southern peninsula,
wh-erBtet is-^sed for industrial and dpiAr'stic purpt>>?<. Tlr>
yield from tins district for 1911, from 1027 producing wells, was
10,803,000 M. cubit feet.
In New Brunswick an important and extensive gas
producing area is found in the counties of Albert and Westmorland.
The main anticlinal, along which drillings are being carricd on,
lies approximately 11 miles to the south of Moncton, the general
trend being east and west. At the close of 1911 there was available
an output of about 40,000,000 cubic feet per day. In the season of
1912 the field was further extended and proved by a number of
additional wells, the total number of such holes now being 23, each
with a pressure at the collar of over 100 lbs. per sq. inch. At the
present time the gas is being utilized to supply the towns of
Moncton and Hillsborough, but it is proposed in the near future to
further extend the distribution.
In the province of Quebec, a number of wells
were drilled in the vicinity of Three Rivers and the gas obtained
from these wells was utilized locally for a short time, but
operations have since been abandoned.
Natural gas is reported to have been encountered
in Saskatchewan in wells drilled at Estevan in the southern part of
Natural gas has also been found in northern
Alberta along the Atha-baska river. In the southern part of the
province, in an extensive area of which Medicine Hat is the centre,
natural gas has been found in the Niobrara formation in a number of
wells drilled to a depth of 1000 feet. Recently, wells drilled on
Bow island, 40 miles west of Medicine Hat, encountered a strong flow
of gas, and this gas is being piped 170 miles to Calgary, and also
to Lethbridge, McLeod, and other towns in southern Alberta. The gas
possibilities of the lower Cretaceous measures of Alberta and other
western provinces, where capped by the upper members of the series.,
and where they are not so deep as to be beyond commercial reach, may
be considered to be exceptionally promising, and at the present time
considerable prospecting is being carried on with a good measure of
The total production of natural gas in Canada
for 1912 was 15,2S6,S03,000 cubic feet, valued at §2,302,700.
Natural Gas in Ontario
By Eugene Coste. M.E. (1901) (pdf)
The peat deposits of Canada are quite extensive
and constitute an important reserve of fuel that has as yet been but
little utilized. The most important areas so far as known are those
found in the provinces of Quebec and Ontario. A number of these have
been systematically examined and surveyed by the Mines Branch with a
view to determining their character and extent. The Branch has also
carried out a comprehensive investigation of the fuel values of
peat, having built a plant in Ottawa for demonstrating the
feasibility of the manufacture and use of peat gas in gas engines.
During the past two years air dried peat fuel from the government
bog at Alfred was sold in Ottawa, and peat from a privately owned
bog at Farn-ham, Que., was disposed of in Montreal. In both cases
the fuel was in considerable demand for use in open grat-es and in
kitchen ranges. The Alfred bog is now being operated as a private
enterprise and a considerable production is anticipated.
The Agricultural Use of Peat Materials
By A. A. Swinnerton, Bureau of Mines and P. O. Ripley (1947) (pdf)
Peat and Lignite
Their Manufacture and Uses in Europe by E. Nystrom, M.E. (1908) (pdf)
At the present time the principal oil fields in
Canada are situated in the peninsula of southwestern Ontario,
between Lake Huron and Lake Erie. The first oil was found in Lambton
county in 1862, and active production has been continued ever since.
Until 1907, the Lambton County fields in which there have been about
11,000 producing wells were by far the largest producers; since
then, several new districts have been opened up, the most prominent
ones being the Tilbury district in Kent county and the Onondaga
district in Brant county. The oil districts are all situated within
an area underlain by Devonian strata, usually on an anticlinal axis,
and the petroleum is largely obtained from horizons in the Onondaga
formation at depths varying in the different localities. When the
wells are first drilled, the natural pressure is usually sufficient
to force the crude oil to the surface, sometimes producing what are
known as gushers. After the flowing period, the oil has to be
pumped. While some of the smaller districts became exhausted in a
few years, many of the pools being only a few hundred feet wide and
perhaps a quarter of a mile long, others have continued to furnish
oil for a long period.
