Mineral Use


The Minerals and Mining Statistics Division (MMSD) of the Minerals and Metals Sector of Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) is responsible for measuring the use of key metals, ferroalloys and nonmetallic minerals in Canada. The statistics related to Canadian mineral use are measured by MMSD in a variety of ways. The most common are:

1. Apparent use, and
2. Reported use.

Key Definitions

Apparent use is calculated according to the following formula: PRODUCTION plus IMPORTS minus EXPORTS plus or minus CHANGES IN STOCKS. The result of this calculation represents the quantity of the mineral available for use without considering whether the products manufactured from it are used at home or exported. Details on end-use patterns are not provided.

Reported use or end-use consumption is reported by users of minerals and metals. Use surveys are distributed annually to users requiring them to report the quantity of minerals and metals used in their operations. The data are compiled and several reports are produced for use by specialists in the department. It is the most accurate measurement of use and is the only approach capable of producing a detailed end-use consumption pattern.

How Are the Use Surveys Conducted?

Metal and/or nonmetallic minerals use surveys are conducted annually by MMSD from 24 surveys mailed to Canadian mineral users. A total of 1172 questionnaires for 2006 were mailed to users, with some companies receiving more than one questionnaire. A company may receive more than one questionnaire depending on the metals and minerals that it uses. There are over 70 metal and mineral commodities listed in these surveys. Companies are asked to report quantities of metals and (or) nonmetallic minerals used, including stocks during the calendar year. Using the 2007 survey year as an example, surveys were mailed out in January 2008 to collect use statistics for 2007 metal and/or nonmetallic mineral use. The aggregated data will be available by the end of 2008 as well as end-use consumption patterns.

The reported use surveys are not a census and therefore may not cover 100% of the industry. Consequently, not all of the consuming companies in Canada are captured by the surveys. However, full coverage is the objective. Without the cooperation of the mineral-consuming companies in Canada, these statistics would not be available.

Brief History of Use Statistics

Canadian use statistics have been collected since the 1940s. Statistics Canada (then the Dominion Bureau of Statistics) initiated mineral use surveys to meet the demand for such information during World War II. One special survey covered the supply, use and stocks of principal metals and minerals used by Canadian industry. An annual survey on war materials covered the use and stocks of the most important minerals, ferroalloys, chemicals and oils. Since the 1970s, NRCan has been responsible for the collection and dissemination of use data.


Reported use by end-use detail is available from the following source.

Canadian Minerals Yearbook: Review and Outlook

Available in Canada through your local bookseller or by mail from:

Geological Survey of Canada Bookstore
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0E8
Telephone: 1-888-252-4301

To request further information, please contact us.