Canada's Mining History: An Industry Founded on Determination and Enterprise

Did You Know? Many communities across Canada can trace their roots back to mining and exploration activities.

Canada has a long and interesting history in mining. About 40,000 years ago, the first Aboriginal inhabitants of the Western Hemisphere used various minerals to produce the tools necessary for their survival. Thousands of years later, Canada's early settlers used stone, brick, clay, and gravel to build their communities and lay the foundation of our great nation.

Over the years, however, minerals have provided much more than the tools to survive. Minerals were quickly recognized as precious resources, the discovery of which promised immense riches! The history of mining in Canada and its prospectors is a story of adventure, discovery, and dreams. Prospectors were true Canadian pioneers, surviving harsh conditions and weathering the elements in search of these precious resources. Driven by courage and determination, they dreamed of better lives in new frontiers.

In fact, many communities across Canada can attribute their history directly to mining and exploration activities. The stories of these communities and of our miners are woven into the very fabric of our country. The successes and failures of our pioneers run through our veins, just like the minerals that run through our land.

Mining activities are an integral part of Canada's rich history. Click on the links below to learn more about the history of mining in Canada!

  • Natural Resources Canada provides both a comprehensive historical overview and a look into the future of Canada's mineral industry
  • Discover Natural Resources Canada's overview of minerals development in Canada as well as a chronology of activities from B.C. 7000 to the present day
  • The Mining Hall of Fame provides a brief history of mining in Canada and profiles key figures in Canadian mining history