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The geography of energy consumption of the Canadian metals processing industry Caisley, George Anthony


This study was initiated (a) to determine the types and quantities of energy consumed by the Canadian metal processing industry on a plant basis, (b) to examine the manner and extent to which the energy consumed varies spatially across Canada and (c) to determine the extent to which the industry contributes to the nation's total energy consumption as well as to its consumption of each energy source. The energy consumption mixes of individual plants were determined either empirically or by estimation from data obtained by a questionnaire and from the technical literature for the comminution, smelting, and refining stages of the lead, zinc, nickel, copper, aluminum, and primary iron and steel industries. The spatial variation of the consumption mixes for each metallurgical process was then delimited and illustrated cartographically. The specific and non-specific energy needs of each industry are identified in terms of the processes used at each production stage. It was found that the types and quantities of energy utilized by each plant depends upon the process’ specific energy needs and the availability of other energy forms. The metal processing industry was found to consume a significant proportion (8.2%) of Canada's energy consumption in 1965. In terms of individual sources of energy the industry consumed 23.4% of the national total consumption of electricity, 14.6% of coal and less than 3% of petroleum and natural gas.

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