The inventory is a report that comprises forty-five volumes
including approximately 18,000 pages and 10,000 maps. It is
entitled "Mineral Potential Indian Reserve Lands" and has been
completed at the Stage I (Literature Search) level for each Indian
reserve in Canada. The Stage I inventory is defined as a review
and record of all available material on the geology, geophysics,
geochemistry, economic geology, and past or existing mineral
operations of a reserve and its surrounding area. The minerals
under discussion are grouped under five main headings: metallic,
non-metallic (industrial), aggregate (sand and gravel), groundwater
2.1 Alberta Report
The Mineral Potential of Indian Reserves Lands for the province of
Alberta comprises 2 volumes and approximately 650 pages with 300
maps. This report was completed in March, 1989.
2.2 The Land Base in Alberta
The Mineral Potential of Indian Reserve Lands, Alberta incorporates
100 Indian reserves.
The total land base of these 100 reserves occupies approximately
668,880.1 hectares or approximately one percent of the land area of
the province of Alberta.
The average area of Indian reserves in the Region is 6688 hectares.
This figure is substantially higher than the national average of
1176 hectares (2907 acres) per reserve. Frequently, the area of a
reserve was a significant factor in the evaluation of its overall
3.0 The Regional Mineral Inventory Analysis
For every reserve contained in the inventory, a computer data
record sheet was prepared which captured up to 51 descriptive items
of information directly from the text of the inventory itself.
This systematic process enables detailed, highly accurate and
varied calculations and statistical analyses to be carried out on
the minerals and related activities on reserves and create
summaries on a Band, Regional or national basis.
The following represents a summary of the pertinent information
necessary and useful for evaluating the current Indian mineral
resource environment of the Alberta Region:
3.1 Overall Ratings
The overall rating measures the economic mineral possibilities of
each reserve as a whole, on low-moderate-good scale (1 - 3).
Factors which affect this rating are: size of the reserve; location
with respect to markets, transportation, access, value and type of
commodity; social and cultural barriers to mining on certain lands
and areas; marketability of a commodity at any given time, etc.
A moderate rating implies that some indications of mineral
potential are present. More work on such reserves is necessary to
gather technical information to determine whether a specific
reserve can be rated at a higher or lower level.
The reserves have been rated for their mineral resource potential
||No. of reserves
3.2 Commodity Ratings With Potential
The inventory catalogues a total of 158 mineral occurrences on
reserves in Alberta from all five commodity or mineral types
(metallic, non-metallic, aggregate, peat and water) and comprises
nearly 120 different minerals and commodities. (See Appendix 1 for
mineral type definitions, and Appendix 2 for a list of minerals)
Commodity rating is an evaluation, on a clearly defined scale from
one to five, of the potential of a mineral or commodity for
development in terms of its geology, type, location, marketability,
etc, based on the available information. This estimate is based on
data collected from many sources and considers the geological
surroundings of the reserves. For this reason, a known mineral
occurrence on a reserve may have no value and be given a low
rating, and conversely a commodity may be rated very high based on
an indication of a deposit off-reserve which may extend onto
In order to gauge more accurately the opportunities in minerals and
filter out those reserves which are considered to have low
potential (at this time and given the available information), the
following analysis examines those reserves with commodities rated
at 3, 4 or 5 on the scale of one to five (where one is very low
potential and 5 is very high):
- The number of reserves possessing at least one commodity,
rated at 3 or greater, is 20. These 20 reserves share a total
of 25 commodity occurrences.
- Of the 25 occurrences, 2 (8%) are metallic minerals; 23 (92%)
are non-metallic, aggregate, or other minerals/mineral types.
3.3 Reserves at the Exploration Phase
This phase groups the myriad activities which are necessary in the
detection, evaluation and measurement of deposits of minerals.
The mineral inventory report is the equivalent of Exploration Phase
Stage I (literature search), which has been completed. The number
of reserves in the Region which have undergone some form of
subsequent exploration activity beyond Stage I is:
In 1990 dollars, the value of all past and present exploration
expenditures for metallic minerals is estimated at $45 thousand,
and $2.3 million for non-metallic, aggregate and other minerals.
3.4 Reserves at the development phase
This phase is the step in the progression between exploration and
production for a specific mineral or group of minerals where the
land and the mineral deposit is prepared for the actual mining
operations. This activity may range from tree cutting, fencing,
and stripping of topsoil to detailed drilling programs, shaft and
adit sinking, open pit excavations, etc.
Many reserves have experienced some form of development work
related to their mineral resources. Some of those have been proven
to have little or no mineral potential as a result of information
derived from such work, or work was discontinued due to outside
influences such as company failures or dropping markets.
The number of reserves deemed to have had some activity at the
development phase is as follows:
| Development Phase
3.5 Reserves at the Production Phase
Production phase as used here is the actual extraction of material
or mineral by any mining process, past or present, which is
stockpiled, used on or sold off-reserve.
The number of reserves at the production phase is listed below.
These figures consider any form of extraction of minerals for sale
on or off reserve and includes cases of production of materials
with a low commodity rating. It is noteworthy that many hundreds
of small gravel pits exist on reserves which are unknown to the
Department and are not included in this database.
5.0 Mineral Permits and Leases
Indian Lands Registry of Lands, Revenues and Trusts have recorded
62 occurrences of mineral related permits, leases and/or agreements
Of 62 entries in the registry, 3 identified non-metallic minerals,
none for metallic minerals, 50 were for aggregates and 9 cases did
not specify the commodities.
The Registry records 459 mineral related permits, leases and/or
agreements on Reserves across Canada. Averaged on a national
basis, 72% of mineral agreements are undertaken by the private
sector, next comes provincial government at 14%, municipalities at
6%, bands at 3%, and federal organizations participated in only 1%
of agreements. Three percent of the total number of registry
entries were undetermined.