Four refining companies are operating in Canada
distilling about 10 million gallons of Canadian crude oil per year,
but the greater part being distilled at these refineries is still
being imported from the United States. The total production for
Canada for the year 1912 was 243,330 barrels valued at $345,050.
In New Brunswick, in the district lying 11 miles
to the south of Moncton, oil is being pumped in small quantities
from the holes which produce the gas of this district. Although the
production so far is not large, drill holes are continually being
sunk, and it is hoped that very shortly a stronger and more
continuous yield will be the result.
In Alberta, although oil has not been
encountered in commercial quantities, prospecting for it is being
carried on vigorously, and there is every probability that this
province will be added to the list of producers at a very early
In connexion with the oil industry in Canada,
mention should be made of the existence of extensive deposits of
bituminous shales and tar sands.
Beds of bituminous shales, as at present
recognized, are found in Gaspe, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia.
Those in New Brunswick are without question the most important. They
occur in the counties of Albert and Westmorland and extend in an
easterly and westerly direction over a distance of 40 miles. During
the past 10 months extensive exploration, by means of diamond
drilling and surface work, has demonstrated not only the quantity
but the quality of these valuable deposits. It is anticipated that
in the near future a plant, with a capacity for an initial daily
treatment of 2000 tons of shale, will yield approximately 80,000
gallons of crude oil per day.
1'ar sands are known to occur in Alberta along
the Athabaska river for a distance of upwards of 100 miles north and
south of Fort McMurray. Although the existence of these deposits has
been recognized for many years, no steps have as yet been taken to
accurately determine their possibilities.
Petroleum in Canada
By Victor Ross (1917) (pdf)
Canada at one time produced large quantities of
mineral phosphate, or apatite, the output in 1890 amounting to
nearly 32,000 tons. In this year, however, the competition of
foreign countries, more particularly the southern
United States, caused a decline in the price of
the mineral, with a consequent falling off in production in Canada.
The annual output has continued to decline, until, at the present
time, the average production falls short of 1000 tons a year.
Practically the whole of this amount is obtained as a by-product in
the mining of mica—the two minerals occurring in close association
in many of the mines. What has been said as to the distribution of
the amber mica deposits in Canada, under the head of " Mica,"
applies also to the occurrence of phosphate. The greatest phosphate
producing area in Canada, however, was the Lievre River district, in
the county of Ottawa, province of Quebec. A very rich belt of
phosphate-bearing rock traverses this region and has been exploited
in the past by a number of important mines, all of which have been
closed down for a number of years.
The phosphate deposits of Canada are found
associated with a very old series of rocks, principally granite and
gneiss in which the apatite occurs in the form of veins and pockets.
These bodies are very irregular in size and shape and are very
difficult, as well as expensive, to mine, owing to the fact that
large quantities of dead rock have to be handled in order to secure
a relatively small amount of phosphate. The deposits of the southern
United States, on the other hand, as well as those of Tunis,
Algiers, and most other phosphate-producing countries, are of a
sedimentary nature, and occur close to, if not actually at, the
surface of the ground. These beds can be easily and cheaply
exploited with the aid of steam-shovels and dredges— a course which
it is impossible to pursue in the case of Canadian deposits. In
spite of the large quantities of apatite which have been taken from
the old phosphate mines inr Canada, the deposits are
believed to be still very extensive, and they would doubtless be
worked again, should a new use be found for the mineral or should
prices warrant it.
The sole uses to which mineral phosphate is put
at the present time are the manufacture of phosphorus and
Nearly all the phosphate now produced in Canada
is consumed at the town of Buckingham, Que., where two works have
been established to treat the mineral, namely: the Electric
Reduction Company, engaged in manufacturing phosphorus, and the
Capelton Fertilizer Company, making phos-phatic fertilizer.
Phosphate in Canada
By Hugh S. Spence, M.E. (1920) (pdf)
Pyrites and Sulphur.
Native sulphur is not known to occur in Canada
in deposits large enough to be utilized commercially. The chief
domestic source of sulphur for industrial uses is the mineral
pyrites, which, in the pure state, contains 53*54% sulphur and 40
-06 % iron.
