Manitoba's Mineral Industry

Manitoba Mineral Sector Profile



The mining and petroleum industries make up the largest primary resource industry of Manitoba’s economy. The 2017 value of mining and petroleum production totalled $2.5 billion (preliminary estimate), comprising

In 2017, the mining and petroleum industries accounted for approximately 3.3% of the province's nominal GDP (basic prices) and 2.5% of international exports of goods. Capital expenditures on mining and petroleum development in 2017 totalled an estimated $537.5 million. Manitoba’s mining and petroleum industries directly employed approximately 6,200 people in 2017a.

In 2017, Manitoba producedb:

  • 39.2% of Canada's zinc
  • 10.9% of Canada's nickel
  • 6.6% of Canada's copper
  • 2.7% of Canada's gold
  • 11.6% of Canada's silver

Silver, cobalt and platinum group metals are by-products of other mined metals or minerals; values are not available for cobalt and platinum group metals.

a Source: Statistics Canada, Table 14-10-0023-01
b Preliminary estimates current as of February 2018

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Dominant activities:

  • Mining, smelting, refining of base and precious metals

  • Mining/quarrying of industrial minerals

  • Crude oil extraction

Structure and concentration:

  • There are approximately 40 companies active in mineral exploration and mining in Manitoba. Manitoba currently has five producing mines with two mining companies employing approximately half of the workforce within the sector.

  • There are approximately 11 major producers active in the industrial minerals sector in Manitoba.
  • There are currently 44 companies producing oil in Manitoba, ranging from large multinationals to small locally based producers. 81 new wells were drilled in 2016 and as of December 31, 2016, Manitoba had 3907 producing oil wells and 693 support wells. Crude oil produced in Manitoba is shipped through the Enbridge pipeline system or Canadian National Railway to refiners in eastern Canada and the northeast and north-central areas of the United States.

Exploration and development highlights: 

Sector capabilities:

  • Base and precious metals: copper, nickel, zinc, gold

  • Industrial minerals: cesium, dolomite, gypsum, sodium chlorate, dimension stone, lime, crushed rock, sand and gravel aggregate

  • Crude oil extraction

Mineral endowment:

  • Metal deposits in Manitoba’s Precambrian Shield have been mined for decades, while large areas of high mineral potential in remote regions of the province remain under-explored when compared with similar regions elsewhere in Canada. This represents a potential avenue for considerable growth in Manitoba’s mineral sector and may provide significant employment opportunities for northern and Indigenous communities near new mineral exploration and development projects.

  • Manitoba mineral resources with potential for future economic development include platinum-group elements (platinum, palladium and rhodium), rare earth elements, uranium, titanium, vanadium, chromite, silica, diamonds and potash.

  • Although oil has been produced in Manitoba for over 60 years, the province is still relatively underexplored. Production has been obtained from only a small part of the total sedimentary sequence present in the province. Horizontal drilling and multi-stage hydraulic fracturing are being used by companies to develop Manitoba’s tight oil reservoirs.



Alisa Ramrattan
A/Director, Mines and Geological Survey
Manitoba Growth, Enterprise and Trade
Tel:  204-945-6505
Fax: 204-948-2578

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