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Economic Minerals Of Canada

( Originally Published Early 1900's )

IN attempting even a brief description of the mineral resources of Canada, it will aid clearness of vision, and enable the reader to walk within known bounds and landmarks if we indicate at the, outset the scope and limitations of our inquiry. We purpose dealing (1) with the more important ores of metals, and (2) with the non-metallic minerals : the respective descriptions being arranged in geographical order from west to east, by way of provinces.

The total area of Canada, as has been said, is about 3,750,000 square miles, two thirds of which are practically unexplored, except along a few main rivers and water routes in the northland which have been followed by Indians and fur-traders. Hence, any account of the resources of the Dominion must necessarily be limited to the one-third of the country, and this only partially explored, investigated, and developed. For this reason it is impossible to estimate, even approximately, Canada's future mineral industry ; but judging by the extent and geological characteristics of the known mining areas, and considering the vast undeveloped regions known to exist in the north, the industrial possibilities of the country are manifestly enormous. This conclusion is driven home when it is remembered that, in 1886, the total mineral production of Canada was valued at 10,221,255 dollars ; whereas in 1908 it reached 87,323,849 dollars.

The prospecting of promising mineral regions is constantly being undertaken ; and the development of new mining areas is adding to the already formidable list of shipping mines. In the last named connection it may be mentioned that the Dominion Government in 1907 established a Department of Mines, with a view of aiding the industrial development of the country, by systematic investigation of its mineral deposits and immense mineralized regions. And although this organisation is of recent origin, the Mines Branch of the Department has already rendered valuable service to the mining industry by the publication of technical reports and bulletins. Among those recently published by the Mines Branch under the supervision of Dr. Eugene Hanel is a comprehensive " Report on the Mining and Metallurgical Industries of Canada, 1907-8," This, and other important monographs and bulletins on mineral products of current economic interest, such as iron ores, asbestos, mica, graphite, peat, chromite, tungsten, etc., constitute a reference library of technical literature invaluable to every business man interested in the commercial and industrial progress of the Dominion.

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