Important deposits of iron pyrites occur in
Quebcc in the Sherbrooke district; in Ontario in the Hastings
district of central Ontario, and at a number of localities east and
northwest of Lake Superior. Other deposits have been found in the
northern part of British Columbia at Granby bay and near Port
Essington on the Skeena river. Deposits of pyrrhotite, a closely
related, mineral containing, when pure, about 39% of sulphur, also
occur in the southwestern part of New Brunswick, in Quebec, and in
In Quebec, active mining operations have been
carried on continuously for more than thirty years; the first
pyrites used in a sulphuric acid plant in America is said to have
come from the Eustis mine in this province. At present there are two
producing mines; the total output is about 05,000 tons containing
about 42 % sulphur, \bout one-half of this is used in Canada for the
manufacture of sulphuric acid; the balance is shipped to the United
States. The Quebec pvrites contains a small quantity of coppcr and a
little gold and silver, all of which arc recovered by treating the
cinder residues obtained in the acid works where the sulphur content
In Ontario four pyrites mines are producing ore,
two in the Hastings district, one north of Lake Superior and one
northwest of Fort William. Some of this ore is used in sulphuric
acid plants in Canada, the balance is shipped to the United States.
In addition to the operating mines, there are several properties
upon which diamond drilling has shown the existence of large bodies
of pyrites. In the Sudbury district of Ontario, huge ore bodies of
massive pyrrhotite are being mined as ores of nickel and copper.
These ores are treated by roasting in open heaps and then smelting
in blast furnaces. No attempt is made at present to utilize the
sulphur content of these ores because it would cost more to save the
sulphur than it is worth. There is probably nearly 100,000,000 tons
of this ore available, and in the future it may prove profitable to
save a portion of the sulphur. There are also numerous pyrites
prospects in the province of Ontario, some of which may prove to
contain valuable deposits of pyrites.
Pyrites ores in British Columbia are not mined
for their sulphur content. The only location that has been
thoroughly explored is that at Granby bay, about 110 miles northeast
of Prince Rupert. Here development work has shown the existence of
ore bodies containing in the aggregate about 12,000,000 tons.
Preparations are being made to mine this ore and smelt it in
water-jacketed blast furnaces to recover its copper content. The
sulphur it contains will not be saved because there is no market for
it on the Pacific coast.
Pyrites in Canada
Its Occurence, Expoitation, Dressing, and Uses by Alfred W. G. WUson,
Ph.D. (1912) (pdf)
Environmental Sulphur Isotope V S Studies in
A Review by H.R. Krouse, Department of Physics (1987) (pdf)
Extensive beds of salt or salt producing springs
are found in nearly every province of the Dominion of Canada.
The largest, and, at present, the only producing
district, is situated in the southwestern peninsula of the province
of Ontario, bordering on Lake Huron, the St. Clair river, Lake St.
Clair, and the Detroit river. The salt here exists as beds in the
Salina formation of the Silurian system, wrhich formation
in the productive area is covered by upwards of 1000 feet of other
strata, chiefly Devonian.
In this district, the principal plants are
located at Windsor, Sarnia, Sandwich, Goderich, Clinton, and
Kincardine. A prominent feature of the salt produced from the brine
in Canada is its remarkable purity and also its freedom from other
salts detrimental to its use in the production of caustic soda and
bleaching powder. There is a good opportunity for the soda industry
in the Dominion and it is assuming larger proportions each year. At
Sandwich, a plant has been recently erected for the manufacture of
caustic soda and bleaching powder from the brine.
The production in Canada is obtained wholly from
the evaporation of salt brines, either natural or else formed by the
pumping of water down drill holes to the salt beds and the
re-pumping of the water when it-has become a saturated solution.
In Nova Scotia salt springs have been noted from
time to time and endeavour has been made to turn these brines to
commercial use. These springs come from the rocks of the lower
Carboniferous series. The principal localities arc in Antigonish
county near Antigonish; in Inverness county near Whycocomagh;
Cumberland county near Springhill; and in Hants county near Walton.
