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Chapter 10

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Geography 2153A/B
Jamie Baxter

Chapter 10 Notes 12/19/2013 7:07:00 AM The mining industry is a vital contributor to the Canadian economy  The value of minerals produced in Canada reached $75 billion  80% of our mineral and metal production is exported There is concern that habitat destruction, increased access to natural areas resulting from construction of infrastructure and effects of acidifying mine waste runoff on fish, wildlife, and water quality are among the most important and extensive effects of mining Production, Value, and Distribution of Mineral Resources in Canada  Mineral Fuels: Crude oil and equivalents, natural gas, coal, and natural gas by products account for 77% of Canada’s mineral production  Nonfuel minerals such as iron, gold, potash, like accounted for the remaining 23% Historical Overview of Mining in Canada  Much of Canada’s regional and infrastructural development has proceeded in parallel with the development of natural resources  Klondike Gold Rush o Dawson City became a thriving community, creating wealth for both prospectors and the Canadian government o Encroaching populations disrupted the traditional ways of life of Aboriginal people  The Yukon gold rush illustrates the boom and bust cycle associated with the mining industry and the history of mining in Canada o Mining is especially vulnerable to short-term changes in the supply demand and price of an individual commodity  There is a significant imbalance between the distribution of people (south) and the distribution of mineral resources (north) in Canada o This distribution gave rise to a large number of single- resource, one-industry towns or company towns Canada’s First Diamond Mine  Since the discovery of diamonds, the central region of the Northwest Territories has attracted intense mineral exploration and development o The diamond boom accounted for 20% of Canada’s total exploration expenditures  BHP Billiton diamonds project located in the Lac de Gras region is the largest mineral project in the Northwest  To satisfy concerns, the federal government required BHP to enter into an environmental agreement and to negotiate impact-benefit agreements with the Aboriginals o Impact-benefit agreements are negotiated between a private company, various levels of government, and local communities to enhance local benefits from resource production  Limitations of IBAs  Lack transparency – First Nations cannot share specific details of their agreement (distributive justice)  Benefits unequally shared within the community (distributive justice) – autonomy vs dictating distribution  Training – employment only meaningful if available – who organizes and pays?  Diamond mining poses important environmental and social challenges o Most are produced for the luxury market, questions the effects of diamond mining to satisfy nonessential needs o Diamond mines provide employment in a region where jobs are hard to come by Environmental Impacts of Mining  Environmental effects of a mine operation extend far beyond the mine site o Mining has a considerable influence on land surrounding the mine, and the range of interaction between mining and other land uses has become increasingly complex  Potential to conflict with other land use activities  The extent of environmental impact from a mine depends on a range of factors, from the type of mineral and its chemical properties to the local ecology, geology, and climate characteristics at the mine site  When exposed to air and water, the sulfide materials oxidize and generate sulfuric acid, resulting in acid mine drainage o It is the most serious environmental problem facing the mining industry o Strong winds and precipitation may further compound problems of acidic drainage and increase the risk of freshwater contamination  Shadow effect: indirect activities associated with mining (or forestry), including the constructions of roads, rail links, and power facilities  both the direct and shadow effects of mining have the potential to generate conflict with other land uses Mineral Exploration  Mineral exploration involves finding geological, geophysical, or geochemical conditions that differ from those of their surroundings o Discovering such anomalies in the landscape may signal the presence of significant mineral deposits  Expenditures are high during the exploration stage, and there is no guarantee of turni
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