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The Making of a Mining Superpower

Written by Charlie Angus

Published January 04, 2022 | ISBN 9781487009496
HISTORY / Canada / General

Cover of Cobalt

Regular price $24.99 CAD

400 pages | 8.5 in × 5.5 in
Print Format

About this book


The Making of a Mining Superpower

Charlie Angus

The world is desperate for cobalt. It fuels the digital economy and powers everything from cell phones to clean energy. But this “demon metal,” this “blood mineral,” has a horrific present and troubled history.

Then there is the town in northern Canada, also called Cobalt. It created a model of resource extraction a hundred years ago — theft of Indigenous lands, rape of the earth, exploitation of workers, enormous wealth generation — that has made Toronto the mining capital of the world and given the mining industry a blueprint for resource extraction that has been exported everywhere.

Charlie Angus unearths the history of the town and shows how it contributed to Canada’s mining dominance. He connects the town to present-day Congo, with its cobalt production and misery, to horrendous mining practices in South America and demonstrates that global mining is as Canadian as hockey.

About the Author

Charlie Angus

CHARLIE ANGUS is a musician, writer, and Member of Parliament for Timmins-James Bay.

Awards and Praise


Winner, 2016 Leadership Award by the Ontario History and Social Science Teachers Association (OHASSTA)

Winner, Foreword INDIES Award (Bronze, Political Science, Adult Nonfiction)
Winner of two Saskatchewan Book Awards: the University of Regina Faculty of Education and Campion College Award for Publishing in Education and the Ministry of Parks, Culture and Sport Publishing Award

“A legitimate must-read.” — Quill & Quire 

“This book affected me deeply. I highly recommend it.” — Vicky Johnston, Policy Options

“A very important book.” — Doug Cuthand, CBC News

“In reading this historic chronicle of the painful poverty among the Cree in James Bay, Ontario, Canada, I keep thinking how incredible it is that a member of parliament could care so much about his constituency and devote so much of his time to helping the beautiful people of the land of the Cree and Ojibway in sub-Arctic country.” — Alanis Obomsawin, filmmaker. 

“In this must-read book, Charlie Angus shares Shannen [Koostachin]’s inspiring journey from a child going to school in run down trailers next to a toxic waste dump to one of 45 children in the world nominated for the International Children’s Peace Prize. Shannen did everything in her power to ensure First Nations children would get the proper education they deserve, and after reading this book you will, too.” — Cindy Blackstock, First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada

“The book, along with Edmund Metatawabin’s Up Ghost River, tells the story of sustained evil done by our government to indigenous peoples, who have the right to the rights of Canadian citizens. This is discomforting reading, but essential.” — John Ralston Saul, author of The Comeback 

“If you think Canada provides equal treatment to all of its citizens and that our injustices to indigenous people were in the past, think again. Angus sheds light on one of the ugliest features of our nation, that we deny First Nations children the chance at a proper education, that we have written them off and that the legacy of unequal education that began with residential schools continues to the present.” — James Daschuk, author of Clearing the Plains