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.
[i] Young, H. R. “Mining and Extraction Industries in Manitoba” in The Geography of Manitoba: Its Land and Itd People ed. J. Welsted, J. Everitt and C. Stadel, Winnipeg: The University of Manitoba Press, 1996, 243.
13.9: Quarries at Stonewall
Quarrying of Ordovician aged limestone began in the Stonewall area in the 1800s. After being blasted from the ground, the limestone was broken down into small pieces that were heated in kilns to produce quick lime (calcium oxide). In the 1960s Stonewall began to move away from its dependence on limestone, but the heritage is preserved in prominent limestone buildings along Main Street. On the image the abandoned quarries show up as light-toned areas 1 northeast of Stonewall 2. In some areas quarrying extended down to the water table resulting in blue/green ponds 3. Although it is not obvious on the image, one of the abandoned quarries in the northeast of town 4 has been developed into StonewallQuarryPark, which has a museum and an interpretive program to show the history of limestone quarrying and quick lime production.
Most of the town of Stonewall, located at the junction of PTH 67 5 and PR 236 6, is shown on the image. PTH 7 7, which runs south into Winnipeg, is twinned 8 as it passes the town to the east. Also seen is the CP railway line 9 that takes a westward loop into Stonewall. Stonewall, within the Winnipeg orbit, had a population of 4,376 in 2006 (up from 4,012 in 2001) and claims to be the fastest-growing town in Manitoba.