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.
13.3: Sand/Gravel Pits East of Rapid City
The photograph shows the valley of the Little Saskatchewan River 1 in the north with an area covered by ground moraine in the south. The photo shows four areas where sand/gravel is—or has been—exploited. Three of these areas 2 are probably on terraces of the Little Saskatchewan Valley, but the easternmost, the highest, exploits an esker-like feature 3. There are in fact four separate pits in this area, strung out in a north-northeast/south-southwest line. The southernmost pit 4 is overgrown but the other three—light-toned—pits 5 are in use, served by a road 6 that runs to PTH 24.
Other features to note on this photo are a) the Little Saskatchewan River with numerous cutoffs 7; b) PTH 24 8 connecting Rapid City (to the west) and Minnedosa (to the north); c) three railway lines (In the north are a CP line 9 and a CN line 10 that cross just east of the Little Saskatchewan River 11.; both are now abandoned. In the south is another CP line 12); and d) a cemetery 13 with a surrounding hedge of coniferous trees 14. Small white specks 15 are headstones and graves. The cemetery is that of
Figure 13.3: Sand/Gravel Pits East of Rapid City
Vertical air photograph: A18971-160
Flight height: 9500 feet; lens focal length: 6 inches
Scale: 1:15,800 (approx.)
Date: August 6, 1965
Location: Township 13; Range 19W1
Map sheets: 1:250,000 62J Neepawa