Industrial Minerals

Commodity Summaries



Gypsum is a naturally occurring mineral that formed as the result of evaporating sea water in massive prehistoric basins. Gypsum, is one of the most widely used minerals in the world and literally surrounds us every day. The most recognized use of gypsum is for the wallboard found in the interior of most homes and buildings. Another major use is as a component of cement used to produce concrete and pipe for roads and foundations.


Chemically, gypsum is calcium sulfate hydrous calcium sulphate (CaSO4•2H2O). It is very soft (hardness of 2 on Mohs scale) and is white, colourless when pure, but can be tinted grey, red, yellow, blue or brownish. Gypsum occurs as monoclinic crystals (selenite), as massive (alabaster), or as fibrous (satin spar).


Gypsum is an industrially important mineral. It is the primary ingredient of plaster-of-Paris and is also used in the production of cement. It is also the main component of sheet-rock. It is used as a flux for creating earthenware, and can be used as a fertilizer. Most gypsum is used to make wallboard for homes, offices and commercial buildings. A typical new home contains more than seven metric tonnes of gypsum alone.


In Manitoba, gypsum is currently mined in large open quarries, although in the past underground mining was also done at Amaranth west of Lake Manitoba.


CertainTeed is an industry leader with quarrying operations northeast of Harcus, Manitoba and a wallboard plant in Winnipeg, across from Westview Park on Empress Street. Another quarry, operated by Lehigh Cement to produce cement, is situated about one kilometre north of the CertainTeed quarry.

CertainTeed Gypsum Canada, Inc.
1200 Empress Street
Winnipeg, Manitoba
R3E 3B4
Phone: 204-786-3424
Fax: 204-783-3445
Lehigh Cement
2494 Ferrier Street
Winnipeg, Manitoba
R2V 4P6
Phone: 204-334-4300
Toll free: 1-800-252-9304

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