The production of metal in Canada has increased in recent years to such an extent that mineral production in the Dominion is now second only to agriculture among the primary industries. Use is made of aircraft, railways, tractors and power-driven craft in reaching the metal treasure hidden in the earth
AERIAL ROPEWAY for transporting sand at the gravel claims of the Hollinger Consolidated Gold Mines Limited, Timmins, Ontario. The town of Timmins, named after one of the pioneers, is the centre of the Porcupine Area. This district and the Kirkland Lake Area produce more than half the output of Canada’s gold.
THE enterprise of prospectors and the technical efficiency of the engineers who extract ore from the earth, smelt the ore and refine it into metal have greatly accelerated the production of metal in Canada. The output of metal has multiplied tenfold in value since the beginning of this century, having risen from £5,000,000 in 1901 to more than £51,000,000 in 1936. Moreover part of this wealth comes from regions which were called the “barren lands” until a few years ago and from areas which were once regarded as almost impenetrable except to the hardiest of prospectors, trappers and traders.
Nowadays mineral production in Canada is second only to agriculture among the primary industries. New industries to serve every phase of mining and engineering are springing up. Only about 15 per cent of the Dominion is suitable for farming, but the remaining 85 per cent, much of which is covered by forests, is believed to contain many geological formations favourable to mineral ores.
Almost the entire mining of metals is carried out in the two great metal-yielding physiographic divisions of the Dominion. One division is called the Canadian Shield and is composed of Pre-Cambrian rocks, the oldest rocks exposed on the earth’s surface. The Canadian Shield extends over most of Quebec and Ontario, more than two-thirds of Manitoba, more than half of Saskatchewan, and most of the North-West Territories, thus enclosing Hudson Bay and including Baffin Island.
The Canadian Shield is separated from the western physiographic division by the “interior plains”, which form a corridor from the Arctic Ocean through North America to the Gulf of Mexico. The western physiographic division, called the Cordillera, is part of the mighty range of mountains that extends from the north-west corner of North America to the tip of South America. The non-metallic mines of the two provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia are in the Appalachian system, which extends southwards into the United States.
In addition to metallic mines which produce copper, gold, nickel, lead, silver, zinc, platinum, cobalt, radium, selenium, tellurium, bismuth, cadmium and other metals, non-metallic mining is of great importance. The principal non-metallic products are coal, asbestos, mica, graphite, clay products, natural gas, cement, sand and gravel, lime, petroleum, gypsum and salt. Many elderly people are familiar with the story of the Klondike gold rush, but not with the romance of the industrial metals of Canada, although the building up of the Canadian nickel industry until it was first in world production is one of the major episodes in the romance of modern times. More than four-fifths of the nickel used in the world now comes from Canadian mines, and most of the remaining one-fifth from the island of New Caledonia in the Pacific. The centre of the Canadian industry is in the district of Sudbury, Ontario, in an elliptical area which is about thirty-six miles long and thirteen miles broad at its widest part.
THE MINING OF METALS in Canada is virtually confined to two great metal-yielding physiographic divisions of the Dominion. The Canadian Shield and the Cordillera are separated by what are known as the “interior plains”. The Canadian Shield covers most of Quebec and Ontario, more than two-thirds of Manitoba, over half of Saskatchewan and most of the North-West Territories. The Cordillera, in the west of the Dominion, is part of the mountain range extending from the north-west corner of North America to the tip of South America.
As far back as 1856 a member of a Government geological surveying party noted the magnetic effects of what is now one of the largest nickel mines. He reported his discovery but there were no practical developments. The industry began by chance nearly thirty years later. The rediscovery of the mineral riches occurred in 1883 when men were building the Canadian Pacific Railway west of Sudbury, then a small frontier town in a lumbering district.
They thought they had found copper, not nickel, even after they had mined it. At first indications of copper were noticed on the surface. Then a cutting was made for the railway which exposed a deposit of copper. The news spread; prospectors arrived and explored the district, found copper and began selling prospective copper mines to any one who would buy. Near the site of the first discovery land was bought at a dollar an acre, and the Murray Mine was begun. This was sold to a British firm which sent the ore to South Wales for treatment until the mine was closed in 1894. The mine was later sold.
Deep drilling with diamond drills, however, revealed the presence of millions of tons of ore, and the mine was reopened. Other mines were started soon after the discovery in 1883, and the ore was sent to the United States and to Norway and elsewhere for smelting and refining into copper. The smelting was straightforward, but with the refining of the matte (see the chapter “Romance of African Copper”) difficulties arose, and these were found to be due to the presence of nickel.
