( Originally Published Early 1900's )
The silver-bearing ores of the now famous Cobalt district contain a large proportion of cobalt ; but the buyers of ore practically allow nothing for this metal. Should new uses and new outlets be found for cobalt, this region could easily supply large quantities of this metal.
Ores of iron are widely distributed throughout Canada, in great variety. They are smelted in the provinces of Ontario, Quebec, and Nova Scotia only ; but it is very probable that in the near future an iron-smelting industry will be established in British Columbia.
In this latter province, large deposits of iron ore occur on Vancouver Island, and other islands on the Pacific coast. The deposits consist mainly of high-grade magnetites, and these, in conjunction with the coal deposits of the Pacific seaboard, would supply blast furnaces under very favourable conditions. Owing to the comparatively sparse population of this province, the market would not at present be very extensive ; but the establishment of an iron industry in this western province is only a question of time, since all the natural resources are present in abundance.
In the interior of British Columbia, important deposits of iron ores are known at East Kootenay, and in the Kamloops district.
In Alberta, should need arise, extensive deposits of clay iron stone, which occur in the vicinity of the Red Deer River, could yield a fairly good supply of iron ore.
In both the western and eastern parts of the province of Ontario, extensive deposits are known, and many are being worked.
The Helen Mine, on the shore of Lake Superior, is being worked, and produces large quantities of hematite. The Atikokan iron range ; the Lake Nipigon iron deposits ; the large deposits of magnetic and hematite of Mosse mountain, north of Sudbury ; the magnetite deposits found along the line of the Kingston and Pembroke Railway ; and the magnetite deposits along the Central Ontario Railway, constitute reserves of iron ore, having great industrial possibilities.
In Quebec, deposits of magnetite occur in the valley of the Gatineau, north of the Ottawa River. Bog iron ores are being worked in the district north of Three Rivers, and in some parts of the eastern- townships, along the St. Francis River. Moreover, magnetites, containing titanic acid, are present in large quantities in various parts of the eastern townships, and in the Saguenay district.
It may be noted here that Dr. Eugene Haanel, Director of Mines to the Dominion Government, has devoted special attention to the smelting of the refractory iron ores of Canada by electricity. Experiments of inter-national importance now historic were conducted at Sault Ste Marie, Ontario, in the winter of 1905-6 ; which demonstrated that the reduction of magnetic iron ores comparatively high in sulphur, but free from manganese, could be smelted by the electro thermic process without the use of coal or coke ; but with charcoal only as a reducing agent. An official account of these preliminary experiments by Dr. Haanel was published by the Dominion Government in 1907 ; and a pamphlet describing the practical application of these experiments on a commercial scale, by means of an Electric Shaft Furnace, at Domnarfvet, Sweden, was issued in September, 1909, demonstrating that electric smelting has passed the experiment stage, and is now an assured commercial success.
This pronouncement by the Dominion Government is of supreme importance to the provinces of Ontario and Quebec, where there are extensive deposits of refractory, magnetic iron ores, which can now be smelted economically since they are mostly in close proximity to water powers for the generation of electrical energy, and char-coal and peat as reducing agents can be obtained cheaply as substitutes for coal or coke fuels which are conspicuously absent from the list of mineral resources of the two provinces.
In Nova Scotia important deposits of hematite occur in Annapolis county ; at Nictaux and at Clementsport ; at Brookfield, south of Truro ; and at Londonderry ; besides numerous other places from which the existence of more or less important deposits have been reported.
Large deposits of iron ore, which are important from the standpoint of future supply, are known to occur on the east coast of Hudson's Bay and James Bay. Among these deposits may be mentioned those of the Nastapoka Islands, which appear to be the most important and consist of magnetite, hematite and jasper.