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.
13.5: Sand/Gravel Pit on the Assiniboine Delta
The Assiniboine Delta deposited into the west side of glacial
Other points to note on this photo are a) PTH 34 5 between Holland (to the south) and Austin (to the north) is cut into the sands of the delta 6; b) delta sands have been blown into dunes north of the river 7; these are now stabilized by a mixture of grasses (light-toned) 8, deciduous woodland (dark-toned) 9 and coniferous trees (identified by their triangular shadow) 10; c) the south side (north-facing side) of the Assiniboine Valley is heavily wooded by deciduous trees (dark-toned with rounded crowns) 11; d) fields that have been cleared for agriculture are medium-dark toned 12, indicating that the crops in them are still green and that the date of the photo is pre-harvest; and e) one field is in the process of being cultivated 13; the cultivated part of the field is darker-toned 14, and by using a magnifying glass with the original photo, the machine doing the cultivating can be seen 15.
Figure 13.5: Sand/Gravel Pit on the Assiniboine Delta
Vertical air photograph: A16574-87
Flight height: 9000 feet; lens focal length: 6 inches
Scale: 1:16,000 (approx.)
Date: June 19, 1959
Location: Township 8 and 9; Range 11WI
Map sheets: 1:250,000 62G Brandon
1:50,000 62G/11 Treherne
[i] For a map of the location of the Assiniboine Delta see Corkery M. T. “Geology and Landforms of Manitoba” in Welsted, Everitt and Stadel op. cit.. 1996, figure 2.4, 18.