May 15, 1925

LIB

Charles A. Stewart (Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Argenteuil):

No. Any

drilling that is being done there is being done by the provincial government. The hon. member refers to McMurray, I presume.

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LIB

Charles A. Stewart (Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Leedfe):

Would the minister give a little more in detail the activities of the Euel board during the past year whether they have abandoned all experiments with peat, and what the minister has in mind of any particular new field of 'investigation or development during the coming year?

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LIB

Charles A. Stewart (Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Argenteuil):

While we

are getting the memorandum regarding the investigational work, I might deal with the peat problem. This problem has been carried to the point where we have proved that it is a commercial possibility and that we have a process that will work successfully. Since that time both governments have agreed that the

matter has now entered the field of commerce.

I think we are both of the same opinion, that it can best be developed by private enterprise. That is being attempted by a company, organized, I think, in Montreal. I understand they are ready to operate now at Alfred on the bog. The machinery was turned over to them on a guarantee that they would continue to operate and produce peat.

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LIB

Georges Parent

Liberal

Mr. PARENT:

Lately in glancing over the report of the Department of Mines of the province of Quebec, I was reading reports concerning the titanium ore deposits in that province. It was stated in the report that there is any quantity of titanium ore in Quebec. Does the Department of Mines at Ottawa know something about this, and has it ever ventured to find out whether this ore is of value to the country?

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LIB

Charles A. Stewart (Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Argenteuil):

We have a

report on the ore mentioned by my hon. friend.

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PRO

Levi William Humphrey

Progressive

Mr. HUMPHREY:

I am not just dear

on this question of testing or treating ores. Would the minister explain the procedure in regard to testing a shipment of ore coming to headquarters at Ottawa? Have the department had any requests in regard to furnishing assays of ores that are sent in?

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LIB

Charles A. Stewart (Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Argenteuil):

We are not

attempting to do this work in any commercial way. I think the hon. member mentioned the fact that the prospector was not in a position to get tests made for iwhich he would have . to pay. That is just the field that we are trying to fill, to test all the discoveries of the prospector. I do not say that we are confining our efforts entirely to that, but our chief desire is to lend that aid to the individual who has spent his time and money in trying to discover mineral. After the assay is made and the various minerals that usually are found in the sample are discovered, we try to work out a process that we can give him for his information. We advise him as to what the ore contains in pounds and as to the ibe^t method of treating and handling that particular sample. It is true that we do not furnish the actual dollars-and-cents value of the product, but that can easily be ascertained when he has at his disposal those two or three very important pieces of information.

In reply to the hon. member for Vancouver Centre (Mr. Stevens), we put no restrictions on the quantity which may be sent forward for investigational work here. I do not think the government of Canada should be called upon to provide a commercial plant. We are

Supply-Mines

doing our full duty by carrying out investigational work rather than by attempting to enter the commercial field or to develop this work in a large way, employing a number of highly technical men and machinery for the purpose of testing ores in big quantities.

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PRO

Levi William Humphrey

Progressive

Mr. HUMPHREY:

That was the point

I was interested in. I am not concerned in any way with the commercial end of the matter; I am interested in providing some way of assisting the prospector, the one who goes out and actually finds the mineral. I can go as far as to say that I have not had any representations made to me on behalf of the commercial phase of the question. When the prospector sends 'his ore to the testing plant at Ottawa, at the time this test is made, it might be very easy to assist him by providing an assay giving the value in dollars and cents of the metal content. If he sends his ore to the plant here and a report as to the result of the test is furnished to him, he then has to send the result of that test to an assayer. That takes a good deal of time and money, and prospectors are not in a position to do that. The fees in connection with assaying are fairly high, and if the man is constantly engaged in prospecting, he has to have a good many assays made in a season. Therefore, when the department has the prospector's ores here, it might go as far as to give him the value of the metal content in dollars and cents and he would then have the result of his season's investigation right before him. I do not think, for a moment, anyone wishes the department to look at this matter from the commercial angle. All the big commercial institutions engaged in mining carry on extensive assaying and testing plants of their own, and' it is hardly necessary for commercial institutions to call upon the department.