Romance of Nickel
About four years after the original discovery at Sudbury the mineowners learned the true nature of the deposits, and they were not pleased.
It is because of its intractability that nickel gets its name. Long before the metal bothered the refiners in the New World it had puzzled the miners in Saxony. The old miners believed that gnomes, elves and other creatures of the imagination lived under the earth and made its treasures. They had such trouble with this ore that they called it Kupfernickel (copper-nickel), the word Nickel pertaining to the being colloquially known as Old Nick.
When the secret of the Sudbury mines was disclosed most of the world’s nickel was produced from garnierite, a nickel and magnesium silicate discovered by Francis Garnier in New Caledonia. The Sudbury ore was nickeliferous pyrrhotine, a compound of sulphur, iron, nickel, copper and gneiss. The processes then in vogue could not refine this ore to the purity of the nickel from the mines of New Caledonia. In addition, the demand for the metal was less than the output. The nickel used for the nickel coinage in the United States came from mines in that country, and the outlook was not promising. But the merit of nickel and new processes for refining Sudbury ore eventually changed the fortunes of Sudbury.
During that period various experiments were being made which had a cumulative effect on the industry. For example, a British inventor succeeded in interesting the United States Government in a scheme to combat yellow fever. His plan was to build a refrigerated ship in which the temperature would be kept low to benefit persons who were being treated for the fever. His difficulty was to obtain steel strong enough to withstand the pressure of the ammonia gas he proposed to use as a refrigerant. He approached an American, who co-operated with him in experiments with nickel and steel, as he had a theory that the association of nickel and iron provided by Nature in a meteorite suggested an alloy suitable for his purposes.
LOADING A TRAIN OF CARS at the McIntyre Porcupine Mines, Limited, Schumacher, Ontario, The loading is effected by a power-operated chute. The Porcupine Area has produced gold and other metals to the value of more than £84,000,000.
These experiments yielded some interesting data, and the American afterwards played an important part in the founding of the Canadian nickel industry. Elsewhere other experiments went on, and one branch of research produced armour-plate for battleships. This contains a percentage of nickel, and its evolution created a great demand. At first, however, the Sudbury ore did not benefit because the nickel was not as suitable as that from New Caledonia. Refining difficulties were not then solved.
Since then various processes have been evolved. Much of the ore mined in the early years of Sudbury was refined at Bayonne, New Jersey. Later, refining plants were set up in Canada, nearer to the mines. Various electrolytic methods of refining were evolved, but one important process, the Mond process, was discovered when chemists were not working specifically on the nickel problem.
The discovery was made by Dr. Ludwig Mond, F.R.S., a British industrial chemist, Dr. Carl Langer and other associates. They were trying to decompose carbon monoxide by passing it through a combustion tube filled with nickel, and one day they found that the carbon monoxide contained volatilized nickel. They reduced this vapour back to nickel. The possibilities of this discovery were recognized, and they obtained matte from the smelters and devised a commercial process of refining. Then they bought mines in the Sudbury district and began mining, smelting, refining and marketing. They proved, at their own expense, the qualities of Canadian nickel to the British Admiralty, which had previously preferred nickel from New Caledonia. British, Canadian and American interests have combined in the International Nickel Company of Canada, Ltd., and this and its associated companies operate various mines, smelters and refineries in Ontario, with other processing plants in Great Britain and in the United States.
Electrolytic Copper Refinery
Another important company, the Falconbridge Nickel Mines, Ltd., mines and smelts copper-nickel and sends the matte to refineries in Norway. Several other concerns are now developing property in northern Ontario. One is operating in British Columbia, and produces concentrates for smelting in Japan.
As nickel is an essential alloy for steel used in making armaments, the end of the war of 1914-18 left the Canadian industry with huge stocks, but so many new uses have been found for nickel that the greatest developments have occurred since 1918. By 1921 the population of Sudbury was only 8,600, but it has increased to about 30,000, and the mines and plants have developed similarly. The Frood Mine, for instance, near Sudbury, employed over 2,700 men in 1935 and consumed 1,900 railway wagon loads of timber. About 140 cars of ore were sent up to the surface every day. Sudbury, situated north of Lake Huron, and 440 miles west of Montreal, has splendid railway and road facilities. There are huge smelters at Copper Cliff and at Coniston. The chimney of the Copper Cliff smelter towers 510 feet into the air and is 45 feet in diameter at the top.