Strong brines were also encountered in bore-holes at depths of 1400
and 1870 feet at Chcverie in Hants county.
In Now Brunswick, salt springs arc known to
occur ift the vicinity of Sussex ami at Saltspring brook, both in
Kings county, and on the Tobique river in Victoria county. These
springs, like those in Nova Scotia, have their sources in the lower
Manitoba furnishes brine springs of varying
strength from the northwestern part of Lake Winnipegosis, at Salt
point, near the mouth of the Bell river, which empties into Dawson
bay. Salt springs also occur 011
the Red Deer peninsula in the southern part of Winnipegosis lake.
Salt was manufactured here as early as 1820 but of late years there
has been no production.
Numerous springs have been noted from time to
time in the prairie provinces, especially in the Mackenzie River
basin, and numerous lakes in the district lying to the north of the
Cypress hills in the southern part of the prairies are known to be
In British Columbia, salt springs have been
noted in several places, the principal one being at the north end of
Admiral island near Nanaimo. The discovery of an important deposit
of rock salt has recently been reported from Kwinitsa, a station
about 45 miles east of Prince Rupert on the Grand Trunk Pacific
railway. This discovery if confirmed wall be of great practical
importance to the marine fishing industries established on the
In the year 1912, the production of salt in
Canada wras 95,053 short tons, valued at §459,582.
Report on the Salt Deposits of Canada
And The Salt Industry by L. Hever Cole (1915) (pdf)
Talc or bodies of talcose mineral—in part
steatite, or soapstone—have been found at many places in the
Dominion, but with the exception of the mines near Madoc, Ont., they
have not been mined to any great extent. In Hastings, Frontenac,
Leeds, and other counties in eastern Ontario, a number of such
deposits have been discovered; and in Brome county, Quebec, as well
as in the Eastern Townships and in the Maritime Provinces, steatite
deposits of possible economic importance are known.
In the province of Ontario, near the village of
Madoc, in Hastings county, a large body of talc has been worked for
several years. There are now two mines in active operation and the
annual production is about S,000 tons. The value of the crude
mineral is about §2 per ton at the mine, while the ground talc from
the mill averages from $S to §10 per ton.
mills have been erected, one at Madoc, and a smaller mill erected
more recently near Eldorado, which are engaged in grinding the crude
talc and preparing it for the trade. Most of the finished product
finds a market in Canada, a large proportion being consumed in the
paper industry. Other uses of the powdered mineral are in the
manufacture of cosmetics, insulating coverings, dressing for
leather, enamel paints, French chalk, and as sizing for cotton
cloths. Massive talc finds numerous uses because of its refractory
qualities, its resistance to the action of most acids, and its
possession of a high dielectric strength.
In Nova Scotia and New Brunswick the bottoms of
many of the small lakes are covered with tripolite, or, as it is
also called infusorial earth, dia-tomaceous earth, fossil flour,
keiselguhr, etc. This material is made up of the minute siliceous
shells of diatoms mixed with small quantities of lime, alumina, and
The more important deposits, some of which have
been worked, from time to time, are situated in Victoria,
Cumberland, Cape Breton, and Inverness counties, Nova Scotia, and in
Kings and St. John counties, New Brunswick.
At present only one company is actively engaged
in Canada in the digging of tripolitc and preparing it for the
market. This company is carrying on its operations at Bass River
lake in Cumberland county, Nova Scotia.
Deposits of tripolite are also reported to occur
in Quebec, Ontario, and British Columbia, but none of these have
ever been worked, nor do they appear to be of immediate value.
The principal uses to which tripolite is put are
as a polishing material, and in making non-conducting coverings for
steam pipes, etc. It is also used as a filler in the manufacturing
of rubber goods, in the making of water filters, and by paint
manufacturers for making
a wood filler. Before the introduction of wood pulp, as the
absorbent for nitro-glycerine in the manufacture of dynamite,
tripoli was used for this purpose.
