Mining has been a core catalyst to Canadian economy – by Peter Caulfield (Journal of Commerce – November 13, 2017)

Unlike such relatively recent economic activity as software development, mining has been an important contributor to the Canadian economy for hundreds of years. t has made some entrepreneurs and their investors very rich, and has created well-paying jobs for miners, as well as the people who build the mines that produce the pay-dirt.

Too few Canadians, however, know the history of mineral exploration and mining and their importance to the Canadian economy. Herewith a very brief and partial history.

According to the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame’s History of Mining in Canada, the 17th century French explorer Samuel de Champlain wrote of copper mineralization in what is now Quebec’s Gaspé peninsula.

The site was developed eventually into the giant Mines Gaspé, owned by Noranda Mining and Exploration Inc. The first coal mine in Canada was started in 1720 on Cape Breton Island.

Shortly afterwards, in 1737, the first iron was smelted at the Forges St. Maurice, just north of Trois Rivieres, Que. As Canadian settlement moved westward and outward, so did mineral exploration and mining.

Copper-nickel ore was discovered near Sudbury, Ont. in 1883 by a doctor who was looking for a man lost in the bush. The ore was also found to contain gold, silver, platinum, cobalt and other valuable minerals.

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