Browse "Mining and Metallurgy"

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Sand and Gravel

Sand and gravel are unconsolidated, granular mineral materials produced by the natural disintegration of rock caused by weathering. The terms sand, gravel, clay and silt relate to grain size rather than composition. Sand is material passing through a number 4 (4.

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Blacksmithing

All these workers practised a technology that came from the great French craft tradition; their highly skilled art derived from trade guild knowledge, instruction and scientific treatises.

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Cadmium

Cadmium (Cd) is a soft, ductile, silvery white metal that melts at 320.9°C and is present in the earth's crust at 0.1-0.5 parts per million. The most common cadmium MINERAL, greenockite (CdS), is generally found in zinc-bearing ores and is recovered as a by-product during processing.

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Cobalt

Cobalt (Co) is a brittle, hard, greyish-white magnetic metal that melts at 1495°C and that closely resembles iron and nickel. It is not found as a native element.

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Columbium

Columbium (Cb), or niobium, is a grey, ductile, tarnish-resistant and superconductive metal with a melting point of 2468°C. The name niobium (Nb) was officially adopted in 1951 by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry, after 100 years of controversy.

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Diamond

Gem-quality diamonds crystallize as octahedrons (8 faces), trisoctahedrons (24 faces), hexoctahedrons (48 faces) or a combination of these. Diamond owes its supreme standing among all the gemstones to 4 specific attributes.

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Pump Drill

The pump drill was used by Aboriginal peoples to start fire and drill holes into materials such as wood, shell, bone and stone.

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Les Forges Saint-Maurice

The most technically advanced ironworks in America in their first 100 years, the forges had long been obsolete when shut down in 1883. The plant employed over 100 specialized craftsmen and 300-400 labourers, and produced forged iron and molded products such as pots, pans and stoves.

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Fracking

​Hydraulic fracturing is a technique used in oil and natural gas production. It releases otherwise irrecoverable resources from certain geological formations by injecting water and additives at high pressure into the ground to create microfractures in the rock. Hydrocarbons can then flow through these fractures into a well. It has become controversial because of concerns that the technique, and well-drilling activity associated with its use, threatens groundwater, surface water, air quality, and other environmental values. Common in Alberta’s oil patch since the 1970s, the practice expanded greatly in this century, triggering gas rushes in British Columbia and Saskatchewan and resistance in several other provinces.

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Gypsum

The principal use for gypsum is wallboard. Crude gypsum is pulverized and heated to form stucco, which is mixed with water and aggregate (sand, vermiculite or expanded perlite) and applied over wood, metal or gypsum lath to form interior wall finishes.

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Iron Ore

Its most important mineral forms are magnetite (Fe3O4, 72.4% Fe), hematite (Fe2O3, 69.9% Fe) and siderite (FeCO3, 48.29% Fe). In Brazil, some ore that contains practically no other minerals can grade as high as 68% Fe, but the crude ore mined in Canada grades between 30 and 44% Fe.

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SNC-Lavalin

SNC-Lavalin is a global engineering and construction firm based in Montreal, Quebec. It works in several industries including oil and gas, mining, cybersecurity and nuclear power. It also builds public and private infrastructure around the world.

The company began in 1911 as an engineering consultant for power projects. In 1991, the original company, called SNC, merged with competitor Lavalin to become SNC-Lavalin. Today it employs some 50,000 people in more than 50 countries. In 2018, it registered $10.1 billion in revenue.

In Canada, the company has received contracts to build major transit projects in cities including Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. Worldwide, SNC-Lavalin oversees resource-extraction and infrastructure projects in North America, the Asia-Pacific region, Europe and the Middle East.

Since 2011, allegations of fraud and corruption on the part of SNC-Lavalin and several of its executives have plagued the company with scandal.

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Lead

Lead is extracted from mined ores containing zinc, silver and minor amounts of copper. It is also recovered from recycled materials; more than 50% of world metal production comes from recycling, making lead one of the most recycled metals in the world.