Mining & Minerals

Photo of mine

Rocks are composed of minerals. Each of the thousands of minerals found in the earth's crust contains a specific combination of elements in specific proportions. Although some elements can be found in an almost pure form (gold or copper, for example), most are chemically bound up in minerals. Human societies have come to value particular elements and minerals more than others, for use as fuels, to make tools and chemicals, or to wear as jewellery. We have also learned to recognize these elements and the minerals that contain them in the rocks that make up the surface of the earth. Prospecting, mining and processing minerals are complex processes that cost significant amounts of money to undertake. Although the return on a mining investment can be high, it can also be highly uncertain.

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Minerals and Mining Interactive Map

This map depicts the location of Canada's principal producing mines for the given reference year. It includes locations for significant metallic, nonmetallic and industrial mineral mines (except clay products, peat, and most construction materials [most stone, sand and gravel]), coal mines, oil sands mines, and oil and gas fields across the country. Also depicted are the locations of significant metallurgical facilities across Canada. The data in this map are based on Natural Resources Canada's annual Map 900A – Principal Mineral Areas of Canada. Pertinent information for each mine is provided, including operation name, owner/operator, commodities extracted, and on-site facilities.

This map also depicts the location of the top 100 exploration and deposit appraisal projects for the given reference year. The data in this map are based on Natural Resources Canada's annual Map of Top 100 Exploration and Deposit Appraisal Projects. Pertinent information for each project is provided, including operation name, commodity sought, and province or territory.

Principal mineral areas of Canada


Mineral Commodity Flows (1979)

Principal Minerals (1957)