Chapter 13: Mining and Oil Extraction
Most hard rock mining in Manitoba takes place in the north, giving rise to mining towns, some of which (with their associated mines) are shown in Chapter 11: Northern Settlements. Some bedrock is/was exploited in quarries in the south (at Stonewall and Garson). However, “aggregate resources”—mainly gravel and sand—are distributed throughout the province. “The extensive natural deposits of sand and gravel throughout Manitoba are generally related to processes associated with the deglaciation of Manitoba at the end of the last Ice Age…. During deglaciation, sand and gravel accumulated in moraines, eskers, delta complexes, and beach deposits, and along meltwater channels.”[i] For example, the Birds Hill esker-delta complex (figure 3.64) northeast of Winnipeg is the main source of sand and gravel for the city. Oil extraction, confined to the southwest, is detected by surface indicators—pumpheads (grass hoppers), storage tanks, and pipelines. Examples of some of the locations are shown in the following figures.
13.11: Gravel Pits and Oil Extraction West of Virden
The photo shows topography west of Virden, the edges of which—fringed by the north/south CN line 1—can be seen at the right-hand edge of the photo. The small stream Bosshill Creek 2, tributary to the
Virden is the centre of
Other features to note on this photo are: a) a nine-hole golf course with dark-toned greens 14; b) Virden’s cemetery near the southern edge 15; c) light-toned crests in fallow fields with sandy soils 16; d) some cultivated fields resulting in dark tones 17; and e) a radio tower with a shadow falling to the northeast 18 indicating the photo was taken in the afternoon.
Figure 13.11: Gravel Pits and Oil Extraction West of Virden
Vertical air photograph: A20407-26
Flight height: 9520 feet; lens focal length: 6 inches
Scale: 1:16,300 (approx.)
Date: June 12, 1968
Location: Township 10; Range 26W1
Map sheets: 1:250,000 62F Virden
1:50,000 62F/15 Virden
[i] Young, H. R. op. cit., 1996, figure 16.12.