>1 trillion dollar value in total historic production and current known reserves
Geological evidence suggests a 10 km diameter meteorite struck the Earth 1.85 billion years ago near the present site of Greater Sudbury. The impact created a circular crater 6 km deep and 200 km in diameter below the shallow coastal waters of an ancient continent.
After impact, the crater was partially filled with explosion-related debris, beneath which a vast layer of molten rock several kilometers thick, which formed from the melted Earth’s crust, lined the floor of the ancient crater. Metal-rich liquid separated from the melt rock and sank to the crater floor, forming Sudbury’s famous ores of nickel, copper, platinum and other metals.
Sudbury rivals Norilsk as the world’s largest nickel camp, and it also produces significant amounts of Cu, Co, Pt, Pd, Au, and Ag. The Sudbury mining camp has close to 90 Ni-Cu-PGE deposits, including 14 currently operating mines, over 50 past producers, and several advanced prospects.
The Sudbury Basin is the richest mining district in North America and among the top ten most important globally.
Sudbury accounts for about half the mining activity in Ontario, Canada’s largest mineral producing province. The value of Ontario’s mining sector is about $10 billion annually (2007 figures).