Mining in the Canadian Shield


I'm deciding to promote a business in the Canadian Shield to win the $200,000 from the Canadian government. The business I decided to promote is mining near the south of the Canadian Shield (Ontario). The reason why I choose the business of mining is because it is one of Canada's most important economic sectors today. Mining is so important for Canada's economy that it contributed 54 billion dollars in 2013. Mining happens to be source of the main building blocks to the products and items we use in our everyday lives, including smart-phone's to cars. We will be mining for the various metals and metalloids in the soil and ground of the Canadian Shield to keep Canada's economy increasing, therefore making by business proposal worth winning $200,000.

Physical Features & Human Activities


The Canadian is the largest region in Canada, in fact the Canadian Shield is so large that the climate changes throughout different locations in the region. In the Canadian Shield, there are long hot summers and short cold winters while in the southern part, there are very cold winters, but very long and warm summers. The Canadian Shield has also happens to have allot of snow and rain each year in the southern part. The northern part of the Canadian Shield gets very little rain and snow every year because of the change of climate in the various locations in the large region. Yet the north of the Canadian Shield is still very cold and has an average temperature of 15 degrees Celsius in the summer, and -35 degrees Celsius in the winter.

The south of the region has an average temperature of -18 degrees Celsius in the winter and 25 degrees Celsius in the summer. The seasons at the south of the Canadian Shield changes every 120 days while in the north of the region, the seasons only change 60 days at a time. What is also interesting about the northern and southern parts of the Canadian Shield is that the north of the region consists of an average of 5.5 hours of day light in the winter and 18.5 hours in the summer, while in the south of the region consists of 15 hours of daylight in the summer and 8.5 hours in the summer. As you can see, the Canadian Shield has a unique climate due to the fact that the climate varies depending on the location of the region.

To choose a good location for my mining business proposal, I must choose an area that has a climate that won't injure the workers and help with our ongoing business industry. The location of the mining industry needs to have mild weather so the climate won't end up decreasing the miner's availability of water. Now the water for the miners are very important, in fact mining operations use water for metal recovery and mineral processing. Other uses for water in the mining operations include controlling the dust in the mines and meeting the needs for workers on the site (like refreshments for example). The location of the mining industry should also include no rain other liquefied weather since there is a good chance that the weather will cause a landslide, therefore ruining the operation and injuring the miners.

By listing the previous requirements for the location of the Canadian Shield, the location will be neat the south of the region (Ontario). The south of the Canadian Shield isn't as hot as it seem since the average temperature in the summer is 25 degrees Celsius. This weather is not hot enough to disable the miners from using their water supply. Since the location of the my mining proposal isn't entirely located in the south of the Canadian Shield, than means there won't be too much rainfall. Therefore the miners won't have to worry about any landslides. In conclusion, by thinking of the advantages and disadvantages certain parts of the Canadian shield have, I decided that it is best for the mining operation to take place near the south of the region (Ontario).

Natural Landscape

The Canadian Shield has several different lakes including the Great Slave Lake, Lake Athabasca, Reindeer Lake and Lake Superior. Many of the rivers and lakes in the region are caused by watersheds of areas of the Canadian Shield that are very young and or being in a state of post glacial-rebound (the rise of a land mass or masses that were depressed by huge weight of ice sheets during the last glacial period). The Canadian also consists of very rocky regions and low mountain ranges, yet the majority of the region consists of flat lands. Most of the flat lands were formed when the pressure of the unbalanced high lands were re balanced by the thrusting, and trembling of the sediment land. The sediment was elevated to the point when the Canadian Shield's surface was re balanced. Most of the mountains of the Canadian Shield were formed from the collision of two continental plates. Since the continental plates are too light in density to be pulled under water, they crunch and fold the rock at the boundary, lifting them up to form mountains or mountain ranges. The Canadian Shield is also made up of several forests that logging industries use today including the forest of the Midwest of the region.

Our mining operation in the Canadian Shield will be one of the main causes of deforestation of the area around the mining site. Since we have already choose our location for the mining, we will have to make room for our site, meaning we will unfortunately have to burn the trees and other vegetation of the landscape. Once the landscape is bare in a large scale, we'll be able to use drills, bulldozers and other machinery to mine. Mostly likely, to extract these valuable metal from the soil and ground, we'd have to use chemicals such as cyanide and mercury. Rivers and lakes will eventually be polluted from the leakage of chemicals through pipes used through the ground. This contamination will affect all living beings that use or depend on these bodies of water on a huge scale. Proving that if one thing in nature is disturbed, then the other living beings that depend on it to live will be affected negatively.

Soil and Vegetation

The Canadian Shield has wet-climate soil and also consists of Boreal and Taiga forests. The low and flat lands of the Canadian Shield have a very dense soil which isn’t suitable for forestation. The rest of the Canadian Shield has coarse soil that doesn’t preserve the moisture well and is frozen with permafrost through all the year. The wet-climate soil is very well suited for mining, and the lack of needles being dropped leads to the lack of humus in the soil. Then with the lack of humus in the soil, the topsoil of the region’s landform will turn into the colour grey. Now the soil is acidic since the few needles in the soil are acidic too. Miners don't have to be worried about the acidic soil since with the lack of trees in the mining operations that will be set up, there won't be any soil to be formed as acidic from the tree's needles. Whenever the snow melts in the Canadian Shield, soluble metals are washed from the rainfall from the topsoil to the more deeper level of soil (subsoil and parent material). The wet-climate soil of the region is excellent for mining since it helps reduce the effect of heavy rain which is a great advantage for making sure that there are no landslides in the mine occurring because of rainfall.

Mining can have many negative environmental impacts including soil contamination. Soil contamination can occur during mining when base metals or ores can be found in the soil beneath the surface of the land. The miners will mostly likely be forced to use electrical and or chemical machinery to extract these metals. These processes of mining can leave behind hazardous and chemical in the soil, which will effect everything that depends on the soil to live. Now with the lethal chemicals in the soil, the fertilization decreases rapidly throughout the fields of soil.

Unfortunately in the Canadian Shield, plants are not able to grow with the soil there since it doesn’t have enough fertility, therefore the soil is unsuitable for agriculture. So now the mining operation won't have to worry about wasting valuable time on removing the trees that are in their way of building the mine. In the north of the region, forests aren’t as dense because the very cold climate keeps them from sustaining its health properly. The Boreal and Taiga forests are the largest vegetation region in Canada, and in the winter, it is too cold for the trees of those forests to maintain their health in the north of the Canadian Shield. The only type of tree that grows in the south of this line of the region happens to be Coniferous trees. Evergreen and Coniferous trees lose only some of their needles, they're never left completely bare. In the northern edge in the Canadian Shield, black or white Spruce, Pine and Balsam Fir trees grow sparsely (not thick or dense), while these trees grow more denser by the edge of the south of the region. Most of the trees in the Canadian Shield are harvested for several products or uses, including paper and pulp.

The contamination of soil through mining can also effect the forestry of the location of the mining operation. Fruits, vegetables and other forms food are produced from these toxic soil, and can cause the people consuming it, serious health problems. Plants and animals that depend on the soil will shortly perish after the contamination of it, leaving their predators to starve and or search for other places for food. Therefore proving how important soil is for forestry and the beings that need it to live.

Geology (Rock Types)

The Canadian Shield is a region mostly composed of igneous rocks, but there a few areas exposed to Precambrian igneous and high-grade metamorphic rocks. Precambrian rocks date back 2.5 billion years ago in the Precambrian era. Igneous rocks are much denser than metamorphic rocks since metamorphic rocks have been through the process of heat and pressure that starts to liquefy it, while igneous rocks are cooled down from hot pieces of magma. The Canadian shield also has a joined bedrock area that is common and deep in the eastern and central of Canada into the northern reaches of the United States. The Canadian Shield region is also well known throughout Canada for the base metal found within the region. Base metals like cooper, zinc, aluminum, steel, tin, and lead are some of the popular types of base metals in Canada. Other metals like silver gold and nickel are also very common in the region.

In fact not only in the Canadian Shield, but all of Canada is the largest supplier of nickel in the world. Most of the nickel found are in Sudbury, Ontario which happens to be near the location where we planned to build our mining operation. Our mining operation will be mostly focused on mining for nickel (and other base metals) since they’re very common in the location of the operation in the Canadian Shield. These types of metals are worth allot throughout Canada and the entire world, making the proposal of mining in the Canadian Shield even more worth investing for. Since the Canadian Shield is mostly made up of igneous rocks, then the miners would be more relieved that the denser and more secure rocks surrounding rocks, won't injure them.

Here is an image of the Canadian Shield throughout Canada. As you can see here, the location of my mining operation will take place near the south of the region (Ontario).

Influence of Climate Change

In the near south of the Canadian Shield (Ontario), which is where our mining operation will be located, the climate there is relatively warm. The average temperature in Celsius is definitely warmer than the temperature of the summer in the north of the region (25 degrees Celsius in the south to be precise). In the winter of the location the mining site will be at, the temperature isn't as cold as it is in the north (-18 degrees Celsius in the south) for obvious reasons. Also, there happens to be allot more snow and rain around the area of my business location, giving our business both negative and positive effects. For one, there is more likely chance for there to be a landslide during a mining operation, putting the miners and the objective materials at risk.

On the other hand, workers and miners won't have to worry about the warm weather causing any droughts since the rain can easily refill and refresh their water supply. Obviously in the winter, our mining sites will have to close down since even though or base of operations are in one of the hottest parts of the Canadian Shield, the climate in the winter is too cold to work in. Our actions are for the best for the business and our employees, so we cannot put them in that state of temperature to work in. The warm climate in the summer doesn't affect the miners or their progress on finding metals since the usual downpour of rain masks out the humidity. Therefore there are many negative and positive impacts towards our business of mining when it comes to climate change, so all we can do is work with the climate we have to our advantage the most.

Risks of Natural Disasters

There are a few risks when it comes to natural disasters occurring in the location of the mining operation. The risks of natural disasters include wildfires and floods. Wildfires can easily occur when the workers are burning down the several forests to make room for the mining sites. Wildfires have been known throughout history to cause great havoc to the environment around it, so if the workers are not careful of containing the fire, it will eventually spread out to the outer areas of the origin of the fire. If the miners and workers are lucky enough, there will hopefully be some rain from the area of the region's climate to detain the wildfire. Floods are not as likely to occur as wildfires, but because of the area of the Canadian Shield's rainy climate, then there is a chance of a great rain storm to over flood the underground and trapped-in mining site. This disaster can easily be avoided by the miners watching out for any abnormal weathers occurring through the radio so they'll be able to exit out of the mining sites safely with all their valuable metallic machinery and discoveries. Therefore even though there can be few chances of natural disasters occurring in the area of our mining cites, that doesn't stop us from doing our job or being safe, if we are prepared.


I know that my business proposal of mining near the south of the Canadian Shield will be successful for winning the $200,000 from the Canadian government. The first reason why my business is successful is because of the location where it is located at. I planned my mining business to be located near the south of the Canadian Shield (Ontario) since the climate won't be too hot for any droughts to occur daily, and it rains sometimes during the summer, preventing any complication of a low water supply for the miners. There aren't many mountains in the mining area so it will be easy to setup the mining site, besides burning and cutting down the trees there for room. The second reason why my business proposal of mining in the Canadian Shield would be so successful is since the mining industries in Canada are worth allot to its economy. Mining industries are one of the most important industries for increasing Canada's economy. So not only my mining operation will help earn the workers and employers a reasonable pay, but the business proposal can also further increase Canada's economy which the Canadian government will be thankful for. In conclusion, my mining business will be successful because of the logical location of the business and the how much it improves Canada's economy.


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