The major mineral resources of the region are crushed stone and sand and gravel. This aggregate is used by the construction industry to make concrete and build roads. Finely crushed aggregate is also used in plastics, glass, paint, wallboard, and roofing tiles.
Peat is plant material that slowly accumulates and decomposes in bogs. Peat moss, an important resource for the horticultural industry, is extracted at several sites in the region, especially the Alfred Bog. Because bogs are wetlands, important for the survival of wildlife and water recharge areas, peat mining is controversial. Several bogs have been designated as conservation areas (Mer Bleue Bog).
Mining For Stone
Although no longer active, stone quarrying played an important role in the history of local mining. The stones in many buildings in Ottawa are from local quarries. Quarries to the east of Kanata, near Hwy 417, provided the sandstone to face the Parliament Buildings and the Museum of Nature. Crushed limestone, from quarries such as those near Carlington Hill in Ottawa and the casino in Gatineau, supplied lime for the production of cement.
Metals such as lead, iron, molybdenum, zinc, and silver were mined from the mid 1800s to mid 1900s in the greater Ottawa-Gatineau area. Even greater wealth came from industrial minerals such as feldspar, apatite, mica, graphite and brucite.
Did you know? ... Bytownite, Wakefieldite, Carletonite, Weloganite, Sabinaite... Since the mid 1800s, about 45 local mineralogists, collectors, localities, and institutions have had newly discovered minerals named in their honour.