Canadian Mining & Metal Facts

The total value of all mineral commodities mined in Canada, including metals, nonmetals and coal increased to a second straight record of $26.4 Billion in 2005 compared with $24.3 Billion in 2004. This 8.5% increase was due almost entirely to increase in prices most metallic minerals.

The value of coal production increase to $2.3 Billion in 2005 from $1.6 Billion in 2004 in response to much higher prices for coal.

The value of mine metal production for 2005 increased by $0.9 Billion to $13.3 Billion, 7.7% increase for individual metals, the value of nickel production increased to $3.3 Billion, again 2.4% despite a 1.6% decline in the volume of nickel produced.

The value of copper produced rose sharply, by 20.9% although the volume of production increased by a more modest 4.8%.

Gold was the only to major metal that registered a significant decline in production value, falling by $7.9% Billion $2 Billion however, gold was Canada’s third leading metal following nickel and copper.

Of Canada’s other major metals, the value of iron ore increased by 13.5% to $ 1.5 Billion and the value of uranium rose dramatically to $1.0 Billion a 65.4% increase.

The value of zinc production declined by 15.1% and the value remained relatively stable, at $998.2 Million down only by 0.2%.

Canada’s lone tungsten mine in the Northwest Territories, which was placed on care and maintenance in late 2003, re-opened in late 2005.

The value of nonmetallic mining production reached another record $10.8 Billion in 2005, a 3.6% increase over 2004. Productions values in excess of $1 Billion were recorded for five nonmetal commodities. The leading nonmetal commodity was potash, with values of $2.8 Billion, cement production increased by 3.8% in value to $1.69 Billion following closely in terms of value of production were diamonds at $1.68 Billion. Sand, gravel and stone rounded out the nonmetals with values of production in excess of $1 Billion.

A broad definition of Canadian mineral industry includes mining (including coal), primary metal manufacturing, and nonmetallic mineral product manufacturing and fabricated metal product manufacturing.

It does not include the crude petroleum and natural gas industries. The industry (excluding bitumen) accounted for $42 Billion or 3.9% of Canada’s GDP in 2005. Measured at basic prices enchained 1997 dollars, the same percentage as in 2004.

Mining contributed 23.7% to the industry’s GDP, primary metal manufacturing, 29.2%, nonmetallic mineral manufacturing, 13.4%, and fabricated metals, the remaining 33.7%.

Employment in Canadian mining industry recorded a fractional 0.9% decline in 2005, falling to an estimated 44,889 down from 45,287 in 2004. Employment in metal mining decreased 4.8% to 21519 where nonmetal mining was up by 1.1% to 18537. Note that despite declining employment in the mining sector, the value of production has increased for each of the past four years attained a new record high in 2005.

In 2005, there were ten significant mine openings (three new mines and seven re-openings) and only four mine closures. Of the three new mine openings, one was the nickel-copper mine at Voisey’s Bay in Newfoundland and Labrador, one was a limestone mine in Alberta and one was a coal mine in British Columbia. All the mine closures were metal mines.

Source: Natural Resource Canada