Helping Identify Alberta’s PotentialCompanies and governments rely on many types of data and information when exploring for or evaluating minerals in any area. Past and present mineral exploration activities in Alberta indicate that our province contains a wide array of metallic and industrial minerals, including minerals recovered from industrial waste products. As of 2022, exploration activity focuses on lithium, base metals, and industrial minerals. We provide the public with geoscience information relevant for mineral exploration and development, including geological maps, models, and reports, as well as tools for viewing and downloading available data.
More About Mineral Exploration Information
We create and publish geological information useful for understanding the geology of Alberta. This information is important for investigating and exploring mineral systems and deposits. Our published products include maps, reports, digital datasets, and 3D models of geology and specific rock properties. These products provide information on surface and subsurface geology, geochemistry, and geophysics, to name a few. The following is a list of some of our more popular products relevant to mineral exploration in Alberta:
- Surficial Geology of Alberta
- Bedrock Geology of Alberta
- Geology of the Alberta Rocky Mountains and Foothills
- Precambrian Geology of Northeastern Alberta
- Glacial Flowlines of Alberta
- Alberta Table of Formations
- GIS Compilation of Structural Elements
- Geological Framework of Alberta
- Atlas of the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin
The Minerals of Alberta map (Map 590) presents a view of various mineral resources in the province and the spatial extent of geological units prospective for mineral exploration. Information includes producers, past-producers, and exploration projects or prospects at different stages of development. A wide array of minerals and materials are represented on the map, including surface materials, ammolite, and metallic and industrial minerals.
Accompanying the Minerals of Alberta map are several compilation datasets that include more detailed information from government and industry sources. These datasets include metallic or industrial mineral occurrences, kimberlites and ultrabasic intrusions, groundwater and formation water lithium content, and prospective areas for mineral exploration across the province.
Since the publication of Map 590, we published many additional digital datasets used to construct this map, such as indicator mineral chemical analysis, geochemistry of Canadian Shield rocks, and inorganic geochemistry of Western Canada Sedimentary Basin rocks.
Explore the Map and its Digital Datasets
Minerals of Alberta Map
Metallic Mineral Occurrences
Industrial Mineral Occurrences
Kimberlite Indicator Minerals
Kimberlite and Ultrabasic Intrusions
Prospective Areas for Mineral Exploration
Over the years, we evaluated and researched many mineral resources in the province and published regional evaluation reports or more specific commodity reports. Our first report on mineral resources of Alberta was by John Allan in 1920. More recent publications describe or evaluate the potential of mineral resources of particular interest, such as
- limestone and dolomite, and
- building stone.
Explore Our Popular Mineral Reports
Origin and Li-enrichment of selected Oilfield Brines
Northern Alberta Kimberlite Province
Metallic Mineralization with Emphasis on Gold Potential
Magmatism and Metallic Mineralization of the Rocky Mountain Fold-and-thrust Belt
Clear Hills Ironstone
Limestone and Dolomite Potential
Regional Metallogenic Evaluation of Alberta
We provide digital data useful for evaluating mineral occurrences and exploration properties, in particular, compiled datasets for regional mineral assessment and exploration. Compiled mineral-related datasets include indicator mineralogy (identifying transported minerals that indicate the presence of a specific mineral deposit), formation water (i.e., naturally occurring saline water in geological formations) chemistry, and metallic and industrial mineral occurrences.
Explore Our Popular Compiled Mineral Datasets
We provide open access to provincial minerals data in the form of online interactive maps and downloadable files. Two different interactive maps, the Alberta Interactive Minerals Map (AIMM) and the Alberta Sand and Gravel Deposits interactive map, provide a platform for users to visualize and explore mineral occurrences and related data, geology maps, and prospective areas for different commodities without the need to download files or install specialized software (e.g., GIS applications). Alternatively, you can download or view some of our mineral datasets from our Open Data Portal for use in any number of data exploration applications.
Explore Our Data
Mineral exploration and production activities are currently regulated by Alberta Energy and Alberta Environment and Parks. For minerals in surface materials, Alberta Environment and Parks is involved in application processes. In 2021 Alberta Energy introduced Bill 82 Mineral Resource Development Act (MRDA) which set the groundwork to expand Alberta’s resource development potential to include new mineral types and identified the Alberta Energy Regulator as the full lifecycle regulator of these minerals. Until Bill 82 is proclaimed, companies interested in exploring for and producing minerals must follow the processes explained on the Government of Alberta’s website.
Alberta Energy Regulator's Emerging Resources
Government of Alberta’s Ammonite Shell Tool Kit
Government of Alberta’s Surface Materials Regulations
Alberta Energy Regulator’s Jurisdiction Over Borrow Pits
Alberta Energy’s Metallic and Industrial Minerals Interactive Map
Government of Alberta’s Mineral Permits, Leases, and Maintenance
Government of Alberta’s Placer Gold Mining Tool Kit
Alberta Energy’s Annual Reports on Mineral Development
Government of Alberta’s Mineral Resource Development Act
In addition to our reports, data, and interactive maps, there is mineral exploration information available at Alberta Energy. This includes Alberta Energy's annual reports on Alberta’s mineral development, mineral agreement interactive maps, and a collection of Mineral Assessment Reports, which are industry submitted technical reports detailing their mineral exploration data and activities for specific minerals and areas in the province.
Learn More About
See photographs of minerals found in Alberta and neighbouring provinces and territories.