Find Mining expertise in Canada
Canada is among the world’s leading exporters of potash, uranium, nickel, zinc and asbestos and a major producer of aluminium, cadmium, cobalt, copper, gold and, in the 2000s, diamonds. There are large reserves of nickel, copper and cobalt.
Despite only having discovered diamonds in the 1980s, Canada is now the third largest diamond producer on value basis in the world. It is also the largest producer of uranium globally. The four largest multinationals in the world – Vale, Anglo American, BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto – have operations in Canada along with Canada’s biggest diversified mining company, Teck Resources. Foreign ownership is restricted in uranium mining.
Canada’s largest gold mine, Canadian Malartic, opened in 2011. It is operated by Montreal-headquartered Osisko Mining Corp and is through to have a resource of up to 348 tonnes.
DeBeers operates two diamond mines in Canada, Snap Lake and the Victor mine (see Community relations).
The Snap Lake mine was De Beers’ first mine outside of Africa, is unique in Canada. Located in Ontario, the mine is Canada’s first completely underground diamond mine. Operations began in 2008 and has an annual processing capacity of 2.7 million tonnes or 600,000 carats.
Extractives directly and indirectly accounts for almost a fifth of nominal GDP and 1.6 million jobs. The natural resources sector is a leading employer for first nation communities. Including forestry, the sector employs around 32,000 indigenous people, representing 8.3 people of all first nation employment.
Commercial extraction and processing of natural stone is carried out across the country. The main types of stone quarried are limestone, granite, sandstone and marble. Extracted resources are primarily used in construction throughout the country but a smaller percentage is exported, the majority to the USA and China.
Ontario produces more than half of Canada’s quarried aggregates and Québec accounts for about one-third. Other large quarries are located British Columbia and Manitoba. Gravel extracted in the Susan Lake site in northern Alberta is the largest open pit in North America, extracting 7.75 million tonnes in 2011. Aggregates produced here by Athabasca Minerals Inc. are used for construction of infrastructure in the Fort McMurray oil sands industry.
In 2014, the Canadian government introduced a Building Canada Plan, committing 14 billion CAD over a ten-year period to developing new infrastructure and a further six billion to existing infrastructure development.
Natural Resources Canada is the agency that deals with mining on behalf of the Department of Natural Resources. Territories and provinces also have their own local ministries that deal with extractives at a local level, such as the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry. Mining and drilling licenses are generally dealt with at territory/province level.
Legislation that governs extractives includes the Canada Oil and Gas Operations Act, Canada Petroleum Resources Act, the Arctic Waters Pollution Prevention Act, the Export and Import of Rough Diamonds Act and the Oil Substitution and Conservation Act.
Canada is not currently EITI compliant, but Prime Minister Stephen Harper introduced mandatory reporting requirements of all payments to governments from the country’s oil, gas and mining firms in 2013.
|Mining and Minerals organisations in Canada|
|Natural Resources Canada||