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PRO

Lincoln Henry Jelliff

Progressive

Mr. JELLIFF:

Has any investigation ever been made as to the metals in the Rocky mountains? These mountains have been piled up there a long time, much longer than I have been alive at any rate, and it is about time we were finding out what there is in them. We are under the cloud) of a great national debt which, if it is to be paid, must be paid through the development of our natural resources. I am quite in sympathy with what has been said by hon. members to my right. We have coal there in millions of tons and we have everything necessary for the reduction of ores. I think therefore that a complete investigation, even if it should cost a lot of money, should be made into these resources.

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LIB

Charles A. Stewart (Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Argenteuil):

We are

doing geological work in the mountains every year; whenever reports are 'brought to us we try to investigate the possibilities of new discoveries.

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CON

William Alves Boys (Whip of the Conservative Party (1867-1942))

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BOYS:

With regard to the question of peat, I remember that a few years ago, in an effort to get rich quick, I lost in peat all the money I had. I am interested to know if any progress has been made. I recall the difficulties that we encountered, the chief of which was the drying process. Has anything been invented of late to overcome that difficulty? Another trouble was that after the fuel had been manufactured by the Dickson patent ' process it could not be stored except under cover; and that was a great objection. I had not followed the developments in the last five or six years but I understood the minister to say that progress had been made. I should like to know something about the cost of manufacture, what the finished product can be sold* for, and whether any is now being sold commercially.

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LIB

Charles A. Stewart (Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Argenteuil):

The experiments were carried out at Alfred, between here and Montreal, and we did not discover that there was any short process for drying the peat. They simply spread the mud, as I call it, on the ground and left it to be dried by the sun.

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CON

William Alves Boys (Whip of the Conservative Party (1867-1942))

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BOYS:

And suppose it rained the next day?

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LIB

Charles A. Stewart (Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Argenteuil):

The rain

does not affect it except that it takes longer to dry.

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CON

William Alves Boys (Whip of the Conservative Party (1867-1942))

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BOYS:

When it is wet it disintegrates and the whole process has to be gone over again. We found that we could never get enough dried.

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LIB

Charles A. Stewart (Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Argenteuil):

So far as

I could ascertain down here, and I watched it closely, the whole thing depended upon the devolpment of machinery to handle the material cheaply. I have given an opportunity to everyone who has come along with a pressure process, or with some process of sun-drying, to try it out. There is an engineer here who felt that he was discriminated against because we had not given him the necessary machinery to put his process to the test, and we decided to meet his wishes in this regard. So far no process has been discovered whereby you can separate the moisture content from the peat, the composition being about 90 per cent moisture and 10 per cent solid matter. It seems impossible to bring sufficient pressure to bear to extract all the

Supply-M ines

moisture to make it decent fuel. We had an area covered with the peat and we produced about 4,000 tons in a short time.

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CON

William Alves Boys (Whip of the Conservative Party (1867-1942))

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BOYS:

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LIB

Charles A. Stewart (Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Argenteuil):

It was sundried. I had some of it sent to Ottawa and a number of people burned it. It gives a strong heat although of course it is a low grade fuel. I do not think it would be more than between fifty and sixty per cent of the value of anthracite. It can be manufactured cheaply if you do not put too many transportation charges on it; a hundred miles would be about the limit you could ship it economically. And after it has been thoroughly dried it will keep.

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CON

William Alves Boys (Whip of the Conservative Party (1867-1942))

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BOYS:

Is it used for steam or for

domestic purposes?

Mr. 'STEWART (Argenteuil): It can be

used for steam but it is used .chiefly for domestic purposes, for fire-places and cooking stoves.

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PRO

Thomas William Bird

Progressive

Mr. BIRD:

How much of the vote approximately is spent on the investigation of mineral resources and deposits-altogether, in actual investigation?

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May 15, 1925