Manitoba's Mineral Industry

Manitoba Mineral Sector Profile

 

Size:

The mining and petroleum industries make up the second largest primary resource industry of Manitoba’s economy. The 2018 value of mining and petroleum production totalled $2.5 billion (preliminary estimate), comprising

In 2017, the mining and petroleum industries accounted for approximately 3.3% of the province's nominal GDP (basic prices) and 2.5% of international exports of goods. Capital expenditures on mining and petroleum development in 2018 totalled $616.2 million. Manitoba’s mining and petroleum industries directly employed approximately 5,700 people in 2018a.

In 2018, Manitoba producedb:

  • 37.7% of Canada's zinc
  • 10.1% of Canada's nickel
  • 6.3% of Canada's copper
  • 2.1% of Canada's gold
  • 12.7% of Canada's silver

Silver, cobalt and platinum group metals are by-products of other mined metals or minerals; values are not available for cobalt and platinum group metals.

a Source: Statistics Canada, Table 14-10-0023-01
b Preliminary estimates current as of March 2019

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Dominant activities:

  • Mining, smelting, refining of base and precious metals

  • Mining/quarrying of industrial minerals

  • Crude oil extraction

Structure and concentration:

  • Manitoba currently has four producing mines.

  • There are approximately 130 registered mineral tenure holders in Manitoba.

  • There are several companies engaged in the extraction of various industrial mineral commodities, including but not limited to: dimension stone, sodium chlorate, cesium formate, lithium, gypsum, and limestone/dolostone.
  • There are currently 44 companies producing oil in Manitoba, ranging from large multinationals to small locally based producers. 240 new wells were drilled in 2017 and as of December 31, 2017, Manitoba had 3814 producing oil wells and 693 support wells. Crude oil produced in Manitoba is shipped through the Enbridge pipeline system or Canadian National Railway to refiners in eastern Canada and the northeast and north-central areas of the United States.

Exploration and development highlights: 

Sector capabilities:

  • Base and precious metals: copper, nickel, zinc, gold

  • Industrial minerals: cesium, dolomite, gypsum, sodium chlorate, dimension stone, lime, crushed rock, sand and gravel aggregate

  • Crude oil extraction

Mineral endowment:

  • Metal deposits in Manitoba’s Precambrian Shield have been mined for decades, while large areas of high mineral potential in remote regions of the province remain under-explored when compared with similar regions elsewhere in Canada. This represents a potential avenue for considerable growth in Manitoba’s mineral sector and may provide significant employment opportunities for northern and Indigenous communities near new mineral exploration and development projects.

  • Manitoba mineral resources with potential for future economic development include platinum-group elements (platinum, palladium and rhodium), rare earth elements, uranium, titanium, vanadium, chromite, silica, diamonds and potash.

  • Although oil has been produced in Manitoba for over 60 years, the province is still relatively underexplored. Production has been obtained from only a small part of the total sedimentary sequence present in the province. Horizontal drilling and multi-stage hydraulic fracturing are being used by companies to develop Manitoba’s tight oil reservoirs.

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