Mining in the shield
Ancient geological upheavals formed the bounty of minerals in the Boreal Shield. In the 1880s, the building of the CPR across northern Ontario first revealed the region’s deposits of gold, silver, copper, nickel, cobalt, and zinc. The output of this region’s mines ensures Canada’s position as a leading mineral producer.
Mining is the mainstay for more than 80 communities in the Shield. Although the mining industry is dominant in this region, its operations cover only 5,500 square kilometres — or about 0.03 percent of this vast ecozone. Ontario and Quebec are the leaders in terms of the value of production. In the 1990s, for example, the annual value of Ontario’s mineral production, based entirely in the Boreal Shield, was about $4 billion. The focus of uranium production, once dominated by Ontario, has moved to Rabbit Lake and other sites in northern Saskatchewan.
A map of Canada highlights the Boreal Shield region, which then recedes and is replaced by a more detailed map of the region. A menu offers:
• Shield mining output
• Tree species in the Shield
Clicking on any of them opens a text box with detailed information.