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.
13.2: Sand/Gravel Pits in a River Terrace in the Little Saskatchewan Valley
The westward migration of the enlarged post-glacial channel of the Little Saskatchewan River 1 has left behind terraces on the east side of the river 2. The sand/gravel in one of these is exploited in three pits; the southern two 3 with an approaching road 4 seem to be more in use than the northern one 5. Also near the northern edge of the photo, four pits can be seen close to and on either side of the river channel 6 and close to the present river level.
Other items to note on this photo are a) the meandering Little Saskatchewan River with cutoffs of various ages 7; b) the west side of the valley with east and north facing slopes, heavily-wooded 8, compared with the sparsely-wooded east site 9 with dry west and south-facing sites; and c) harvesting underway with some swathed fields 10 with narrow rows and some combined fields with wide rows 11 (In two cases 12 fields are partly combined with the combine visible in one of them 13.). The topography makes it difficult to discern section and quarter section lines.
Figure 13.2: Sand/Gravel Pits in a River Terrace in the Little Saskatchewan Valley
Vertical air photograph: A18611-169
Flight height: 9500 feet; lens focal length: 6 inches
Scale: 1:16,000 (approx.)
Date: September 8, 1964
Location: Township 14; Range 19WI
Map sheets: 1:250,000 62J Neepawa