The large impact crater filled with magma containing nickel, copper, platinum, palladium, gold, and other metals. In 1856 while surveying a baseline westward from Lake Nipissing, provincial land surveyor Albert Salter located magnetic anormalities in the area that were strongly suggestive of mineral deposits. The area was then examined by Alexander Murray of the Geological Survey of Canada, who confirmed "the presence of an immense mass of magnetic trap".
Due to the then-remoteness of the Sudbury area, Salter's discovery did not have much immediate impact. The later construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway through the area, however, made mineral exploration more feasible. The development of a mining settlement occurred in 1883 after blasting connected to the railway construction revealed a large concentration of nickel and copper ore at the Murray Mine site.
As a result of these metal deposits, the Sudbury area is one of the world's major mining communities. The region is one of the world's largest suppliers of nickel and copper ores. Most of these mineral deposits are found on the outer rim of the basin.
Due to the high mineral content of its soil, the floor of the basin is among the best agricultural land in Northern Ontario, with numerous vegetable, berry, and dairy farms located in the valley. Due to its northern latitude, it is not as fertile as agricultural lands in the southern portion of the province. Accordingly, the region primarily supplies products for consumption within Northern Ontario, and is not a major food exporter.
An Ontario Historical Plaque was erected by the province to commemorate the discovery of the Sudbury Basin.See also: Economic geology
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