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Monthly Mineral Production Survey, March 2022

Released: 2022-05-19

The value of shipments of minerals increases in the first quarter

During the first quarter of 2022, the shipment value of minerals recorded an overall increase of 10.0% compared with the previous quarter. Despite the drop registered in January, the subsequent increases posted in February and March were enough to maintain growth for the quarter.

In January, the value of shipments of minerals declined 24.2% from the previous month, starting the quarter with a value of $3.07 billion. This was mainly caused by a decrease in the shipment value of metallic minerals. In February, the value of shipments of minerals increased by 7.9%, bringing the value to $3.31 billion. In March, the value of shipments was up 48.4%, taking the shipment value of minerals to $4.92 billion, with increases in both metallic and non-metallic minerals.

In the first quarter of 2022, the shipment value of minerals posted an increase of 5.0% compared with the same quarter in 2021.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Total value of shipments of minerals
Total value of shipments of minerals

Metallic minerals experience a large increase in shipment values in March

The shipment value for metallic minerals decreased 3.6% in the first quarter of 2022, compared with the previous quarter. The shipment value for metallic minerals was down 37.7% in January, followed by consecutive increases in February (+9.1%) and in March (+56.6%).

The decrease in January was mainly due to a drop in the shipment value of gold (-$752.75 million), copper (-$254.24 million), nickel (-$92.68 million) and cobalt (-$10.18 million). The increase in metallic minerals shipment value posted in February was led by nickel (+$62.74 million), gold (+$125.06 million), copper (+$69.41 million) and cobalt (+$8.66 million), which all rebounded from January's decline. The large gain posted in March stemmed from increases in gold (+$550.18 million), copper (+$269.67 million), nickel (+$145.12 million) silver (+$12.99 million) and cobalt (+$12.05 million).

Although March's increase was strong, the shipment value for metallic minerals decreased 15.7% in the first quarter of 2022 compared with the same quarter in 2021.

Chart 2  Chart 2: Value of shipments of metallic minerals
Value of shipments of metallic minerals

The shipment quantity of metallic minerals sees significant increase in March after two months of decline

The shipment quantity of metallic minerals decreased by 19.8% in January compared with the previous month. At the commodity level, the declines were more pronounced for gold (-47.5%), nickel (-39.3%), cobalt (-33.7%) and copper (-29.0%). In February, the quantity of shipments of metallic minerals continued the downward trend, dropping by 6.2%, despite commodities such as cobalt (+39.6%), copper (+16.7%), nickel (+22.6%) and gold (+10.1%) recording increases. March saw a significant increase of 46.4%, owing to a higher quantity of shipments for metallic commodities such as silver (+70.4%), gold (+47.4%), copper (+43.3%) and nickel (+28.3%).

In the first quarter of 2022, despite an overall decline of 17.9% compared with the previous quarter in the shipment quantity of metallic minerals, the value of shipment of metallic minerals experienced a smaller decrease of 3.6%. This was in part due to increases in the price of metallic commodities following the onset of the conflict in Ukraine.

Potash and diamond shipment values post a large increase for the first quarter

In the first quarter of 2022, the shipment value of non-metallic minerals experienced a large increase of 63.7% compared with the previous quarter, driven by large increases for potash (+$1,200.68 million) and diamonds (+$157.66 million).

The significant increase in the shipment value of potash was largely due to rising prices following global sanctions imposed on Russia and Belarus, two of the world's largest potash suppliers, after Canada.

Chart 3  Chart 3: Month-to-month change in the shipment value of non-metallic minerals
Month-to-month change in the shipment value of non-metallic minerals

  Note to readers

The Monthly Mineral Production Survey estimates the production, shipments and inventories of Canada's leading minerals. This survey covers several metallic minerals, including copper, gold, iron ore, lead, nickel, silver and zinc, as well as non-metallic minerals, including diamonds, gypsum, potash and salt.

The Monthly Survey of Smelters and Metal Refineries covers smelters and metal refineries for a variety of base metals, including copper, lead, nickel and zinc.

The Monthly Mineral Production Survey is conducted as part of the Integrated Business Statistics Program and the Minerals and Metals Production Statistics Program modernization initiative.

Data from the Monthly Mineral Production Survey and the Monthly Survey of Smelters and Metal Refineries are released every month, and a detailed review is released every three months, in the month ending the quarter.

Data are not seasonally adjusted.

Data for the previous two months are subject to revision based on late responses. Data for January 2022 and February 2022 have been revised with this release.

Data prior to 2020 can be found on the Production of Canada's Leading Minerals page of the Natural Resources Canada website.

The value of shipments facilitates comparisons between mineral commodities since the units of measure of quantities produced or shipped vary dramatically from one mineral to another (for example, iron in millions of tonnes versus diamonds in carats).

Contact information

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; infostats@statcan.gc.ca) or Media Relations (statcan.mediahotline-ligneinfomedias.statcan@statcan.gc.ca).

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