The Weight of Gold
Mining and Society Series
Mining in North America has long been criticized for its impact on the natural environment. Mica Jorgenson’s The Weight of Gold explores the history of Ontario, Canada’s rise to prominence in the gold mining industry, while detailing a series of environmental crises related to extraction activities. In Ontario in 1909, the discovery of exceptionally rich hard rock gold deposits in the Abitibi region in the north precipitated industrial development modeled on precedents in Australia, South Africa, and the United States. By the late 1920s, Ontario’s mines had reached their maturity, and in 1928, Minister of Mines Charles McRae called Canada “the mineral treasure house to [the] world.”
Mining companies increasingly depended upon their ability to redistribute the burdens of mining onto surrounding communities—a strategy they continue to use today—both at home and abroad. Jorgenson connects Canadian gold mining to its international context, revealing that Ontario’s gold mines informed extractive knowledge which would go on to shape Canada’s mining industry over the next century.
“The Weight of Gold makes a substantial contribution to the neglected history of mining in Canada through a detailed study of one of Canada’s leading hard-rock mining camps, the Porcupine. The book will be read with interest by scholars in environmental history and Canadian history.”
—Jeremy Mouat, professor emeritus of history, University of Alberta, author of Metal Mining in Canada, 1840-1950
“This book makes a substantial contribution to the history of mining through a detailed study of one of Canada’s leading hard-rock mining camps, the Porcupine. More than just a profile of a single mine or camp, this study situates the Porcupine within global trends, networks, and developments in early twentieth-century mining, while also illustrating how the Porcupine cemented Canada’s place as a leading mining nation.”
—Arn Keeling, professor of geography, Memorial University of Newfoundland, coeditor of Mining and Communities in Northern Canada: History, Politics and Memory