Mineral Resources Branch [multiple media]
Record Information – Brief
Mineral Resources Branch [multiple media]
- Hierarchical level:
- R214-93-6-E, RG87M 77803/3, RG87
- Type of material:
- Textual material, Maps and cartographic material, Architectural and technical drawings
- Found in:
- Archives / Collections and Fonds
- Item ID number:
- Context of this record:
Record Information – Details
- Series includes:
2 lower level description(s)View lower level description(s)
- Bilingual equivalent:
- Place of creation:
12.55 m of textual records.
4 v. : (41 leaves).
100 technical drawings.
5 remote-sensing images.
- Language of material:
- Scope and content:
Series consists of records created and/or maintained by the Mineral Resources Branch and its predecessors which operated consecutively under the Department of the Interior (1886-1907), the Department of Mines (1907-1936), the Department of Mines and Resources (1936-1949), the Department of Mines and Technical Surveys (1949-1966), the Department of Energy, Mines and Resources (1966-1974). The Branch was dissolved in 1974 with many of its functions eventually becoming part of the Mineral Policy Sector. The series contains maps and reports relating to exploratory drilling in the Athabasca Tar Sands. A majority of the sheets show drill holes in a sectional format in the various areas being explored. Areas include: Mildred and Ruth Lakes, Steepbank River, Horse River Reserve and the area north of the Muskeg River. Exploration and drilling activity in the region was a result of the depletion of oil reserves during the Second World War and the need to find and tap new reserves. In 1942 the Minister of Munitions and Supply commissioned the Consolidated Mining and Smelting Company of Canada to undertake certain investigations in this area to include test drilling to find suitable deposit for a large oil plant. In 1943 this exploration was taken up as a direct activity of the Mines and Geology Branch of the Dept. of Mines and Resources.
- Additional name(s):
- Biography/Administrative history:
Canada. Mineral Resources Branch : In 1886 the Division of Mineral Statistics and Mines was created within the Geological Survey and Museum Branch of the Department of the Interior. The principal functions of this division included the collection of mining statistics, publication of information on mineral resources, analysis of factors affecting the mining industry, development of training programs, and administration of federal legislation governing mining. Eugène Coste, Mining Engineer, was named as head of the new division. (Interior, Annual Report 1889, III, p. 32) In 1895 the name of the division was changed to the Section of Mineral Statistics and Mines, then part of the independent department of the Geological Survey of Canada. (Geological Survey, Annual Report 1895, Part S) It was renamed the Section of Mines in 1900. (Geological Survey, Annual Report 1900, Part S) The Office of the Superintendent of Mines of the Department of the Interior and the Geological Survey of Canada were combined to form the new Department of Mines by Order in Council PC 1184 dates 15 May, 1907 (Geology and Mines Act, 1907 6-7 Edw. VII, c.29). The statistical office of the Geological Survey was assigned to the Mines Branch under the Division of Mineral Resources and Statistics. Its functions were described as follows: "to collect and publish full statistics of the mineral production, and of the mining and metallurgical industries of Canada, and such data regarding the economic minerals of Canada as relate to the processes and activities connected with their utilization, and to collect and preserve all available records of mines and mining works in Canada." (NA, RG 32 C-2 v.182; Mines Branch, Summary Report 1907-1908, p. 2) In 1920, the statistics gathering responsibility of the division was transferred to the Dominion Bureau of Statistics (P.C. 23 May 22, 1920), although the division continued to analyse and interpret such information for government and industry. The Mines Branch was re-organized in 1922 into administrative and investigative functions. The Mineral Resources Division fell into the latter activity, a consolidation of the Metal Mines Division, the Non-Metalliferous Mines Division and the Mineral Resources and Statistics Division. The responsibilities of this Division included the investigation of mineral resources and their technology, production, uses, markets, (and) marketing conditions. (Mines, Annual Report 1922, p. 30). In 1936 the Department of the Interior was dissolved and the new Department of Mines and Resources was created (Edw. VII, c. 33). It absorbed many agencies including the old Department of Mines. The new department was organized with five branches, one of which was the Mines and Geology Branch under the directorship of J. McLeish. Within the branch was a Bureau of Mines which held the divisions of Fuels, Economics and Industrial Minerals, all formerly in the Mineral Resources Division. The Bureau also contained the Division of Metallic Minerals, the Explosives Division and the Maintenance Section. The Fuels Division took over that work on bituminous sand and mine gases; the Economics Division assumed the Records and Research Information Section; and the Industrial Minerals Division became responsible for the industrial minerals, their resources, recovery, marketing, and uses (Mines and Resources, Report 1937, p. 33-4). Under authority of 13 George VI, Chapter 17, December 10, 1949 and Order in Council PC 2/330; January 20, 1950, the Department of Mines and Technical Surveys was created. The new Department was organized