Mining in Manitoba — What is mined and where is it mined?

Disclaimer: I am an investment writer with an interest in the resource industry. I am not a Professional Geologist or licensed financial advisor. I do own investments in some Manitoba-based mining companies and will disclose this information when relevant. Please always do your own due diligence before making any decisions that affect your portfolio.

 

I’m learning about the mining industry in Manitoba and blogging about what I learn. In a previous blog post I talked about the geography and history of mining in Manitoba and in this blog post, I’m looking at where things are mined in the province.

SIMPLIFYING MANITOBA’S MINING ACTIVITY

There are a lot of sources that talk about where in Manitoba specific minerals are mined. I’ll get into detail later but I wanted to start with a very simple “bird’s eye view” of the provincial mining activity. So I gathered info from a variety of sources and have a nice, simplified, easy-to-remember overview of mining activity. (Certainly there is mining activity outside of these areas but this is a good place to start).

First, here’s a refresher on the geography of Manitoba, which is divided into 4 specific areas…

Now that we’ve had a refresher on the geography, let’s look at Manitoba’s mining activity — what is mined and where?

  • The large area in the Central and northwestern part of the province has a lot of mining activity in gold, silver, zinc, copper, and nickel. That’s not a surprise; those minerals are often found together.
  • Salt is mined in the western part of the province.
  • Gypsum is mined in the south-central part of the province, and dolomite and limestone are mined not too far away.
  • Gold, silver, and tantalum are mined on the southeastern part of the province, which makes sense because that land has very similar geography to Northwestern Ontario – an area with prominent gold and silver resources.
  • Petroleum and peat are mined in the southern part of the province. Geographically, they’re in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin.

Again, there is other mining activity in the province but this gives us a high level view of the basics. Now we can get into the details a little with a little more confidence…

MINERAL EXPLORATION AND CLAIMS

One place you should definitely look if you want more detail about mining activity in Manitoba is the Manitoba Government’s license map, which is a very comprehensive PDF of mining and exploration activity in Manitoba. Click the screenshot of the PDF map to download and study it…

The map shows Manitoba divided up to help them map where mining activity is:

First, the province is divided into zones – Zone A and Zone B. Zone A seems to be the Superior Province and part of the Trans-Hudson Orogen (seem my previous blog post on the geography of Manitoba) and Zone B seems to be Hudson Bay Basin and the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin. According to the Manitoba Government’s Mining Guide, the zone will indicate the size of exploration license they allow.

Second, the province is divided into sections which are labelled with a two-digit number and a letter (i.e. 64G). The numbers start down in the southeast corner of the province with the 52’s and they move north through 53, and 54, then they start down at the southwest corner of the province with 62F, 62G, 62H, and they work their way north to 64. (Honestly, this doesn’t make a lot of sense to me right now so I’ll dig deeper but it’s a starting point).

Third, those sections are divided into 16 squares (4×4) which aren’t labelled with any kind of key on the map but I’m sure have some kind of key associated with them.

In this map, we see a number of different things:

  • Restricted areas are grayed out and presumably there won’t be any mining there. I’ve tried to find info on this and can’t. Presumably the area is a wetlands habitat or part of the water system.
  • Mining exploration licenses are granted in larger areas where explorers will be searching for deposits. In the PDF map, they are represented by light blue squares.
  • Mining exploration licenses are converted into mining claims and those are indicated in the PDF map by red dots.

As you can see by looking at the map, there is a lot of exploration activity (blue squares) going on throughout the province but the mining (red dots) is concentrated in just a few areas.

I’ve given you enough to digest for now but I’ll be writing more about this in the future.

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