Materials used in the manufacture of cement in
Canada include marls, limestones, clays, and blast furnace slag. The
occurrence of cement materials is so widespread and abundant in all
parts of the country that the question of their utilization is
largely economic, being dependent upon the market for the product,
the comparative availability of suitable raw materials in different
localities, the cost of fuel, and the transportation facilities.
There are at present 24 completed cement plants
in Canada, with a total daily capacity of about 28,800 barrels,
besides several plants in course of construction. The total
production in 1912 was 7,132,732 barrels, valued at $9,106,556, and
in addition, 1,434,413 barrels were imported.
The operating plants are distributed as follows:
one at Sydney, Nova Scotia, using blast furnace slag, three in the
province of Quebec, two of which are near Montreal, and one near
Hull, adjacent to the city of Ottawa, each using local limestone and
clay. In the province of Ontario there are fifteen plants with a
total daily capacity of nearly 16,000 barrels. Of these 11 use marl
and four limestone. The marl plants are located at Marlbank, Durham,
Owen Sound, Lakefield, Hanover, Blue Lake, Raven Lake, Orange-ville,
and Ottawa. The limestone plants are located at Belleville and Port
Formerly considerable quantities of " Natural
Rock" cement were made from a suitable calcareous limestone found in
the Niagara peninsula, but this has now been entirely superseded in
Ontario by the production of Portland cement. In the province of
Manitoba, a " Natural Portland " cement is made at Babcock,
southwest of Winnipeg. Alberta has three limestone plants, located
respectively at Calgary, Exshaw, and Blairmore. A second limestone
plant is being constructed at Blairmore, while a marl plant is being
constructed near Marlboro about 145 miles west of Edmonton.
British Columbia has one rock plant at Tod
Inlet, near Victoria, and a second under construction at the same
place, while another rock plant is nearing completion at Princeton.
Prospectus of the National Portland
Cement Co. Ltd. (pdf)
Souvenir of the History, Development
and Future of Portland Cement (pdf)
Clays and Clay
Clays or shales suitable for the manufacture of
ordinary common and pressed building brick, pottery, tile, sewerpipe,
etc., are found widely distributed in almost every province of
Canada, and arc being utilized wherever there is a demand or a
market for clay products. Fireclays or clays suitable for the
manufacture of firebrick have been found at only a comparatively few
points, including Shubenacadie, X.S Dirt hills. Sask., and Clayburn,
B.C., and as yet are utilized to a comparatively limited extent
Kaolin or china-clay has been found in the
county of Argcnteuil, province of Quebec, near St. Remi de Amherst,
and a washing plant lias been erected for the preparation of the
material. The extent and importance of the clay-working industry is
shown by the value of the production which in 1912 exceeded
$9,000,000, and amongst non-metallic products was next in importance
to coal. The consumption probably exceeds this value by at least
one-third, owing to the large imports particularly of firebrick and
of earthenware and china ware.
By Dr. George M. Dawson, D. S., F. G. S., &c., (1885) (pdf)
Building Stone and
There is scarcely any variety of stone which may
not be used for building purposes, and in view of the great area and
diversity in geological structure possessed by Canada, it is
difficult to place any limitations upon the possibilities in the
utilization of building stone and other quarry products. It may well
be claimed that Canada possesses in great abundance every kind of
stone required for the purposes both of common and decorative
architecture; these are only commercially available, however, in
districts provided with transportation facilities and where
conditions respecting production are otherwise favourable for
A convenient classification of building and
other stone includes: (1) granite syenite gneiss and other igneous
rocks; (2) limestone and dolomite; (3) marbles; (4) sandstone; (5)
At many quarries, particularly of granite and
limestone, very large quantities of stone are crushed for use in
making concrete and for other purposes, in fact the value of crushed
stone produced is now greater than that of ordinary or dimension
At the present time quarries are being actively
operated in the localities as shown hereunder:—
is quarried in Nova Scotia, near Halifax and at Xietaux in Annapolis
county; in Xew Brunswick in the the vicinity of St. George,
Charlotte county, and at Hampstead, Queens county: in Quebec in the
counties of Beauce, Stanstead, Iberville, Portncuf, and Argenteuil,
while considerable quantities of syenite which is intrusive in
quarried with the latter in the vicinity of Montreal. In Ontario,
granite is quarried in the counties of Hastings, Leeds, Ontario, and
the districts of Muskoka and Parry Sound; trap rock is quarried in
the county of Peterborough, and also near Bruce Mines, Algoma. and
Port Arthur, Thunder bay. Most of the quarries in British Columbia
are on the west coast on Burrard inlet, or on islands conveniently
situated for transportation to Vancouver and Victoria. The total
value of the production of granite in 1912 was $1,373,119.