Copper Cliff has a great electrolytic copper refinery. Over £10,000,000 was spent on one scheme of developing the Frood Mine and the Copper Cliff smelter a few years ago, and later more than £1,000,000 was spent on enlarging the smelter. Another great mine, the Creighton Mine, occupies the site where in 1856 the ore was first indicated. The older mines began as open-cut mines. First the overburden was removed and then quarrying began, to be followed by underground workings. There is a large nickel refinery at Port Colborne, Ontario, on Lake Erie, where the Welland Ship Canal gives access to Lake Ontario.
The nickel produced from the Sudbury ores is of importance to various industries using alloys. The percentage of nickel in each alloy depends upon the qualities required, as the variations produce different results. Nickel structural steels are used for bridges. Nickel steels with a high proportion of nickel are virtually non-magnetic and are used in the electrical industry. Other varieties expand and contract so infinitesimally in fluctuations of heat and cold that they are invaluable for scientific instruments. Much nickel is used for plating, and large quantities are absorbed by the various industries which produce alloys of nickel and copper. As the metal neither corrodes nor oxidizes it is used for cooking utensils. Its hardness is of health value in nickel coins, which do not collect dirt and disease germs as readily as those made of softer metals.
Almost exactly twenty years after the building of a railway led to the beginning of the nickel industry of Sudbury, a similar occurrence founded the fortunes of Cobalt, which lies to the north-east of Sudbury, in Ontario and near the border of Quebec. Cobalt is 330 miles north of Toronto, and the railway, the Temiskaming and Northern Ontario Railway, was being driven north to reach the clay belt. The railway now extends to Moosonee, on James Bay, an inlet of Hudson Bay, and connects with the Canadian National and Canadian Pacific Railways in the south.
Blasting operations during construction revealed cobalt ores rich in silver. This discovery in 1903 started a rush which led to the opening up of the north. Some of the prospectors concentrated in the immediate area, but others pushed on and discovered copper and gold elsewhere, so that the railway reaped a reward in traffic from Cobalt and from the mines that were discovered as the mining frontier advanced.
Named After Hobgoblin
Again, as at Sudbury, the ores of Cobalt at first presented a problem to the refiners. As with nickel, cobalt had in the past bothered the Saxon miners who were looking for copper. In disgust they called the ore Kobalt, after Kobold, (hobgoblin). The men who hurried to Cobalt wanted the silver out of the complex ore, for it was rich in the precious metal. To-day the silver produced from the region is only a fraction of that in the early days, and is overshadowed by the silver production of British Columbia, but the cobalt is used for many different purposes. It is, for instance, used for preparing colouring pigments for pottery, glass and enamels, and as an alloy of copper, with other alloys for the production of high-speed cutting tools and for other purposes. Metallurgists solved the puzzle of refining the complex ores and separating the silver, cobalt, nickel, bismuth, arsenic and other constituents. The ore is smelted at Deloro, Ontario.
Five miles from Cobalt another town, Haileybury, came into being, and the whole district was opened up. At South Lorrain, sixteen miles from Cobalt, on Lake Temiskaming (or Timiskaming), silver was found in 1907, and the various changes of fortune are shown by the production figures. One of the most famous mines in its day was the Keeley Mine, named after one of the three partners who owned the original claim. The silver was discovered in the autumn of 1907, and directly the news broke other prospectors hastened to the site and staked claims. In 1908 the three men sold the claim for £60,000. The Keeley Mine yielded only 24,337 ounces of silver in 1908 and 1909, and none at all during the following four years, so that the new owners decided to sell out.
DOUBLE DRUM of an electric mine hoist installed at the Lake Shore Mines, Kirkland Lake, Ontario. The drum has a direct connected rope pull of 45,000 lb. There are about 15,000 inhabitants in the Kirkland Lake Area, which has yielded a metal output value in excess of £47,000,000.
Meanwhile a neighbouring mine, the Wettlaufer Mine, which began production in 1909, produced about 2,000,000 ounces. In 1914 new owners of the Keeley Mine produced over 3,000 ounces, but the war stopped production until 1918. Output then reached over 39,000 ounces, dropped to about 4,500 ounces in 1919, rose to over 8,000 ounces in 1920, jumped to over 281,000 ounces in 1921 and soared to over 775.000 ounces in 1922. Silver was not found in paying quantities by the earlier operators. They stopped, not knowing that the rich ore lay several hundred feet below them. The man who bought the option on the mine in 1913 had to wait eight years before the rich ore was discovered.