into five branches, one of which was the Mines Branch. Within this structure was the Mineral Resources Division, mandated to deal, "primarily with the economic aspects of the development, use, and conservation of Canada's mineral resources, and provide investigatory and information services on such matters" (Mines and Technical Surveys, Annual Report 1951, p. 69). Under authority of the Government Organization Act (14-15, Elizabeth II, c. 25), effective 1 October, 1966, the Department of Energy, Mines and Resources was created. Under the organization of the department four "groups" were created; Mineral Development Group being the area to which the Mineral Resources Division and Explosives Division reported. By Order in Council, PC 2284 of 22 December, 1965, the federal responsibilities in the administration and management of non-renewable resources were reorganized. The Department of Energy, Mines, and Resources became responsible for the administration of federal mineral rights offshore from Canada's west and east seacoasts and in Hudson Bay, as well as the federally owned mineral rights in the provinces. The Resource Administration Division, formed in 1966 to handle these mineral-resource responsibilities, became part of the Mineral Resource Division (Energy, Mines and Resources, Annual Report 1966-1967, p. 26).The Mineral Resources Division was elevated to branch status in 1968 due to the diversity and growth of its responsibilities. Three divisions were formed: Research and Planning Division, Commodities Division and Taxation and Legislation Division. The Commodities Division was dissolved in 1969 and many of its functions were placed in a new Minerals and Metals Division created within the Mineral Resources Branch. In 1971 the Mineral Resources Branch was reorganized with the following four divisions: Minerals and Metals Division, Resource Development Division, Mineral Economics Research Division, and Administration Division. In 1973 the office of the Mineral Resources Branch was dissolved while the rest of the Mineral Development Sector remaining unchanged. By 1974 the Mineral Development Sector was organized into four economic-technical divisions: Mining Industry Financial and Corporate Analysis, Minerals and Metals, and Resources and Development. In addition an Information Systems Division provided statistical data, resource economics library, home for the National Mineral Inventory an computer services. In 1977 the Sector's name was changed from Mineral Development to Mineral Policy Sector in order to reflect the shift from direct participation and involvement in the mineral industry to more of an advisory role to the Minister. The April 1995 formation of Natural Resources Canada merged several functions into the new Minerals and Metals Sector. The Sector is the major federal agency responsible for establishing policies and strategies to ensure that the minerals and metals industries make a maximum contribution to the economic well-being of Canada. To this end the Sector is also responsible for providing advice on the implications of international mineral development; and to assess the economic, social, fiscal, corporate, regional and environmental impacts of alternative policies and strategies. The Sector serves as the representative if the federal government on many international committees.
- Finding aid:
Cartographic material (Paper) Finding aid is available in the main reference room. RG87M 77803/3. (90: Open)
- Additional information:
- Source of title:
- Geology and Mines Act, 1907 (6-7 Edw. VII, c.29); P.C. 1184, 15 May 1907. P.C. 23 May 22, 1920 transferred statistical gathering duties to Dominion Bureau of Statistics. Department of Mines and Resources Act S.C. 1936, Chap. 33. Department of Mines and Technical Surveys 13 Geo. VI, Chap. 17, 10 Dec. 1949.
- Custodial history:
- RG87M 77803/3 - transferred to the National Map Collection from the Pulbic Records Division, RG87, series A2, in 1976.
- Cartographic math data:
- Scales differ.
- Formatted contents note:
- East Steepbank River area report on exploratory drilling 1945 / Mines and Geology Branch -- Steepbank River area report on exploratory drilling 1942 to 1945 / Mines and Geology Branch -- Townships 94 and 95, range 10; township 96, range 11 west of the fourth meridian report on reconnaissance drilling 1945 and 1946 / Mines and Geology Branch -- Horse River Reserve report on exploratory drilling 1944 / Mines and Geology Branch.
- Location of duplicates note:
- A duplicate set of RG87M 77803/3, items 1-108, was transferred by the National Archives of Canada to the Provincial Archives of Alberta in 1976 (accession 76.519 in the provincial archives). For duplicates of the 4 reports, see R214-263-5-E.
- Dates of creation note:
- Cartographic material: Date range taken from finding aid. Thirty-four undated items fall within range.
- Associated material note:
- An account of these drilling activities is available in three volumes entitled, Drilling and Sampling of Bituminous Sands of Northern Alberta, published by the Dept. of Mines and Resources, Mines, Forests and Scientific Services Branch, Bureau of Mines. Vol. I contains the results of investigations form 1942-47, Vol. II contains detailed drilling and sampling records and Vol. III has the cross-sections and plans of the areas drilled (TN806.C32 A4).
- Related material:
- Records maintained by the Mineral Resources Branch's successors at the Department of Energy, Mines, and Resources may be found in the RG21 series for the Mineral Policy Sector.
- Former archival reference no.:
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- Date modified: