The Canadian Shield is Canada’s largest physiographic region, which stretches in a U-shaped pattern from the north-east of the Northwest Territories, down south through the Province of Ontario, and back up to the northern regions of Quebec. Due to the Canadian Shield’s extensive natural resources, the region produces significant economic activity through its lumber industry and widespread mining operations.
The Canadian Shield is the world’s largest Precambrian surface in the world, as it includes exposed rocks that date back to the Precambrian era, approximately 600 million years ago. The bedrock of the Canadian Shield stretches for approximately two million square miles, nearly half of Canada’s land mass.
Metals and Minerals
According to Natural Resources Canada, the Canadian Shield is home to large copper, iron, zinc, silver and gold deposits. Lead, uranium, nickel, cobalt and tungsten have also been discovered in the expansive region.
Two diamond deposits were discovered in the Northwest Territories in the early 1990s. Another mine was opened in Nunavut, a territory in the northwest region of the Canadian Shield, in 2006. Since then, other deposits have been discovered, making Canada one the world’s largest diamond producers.
Parts of the Canadian Shield are covered with forests that contain balsam fir and spruce trees, which provide the resources for a significant portion of Canada’s lumber industry.