In the province of Quebec mines at Eustis and Noranda produce base metals. Mining at Eustis has been carried on almost continuously for seventy years. Copper and iron pyrites are mined and milled. The mine at Noranda, 350 miles north-west of Montreal, is Quebec’s largest producer of base metals. They are smelted and then sent to Montreal, to a large refining plant completed in 1931.
Wealth from a Wilderness
In addition to about 70,000,000 lb. of copper, Noranda produces yearly gold worth about £1,400,000, and quantities of silver, selenium and tellurium. In 1921 the site of Noranda was a wilderness; then £5,000,000 was spent on the mine and the smelting plant, and a town arose. The depression sent down the price of copper, but increased that of gold, a fact which enabled Noranda and other copper and gold mines to weather the slack period for base metals.
Another modern mine and smelter is situated at Elin Flon, in Manitoba. The mine was staked out in 1915, and years of preparation and planning followed. The sum of £6,000,000 was spent on the mine and on the connected works It did not begin operating until 1930, but the output is now about £2,000,000 a year. A hydroelectric plant were built on the Churchill River, and ninety miles of branch railway were built. Thus a town of 6,000 inhabitants has arisen some 400 miles north-west of Winnipeg, on the border between Manitoba and Saskatchewan. The ores contain silver, copper, gold, zinc, cadmium, tellurium and selenium, and are smelted in one of the best-equipped plants in the Dominion. The zinc is refined here, and the copper is sent to Montreal. The new town is about eighty-five miles north of The Pas, and is linked by a branch line of the Canadian National Railways with The Pas, which is on the Hudson Bay Railway. This branch is connected with another which serves the Sherritt-Gordon Mines, also in Manitoba.
The Flin Flon enterprise is a typical example of modern mining development on a large scale in Canada. About fifteen years elapsed between the original staking of the mine and the beginning of commercial production. Extensive diamond drilling and underground work had to be undertaken to discover the extent and character of the ores. The most suitable process of extracting the metals had to be worked out, transport provided, adequate power supplied, capital raised and efficient labour enlisted. When all was arranged, each separate branch of the enterprise had to fit into place in a great organization. This mine is not an isolated, example of the way in which mining affects settlement. About twenty mines in the Porcupine and Kirkland Lake districts of Ontario produce more than half the output of Canada’s gold, and some of them began more than a quarter of a century ago. Gold and other metals worth more than £84,000,000 have been produced in the Porcupine Area, the centre of which is the flourishing town of Timmins, named after one of the pioneers. There are about 15,000 people in the Kirkland Lake Area, which has produced metals worth over £47,000,000. One mining company in the Porcupine Area, Hollinger Consolidated Gold Mines Ltd., paid £1,000,000 in wages in 1935. This district was opened up by prospectors after the discovery of Cobalt. They went out into the unknown, hampered by lack of transport. Since about 1925 many prospectors have used aircraft, and the procedure is different from the days when the prospectors relied upon the canoe.
The finding of the Pickle Crow and Central Patricia Mines in north-western Ontario shows how the modern prospectors work. This area is about 130 miles north-east of Hudson, which lies on the transcontinental line of the Canadian National Railways. In 1928 two prospectors named Macfarlane and Howell descended on Pickle Lake in an aeroplane and began prospecting. Within ten days they found gold and staked claims.
HEAD FRAME OF THE CENTRAL SHAFT at the Hollinger Gold Mines, Timmins, Ontario. The photograph was taken from the doorway of the hoist room. The Porcupine Area, in which the company operates, was opened up after the discovery in 1903 of cobalt ores in a region to the south. The cobalt ores were rich in silver and the discovery led to a rush, in the course of which prospectors found gold and copper as well. The country was opened up by the Temiskaming and Northern Ontario Railway.
Some years of exploration and surveying followed, the supplies for the field parties being carried by air. The machines were fitted with pontoons so that they could descend on water in the summer; in winter these floats were replaced by runners to enable the machines to land on ice or snow. When the mines were ready for the installation of plant in the winter of 1932-33 about 1,000 tons of freight required transportation. It was not an economical proposition to carry this weight by air; so another method of transport was adopted. The machinery was sent to Savant Station by railway and was brought from there by a train of crawler tractors. Sometimes the weight of boilers and other heavy material caused setbacks, as the tractors broke through the ice of frozen lakes. Then the crews had to haul them out and try again. They persevered and delivered the load.
