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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Interactive Map of Indigenous Mining Agreements
Agreements between Indigenous groups and mining companies improve the relationships and partnerships related to exploration and mine development. These agreements have also been successful in securing benefits for many Indigenous communities. The Interactive Map of Indigenous Mining Agreements shows where these agreements are in effect across the country and provides specific information on exploration projects and mines, Indigenous communities, and the types of agreements signed between communities and mining companies. For additional information about Indigenous participation in the mining sector, please see Aboriginal Participation.
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, producing mines, and oil and gas fields in 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.
- View the Minerals and Mining Interactive Map and zoom in to more detailed views.
Principal mineral areas, producing mines, and oil and gas fields in Canada
This map, published annually by Natural Resources Canada, provides the geographic locations of principal producing metallic, nonmetallic, and industrial mineral mines, oil sands mines, and oil and gas fields for the provinces and territories of Canada. It also contains information on existing and proposed oil and gas pipelines. A mine index lists, for each mine identified on the map, information on company ownership and the mine's type, location, and principal minerals and metals produced. A similar index (without company names due to a shortage of space) is provided for each oil and gas field. Three inset maps detail the geographic locations of selected metallurgical works, and current and expected mine openings and closings. Mineral production statistics have also been incorporated in a number of tables and charts on the map.
- Search for and download the latest Principal mineral areas, producing mines, and oil and gas fields in Canada and previous versions in various formats on GeoGratis.
Mineral Commodity Flows
Contained within the 5th Edition (1978 to 1995) of the National Atlas of Canada is a map that shows the volume of mineral commodity shipments within and between 67 regions (traffic zones) during 1979; also shows export and import flows. Classification of flows by mode of shipment, size, and nature of mineral commodity. View more details on GeoGratis.
Contained within the 3rd Edition (1957) of the Atlas of Canada is a plate that shows 20 different maps of principal minerals across Canada, circa 1955. The maps were compiled from information supplied by the Mines Branch of the Department of Mines and Technical Surveys. Usually, the principal occurrences have been indicated but where these are very numerous only the areas in commercial production are shown. It should, therefore, be noted that not all of the principal occurrences are actually mined. View more details on GeoGratis.
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