The Weight of Gold is based on 5 years of research in northern Ontario. It tells the story of environmental change in the wake of Canada’s rise to prominence in international gold mining. The discovery of exceptionally rich hard rock gold deposits in the Abitibi region precipitated industrial development modelled on precedents in Australia, South Africa, and the United States. The rapid transformation of gold mining in the early years of the twentieth century had significant environmental costs, and the industry found itself facing a succession of crises – fire, flooding, collapse, and disease. The way that mining companies and their regulators responded to these crises shaped the industry, and continues to impact extractive work in the present — both in Canada and around the world.
Research for The Weight of Gold was funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and McMaster University, including the L.R. Wilson Institute for Canadian History and the Lewis and Ruth Sherman Centre for Digital Scholarship.
It is part of the University of Nevada Press’ “Mining and Society” series.