The arrival of the plant was only part of the task. To provide power the Ontario Government built a hydroelectric station on Albany River, and to improve transport it built dams and so-called marine railways so that the Root River waterway could be used. The two mines are producing about £500,000 a year and are operating without serious difficulty. A community of several hundred people is thriving, miles away from the railway.
Similar methods of transport are used for other mining developments in those parts of the Canadian Shield not yet tapped by railways or roads. The miner in such remote parts has to devise the most economical means of transport. Water is often a great help, and when a waterway is impeded by rapids a railway is built. The rails are laid to reach the water at either side of the impediment to navigation, and on the rails wagons are run until they are submerged. The barges containing the cargo are floated on to the wagons. Then the wagons with their load are hauled out by a cable and pulled along the rails to the other side of the rapids, where the barges are floated off the wagons. This is a much quicker and cheaper method than unloading the freight, carrying it round the rapids and reloading it in other barges.
In winter when lakes and rivers are frozen crawler tractors pull sleighs laden with goods. If the route is a long one a sleigh is fitted with a kitchen and bunks, similarly to a caravan on sleds. There are two drivers, who take their turn, one driving while the other sleeps, and a cook to prepare meals.
Prospectors began to use aircraft in Canada about 1925 in the Cassiar District of British Columbia, and the example was rapidly followed throughout the Dominion. The prospectors were set down in remote regions and picked up, using the machine as a means of transport. Planes are used extensively by the Government for surveys. The photographs are collected at the Government headquarters at Ottawa and maps and geological data are obtained with their aid. Sometimes nearly 200 different field parties are at work in various parts of the Dominion surveying for the Government.
Air transport of mining machinery has extended since about 1926. One company carried 5,250,000 lb. of mining machinery and freight in 1935, and the Canadian airman has made a reputation for transporting heavy and awkward loads. On one occasion a herd of oxen was flown in relays to a camp. Another awkward load was formed by the sections of a smokestack. The sections were flown to the mine and assembled to make a stack 75 feet high, with a diameter of 3 ft. 6 in Here the problem was solved by having a bulky stack built in sections which could be packed into a plane; but sometimes it is not possible to reduce the size to these dimensions.
DRILLING IN STOPES at a mine of the International Nickel Company at Copper Ciff, Ontario. Stoping is excavation for the extraction of ore stepwise, or in the manner of a staircase. In overhand stoping the staircase is inverted, the ore being in the roof of the stope. This form of open-cast mining requires little timbering. When nickel was discovered in Canada the prospectors mistook it for copper. More than four-fifths of the nickel used in the world now comes from Canadian mines.
When this occurs the difficulty of air transport is not insurmountable. As much of the object as possible is placed in the machine and the protruding part is enclosed by streamline covering so that it is possible to fly the machine. A machine that has earned the name of the “Flying Box-Car” carries nearly 6,000 lb. of freight, although it has only one engine. Canoes and outboard motors are flown to the camps. The prospector clamps the outboard engine on the canoe, and the motor propels the craft so that he no longer has to paddle laboriously.
To grasp the extent of the change the petrol engine has made in the lifetime of men who took part in the famous “Trail of ’98”, it is instructive to compare conditions then and now. In those days, when the railhead was at Edmonton, in Alberta, thousands of men tried to get into the North-West from that city. They set out with pack horses, on which they loaded their food and gear. When a stream barred the way they swam the horses across. If the river was swift and wide there were only three choices: to turn back, to wait in the hope of an Indian appearing with a canoe, or to fell trees and make a raft. Sometimes men who built a raft were swept away by the swift current which carried the raft over rapids or smashed it against a boulder.
Air Transport in the North-West
If they crossed the rivers there was always the food problem. Game to eke out stores was difficult to locate and shoot, and many men reached the crisis when they had to choose between turning back or going forward and risking starvation. Those who went on were so unfortunate that it was said that the signposts to the Klondike were the bones of the men and horses who had died by the trail. Others delayed too long before turning back, but were saved from starvation by begging food from outward-bound prospectors. These men who succoured them were in turn handicapped because they had parted with their precious stores. Edmonton became a town of hungry, penniless adventurers.