is extensively quarried, not only as a building stone, but for the
manufacture of lime and cement and for use
as a flux in metallurgical operations.
Quarries in Cape Breton, X.S., supply stone chiefly used for fluxing
in the iron and steel furnaces at Sydney, while near St. John, X.B ,
the output is used mainly in the manufacture of lime. There are
numerous quarries in Quebec and Ontario, those in the former
province being situated chiefly on the Island of Montreal and in the
near-by counties of Soulanges and St. Hyacinthe, also in the
counties of Portneuf and Quebec, north and west of the city of
Quebec, and in the county of Wright, near the city of Hull. In
Ontario, limestone quarries are widely distributed through the whole
of the southern portion of the province included between the great
lakes and Ottawa river, and particularly the more southerly portion
of this area. In Manitoba the operating quarries arc chiefly at
Garson Quarry, Gunton, Stonewall, Tyndall, and Stony Mountain. In
Alberta, limestone is quarried for lime burning or cement
manufacture at Frank and Blairmore in the Crowsnest district, and at
Exshaw and Kananaskis on the C.P.R. main line in the foot-hills of
the Rocky mountains. At Fife, Boundary district, B.C., limestone is
quarried for use in the Trail smelter. The total value of the
production of limestone in 1912, not including stone used for lime
burning, or cement, was §2,762,936. There was produced 8,475,839
bushels of lime, valued at §1,S44,849.
is obtained in Quebec, at Philipsburg and South Stukely; in Ontario
in the counties of Hastings and Lanark. A number of quarries not at
present operating have also been opened in British Columbia. The
value of the output of marble quarries in 1912 was §260,764.
fine building stones are obtained in the counties of Cumberland and
Pictou, X.S., and in XorthumberlancI and Westmorland counties, X.B.
In Ontario, sandstone is quarried in the counties of Carleton,
Halton. and Peel. Several quarries have been opened in Alberta at
Brick-burn, Glenbow, Rockburn, Rockdale, Stanton, etc. In British
Columbia, sandstone quarries are operated on Saturna, Haddington,
and Denman islands. The total value of the production of sandstone
in 1912 was §329,352.
slates have been quarried at Danville, Corris, Brompton, Melbourne,
and New Rockland in southern Quebec, the quarries at New Rockland
having been almost continuously operated since 1808. A new quarry
has recently been opened up at Botsford in Temiscouata county. In
the province of Ontario, some development work has been undertaken
on a slate property, near Xew Liskeard in Hudson township. Roofing
slate has also been obtained on the west coast of British Columbia.
STATISTICS OF MINERAL PRODUCTION IN THE
PROVINCES OF CANADA, WITH SOME NOTES ON THE MINING LAWS OF THE
DOMINION OF CANADA AND OF THE SEVERAL PROVINCES.
A summary table of the mineral production in the
whole of Canada has already been given in the introduction to this
pamphlet, and further details of the record of production during the
years 1911 and 1912 in each of the provinces are given in the
The conditions on which mining lands or mining
rights may be acquired in Canada are not uniform throughout the
country, but vary with the different provinces. This is due to the
fact that, with certain exceptions, Crown lands and mining rights
are owned or controlled by the provinces, and each province sells or
leases mining lands or mining rights according to its own laws or
regulations. The exceptions are, the provinces of Manitoba,
Saskatchewan, and Alberta, the Yukon, and North West Territories,
the public lands of which are still held by the Federal Government
at Ottawa and are leased or disposed of under Dominion regulations.