• Minerals are non-renewable resources found all over the world
  • The Canadian Shield is the source of many of our mineral deposits
  • Minerals can be divided into three groups:
  • Metallic (copper, nickel, uranium, gold, etc)
  • Fossil Fuels (coal, oil, natural gas)
  • Industrial (stone, diamonds, salt, potash)

Environmental Issues

  • Mining can cause air pollution, acid precipitation, and can pollute local water sources
  • Abandoned mines can also be an environmental and aesthetic hazard

Economic Issues

  • 50% of minerals mined in Canada are processed after being exported > Exported jobs
  • Global markets control mineral prices and demand
  • Foreign competition
    • lower production costs overseas make their minerals cheaper
  • Ghost Towns
  • After a mine closes up,
  • many one industry towns
  • have been abandoned.
  • i.e. Elliot Lake, ON

Types of Mines

  • Strip Mining – Used in oil sands, coal, and other minerals located near the surface. Strips are removed from the surface with machines or blasting

Open Pit Mining

  • Used for minerals near the surface and slightly deeper. Often used for coal or rock mining. Sometimes pits can be quite deep
  • Underground Mining
  • Used to extract minerals deep beneath the surface using deep underground mine shafts and tunnels. Commonly used for coal or potash

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