To-day Edmonton is a railway junction for lines which branch out into the north and north-west; it is also an airport. It is the gateway to the mines that are being opened up at Great Slave Lake and still farther north at Great Bear Lake. Between the time of the Yukon Trail and 1931 mining in the North-West Territories slacked off. Then a prospector, using air transport, located deposits of silver associated with uranium and radium-bearing ores. Samples of ores found at Echo Bay, Great Bear Lake, were sent to the Government technologists at Ottawa; these ores proved to be pitchblende. A process of extracting the radium and uranium was then worked out by the staff. Discoveries of gold were made also in various districts and considerable activity marked the beginning of a new phase of mining in the North-West.
AT THE HOLLINGER REFINERY, Timmins, Ontario. The gold precipitate, after having been treated with acid, is shovelled into special wheel pans. It is then taken to trays, which are weighed and placed into the slot holes of the drying oven, seen on the left of the photograph.
New mines have been started and enterprising men are tackling the transport problems. These are not so difficult as might be imagined. The system of waterways is good, river transport is being developed and air companies are active. A railway from Edmonton runs to Waterways, which lies on the Athabaska River and is a centre for air and river transport. Planes fly from Edmonton to Waterways, and then to the mines on the Outpost Islands, Great Slave Lake, where they alight in a harbour built for them.
Two river motor vessels were built in sections at Sorel, Quebec, and sent on railway wagons to Waterways. Then the sections of one vessel, the Radium King, were assembled, and those for her sister craft, the Radium Queen, were loaded on her deck. She made the voyage to Lake Athabaska and then along the Slave River to The Portage, which is the only barrier in about 3,000 miles of navigation to the Arctic Ocean. The sections for the Radium Queen were taken by trucks round the fifteen miles’ barrier, from Fitzgerald to Fort Smith, where they were put together, and then the Radium Queen proceeded to the Great Slave Lake.
Although the mines in the Great Bear and Great Slave Lake area are in subarctic regions, the climate is good from May to October, and in July temperatures of 90 degrees in the shade are reported. In January and February, however, the temperature falls to 60 degrees below zero. It is possible to travel by water from the lake to Aklavik, where the Mackenzie River debouches into the Arctic. Aklavik is the northern end of an air line.
In Yukon the high price of gold has stimulated mining, and placer miners are back again in Klondike digging ore that was unremunerative in the old days. Most of the output, however, is from large-scale mining by dredging and hydraulicking. Lode mining for silver and lead is in operation elsewhere in Yukon.
Lode mining in British Columbia is more than a century old, and dates from the time when the Hudson’s Bay Company worked a mine to obtain lead for bullets. The great Sullivan Mine, near Kootenay Lake, in the southeast of the province, is the largest producer of silver in Canada, the largest zinc mine in the world and the largest lead-zinc mine in the British Empire. Here, again, we have an instance of complex ores difficult to refine. Southwest of this are other important mines and the huge metallurgical plant at Trail, close to which is the Warfield Fertilizer Plant, using smelter gases in the production of nitrogenous fertilizers, elemental sulphur and so forth. Other mines are farther west and north-west of this district, and also in the Portland Canal area. The output of lead, copper, zinc, silver and gold is so great that the province is second only to Ontario in mineral production.
The non-metallic minerals of the Dominion are mined extensively. In Quebec the asbestos industry has been developed and has made Canada the leading producer.
Continued search is in progress for new mines to replace old ones and to provide for expansion. The prospector is aided by the Geological Survey of Canada and the Geological Departments of the provinces, and has a much greater scientific knowledge than his predecessors. Much less is left to chance than formerly. In the past the mines were shallow and were soon worked out, but to-day is the era of deep mining.
The increase in knowledge has reduced the number of failures in prospecting and the amount of labour and expense needed to prove the ore. Better methods of stoping (stepwise excavation), and mechanical appliances for loading and shifting the broken rock have added to safety and accelerated work. In stoping, the timber for supporting the ore and walls has been reduced, and efforts have been made to reduce the amount of barren material and to extract as much ore as possible. Gravity aids the miner to move the ore and to break it. To avoid shovelling ore and filling in the space it occupied, the ore falls down an incline to a chute which guides it into a car.
Electrification of all machinery, except for drilling rock, has improved the miner’s lot and has added immeasurably to output at lessened cost.
IN THE FLIN FLON MINE, Manitoba. This huge machine separates the metal from the ore. Heavy metal balls inside the drum fall against the ore as the machine revolves, crushing it so that the metal can be easily extracted. The Flin Flon Mine is one of the best equipped in the Dominion. The ores contain silver, copper, gold, zinc, cadmium, tellurium and selenium.