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Rock Talk - FAQs

1. How old is mining in Manitoba?
You might say as old as the hills! Indigenous people used rock for hundreds of years. In northern Manitoba, quartz was mined for arrowheads and tools. Visit Manitoba Mining Through the Centuries for more information.

2. What is a geologist, and what kind of work do they do?
Geologists are like detectives. They are earth scientists who explore, dig for rocks, and study rocks and fossils. Geologists search the earth for hidden clues to understand how the earth was formed. It’s hard work but it’s also fun, because it can lead to the discovery of valuable minerals or fossil fuels like petroleum or coal.

3. Where do fossil fuels come from?
Fossil fuels are geologic deposits of hydrocarbons (crude oil, coal, natural gas, or heavy oils) which were formed from organic materials (decayed plants and animals) through prolonged exposure to heat and pressure in the earth’s crust over many hundreds to millions of years.

4. What kind of rock makes up most of Manitoba?
Manitoba’s geological landscape is made up mostly of Precambrian age and sedimentary rocks deposited during the Paleozoic, Mesozoic and Cenozoic eras. Find out more here: Geologic time scale

5. Do any Manitoba rocks contain fossils?
Yes. Amazing fossils can be found in rock called limestone or Tyndall Stone®. Tyndall Stone® contains fossils which are millions of years old. 

6. Who were some of Manitoba’s most famous prospectors? 
We’ve had a few colourful explorers in our province's history. Find out more about them at Legends of Rock.

7. Where can I go around Manitoba to learn more about rocks and minerals or fossils?
There are great places to explore around the province. Visit our Rock’n Sites Around Manitoba section.

8. When was gold first discovered in Manitoba?
Manitoba’s first documented gold discovery was in 1911 at Rice Lake in Southeastern Manitoba. Gold ore was the province’s first recorded metal shipment at Herb (Wekusko) Lake in 1917.

9. Is a ‘greenstone belt’ a belt that someone wears?
No. A greenstone belt is an area such as Manitoba’s Flin Flon-Snow Lake greenstone belt area. The ‘belt’ is actually an area of land that can have varied mineral deposits such as gold, silver, copper, and zinc.

10. Where can I collect cool posters of rocks and minerals?
We have just the page for you! Visit our DownLODES page.

11. Are there any mineral or rock clubs I can join?
Yes. There are earth sciences and mineral and rock clubs located across Canada, including The Mineral Society of Manitoba.

12. Does Manitoba have a provincial fossil?
Yes. In July 2015, Bruce the Mosasaur, a gigantic scaly lizard-like sea creature, was named Manitoba's Official Provincial Fossil.

Image of Bruce the Mosasaur
Image courtesy of the Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre