Overviews: Natural Resources
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Eastern and northern Manitoba are dominated by the Canadian Shield – rich in minerals, forests and freshwater. The southern regions feature rich alluvial soil ideal for agriculture and crude oil deposits in the southwest.
- Abundant fresh water -- One sixth of the province’s surface is comprised of more than 100,000 lakes, including Lake Winnipeg, the fifth largest freshwater lake in Canada. Vast groundwater sources (aquifers) are also easily accessible.
- Hydroelectricity – Installed hydroelectric generating capacity of 5,400 MW, with an additional 5,000 MW in potential capacity that can be developed. Manitoba Hydro has plans for major new generation projects over the next 10 to 15 years that will capture as much as 2,300 MW of this additional capacity.
- Base and precious metals -- Metal mining is primarily based in northern Manitoba, which has world-class reserves of base metals (copper, zinc, nickel) and significant gold reserves. Outside the main mineral-producing areas, the geological potential for the discovery of new mineral resources in Manitoba is excellent. There are many under-explored areas in east-central Manitoba and in the province’s extreme north. Visit the GIS Map Gallery for more geological info and maps
- Industrial minerals – In addition to base and precious metals, Manitoba is rich in industrial minerals including tantalum, cesium, dolomite, spodumene, gypsum, salt, dimension stone, limestone, peat, lime, crushed rock, sand and gravel aggregate.
- Petroleum -- Manitoba has two potential areas for oil and gas production, southwest Manitoba and the Hudson Bay lowlands. Current production is located in southwest Manitoba, where there are over 3,000 production capable wells. Visit the GIS Map Gallery for geological info and maps
- Forestry -- Forests cover about 26.3 million hectares of the province's 54.8 million hectare land base. Of Manitoba's forested lands, about 94% are owned by the province, 1% is owned by the federal government and the remaining 5% is privately owned.
- Fisheries -- Manitoba 's 100,000 lakes and numerous rivers, streams and marshes are home to important fish habitat that are the basis of sport and commercial fisheries.
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