Stones of Canada, Episode 1
Geologically, Canada is one of the oldest regions in the world, with more than half of the region consisting of Precambrian rocks that have been above sea level since the beginning of the Palaeozoic era. Canada's mineral resources are diverse and extensive.
The Canadian Shield
The Canadian Shield is a rock structure made up of Precambrian rock covering half of Canada, part of the United States, and most of Greenland. It is made up of igneous rock, such as granite, along with some metamorphic rock and sedimentary rocks, glacial overburden, forest, and muskeg have been Canada's leading source of precious and base metals such as gold, iron ore, and uranium. Because of its large size and favorable geological features, the Canadian Shield has ongoing potential for the discovery of many additional mineral deposits.
The rocks in this region are more than 500 million years old. They tell a story of how Earth changed over time. Some rocks contain fossils of early life forms and bacteria from 2 billion years ago.
Landscapes of Canadian Shield
Across the Canadian Shield and in the north there are large iron, nickel, zinc, copper, gold, lead, molybdenum, and uranium reserves. Large diamond concentrations have been recently developed in the Arctic, making Canada one of the world's largest producers.
Throughout the Shield, there are many mining towns extracting these minerals. The largest, and best known, is Sudbury, Ontario. Sudbury is an exception to the normal process of forming minerals in the Shield since there is significant evidence that the Sudbury Basin is an ancient meteorite impact crater. The nearby, but less known Temagami Magnetic Anomaly has striking similarities to the Sudbury Basin. Its magnetic anomalies are very similar to the Sudbury Basin, and so it could be a second metal-rich impact crater. The Shield is also covered by vast boreal forests that support an important logging industry.
The stone mining industry in Canada produces materials used to build infrastructure, buildings, and homes. The industry mines a variety of rock, including granite, limestone, marble, and sandstone. Many of these rocks are crushed and transported for use in downstream construction and manufacturing markets
Crushed stone is used as aggregate in foundations for infrastructure and buildings or as a road base. As a result, industry demand is primarily driven by non-residential construction markets and infrastructure development, although some high-quality products, such as marble and slate, have applications in residential buildings, so residential construction can also influence demand.