What Natural Resources Does New Brunswick Have in Abundance?

what natural resources does New Brunswick have in abundance

New Brunswick may not be an overly populated province in Canada, but it sure is rich in natural resources! Well known for its picturesque Atlantic coastline, nutrient-dense soil and abundance of forested land, natural resources in New Brunswick play an oversized role in providing Canadians with an abundance of economic opportunities.  

Exporting billions of dollars of seafood every year, the sector is critically important for the overall wealth and prosperity of New Brunswickers. However, there is a lot more to this Atlantic Canadian province than just fish and lobster! 

Here are more fun facts on what natural resources are found in New Brunswick. Also see:

Fisheries & Aquaculture in New Brunswick 

New Brunswick natural resource facts - NB is home to more than 11,200 people who are employed by fishing-related jobs in 2020

New Brunswick has a thriving fishing and aquaculture industry that plays a significant role in its economy. With access to abundant marine resources, New Brunswickers produce a wide range of seafood products and export those goods to countries around the world. 

In recent years, the industry has steadily grown and continues to provide employment opportunities for thousands of people. 

Quick Facts 

> New Brunswick exported more than $2.2 billion in seafood products to more than 70 countries in 2021 [1] 

> Aquaculture farmers in New Brunswick brought in 27,423 tonnes of salmon in 2021 [2] 

> New Brunswick’s aquaculture industry produced 2,436 tonnes of oysters in 2021, accounting for 32% of the total value of Canada's oyster industry [2] 

> 11,229 people were employed through fishing-related jobs across New Brunswick in 2020 [3] 

> New Brunswick had $1.2 billion in lobster sales in 2021, making the crustacean the province’s top seafood export [1] 

Energy in New Brunswick

Blaine Higgs says New Brunswick LNG could help Europe with energy

Energy is a crucial part of the economy in New Brunswick. With a range of energy sources at its disposal, the province is able to meet the energy needs of its residents and businesses, as well as export surplus electricity to other nearby regions. In recent years, New Brunswick has focussed specifically on the development and deployment of renewable energy sources.

New Brunswick is also home to Canada’s largest oil refinery. With a production capacity of more than 300,000 barrels of oil per day, the facility sends most of its refined products to the United States, although nearby Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador often account for some of that share as well. 

Quick Facts

> The Saint John-based Irving Oil Refinery boasts a production capacity of 320,000 barrels per day, the largest of its kind in Canada [4]

> New Brunswick produced an average of 5.4 million cubic feet of natural gas per day in 2020 [4]

> New Brunswick’s electricity production is mostly from non-emission sources, including 38% nuclear, 30% fossil fuels, 22% hydro, and 10% from wind and biomass in 2019 [4]

> NB Power operates a diverse portfolio of energy infrastructure including 13 hydro, coal, oil, and diesel-powered stations, as well as the Point Lepreau Nuclear Generating Station, with a combined capacity of 3,835 MW [4]

> Over the years, the contribution from wind power to the province's total energy generation has grown from 0% in 2005 to nearly 7% in 2019 [4]

Mining in New Brunswick

New Brunswick natural resource facts - New Brunswick is home to more than 1,800 farms across the p - Copy

New Brunswick has a rich history of mineral extraction with several important minerals mined in the region. With growing global demand for these critical materials, the mining industry continues to be an important source of economic activity in the province.

The sector supports a large number of jobs and makes a significant contribution to the provincial economy every year - one that is growing as time passes, and more projects are developed.

Quick Facts

>The most recent data for mining employment shows that there were 6,180 people directly and indirectly employed by New Brunswick’s mining sector as of 2017 [8]

> The Caribou Zinc-Lead-Silver Mine, owned by Trevali Mining, is an underground mine which produced an estimated 18,600 tonnes of zinc in 2021 [5]

> Between 2020-2021, the value of mineral production in New Brunswick grew from $182 million to $274 million [6]

> As of 2021, New Brunswick produces mainly gold, gypsum, lead, manganese, peat, and zinc [7]

Forestry in New Brunswick

New Brunswick natural resource facts - New Brunswick is home to more than 23,800 who work in forestry sector

Forestry is another important part of New Brunswick’s economy, putting food on the table for tens of thousands of Canadian families. The province is home to vast forests that are managed sustainably, ensuring that these valuable resources can be used for generations to come. 

In addition to domestic use, a significant portion of the province's forest products are exported to other countries, further boosting the local economy. 

Quick Facts

> New Brunswick’s forestry sector supported 23,800 direct, indirect, and induced jobs as of 2021 [9]

> Forestry in New Brunswick contributes $1.8 billion to the provincial gross domestic product (GDP) annually [9]

> In addition to domestic supply, 80% New Brunswick’s forestry products are exported to the United States. Other export markets include India, China, South and Central America, and the European Union [9]

> Over 4,245,580 hectares of New Brunswick forests are third-party certified as sustainably managed, one of the highest rates in the world [10]

> 1.4% of New Brunswick forests are harvested each year, 100% of which will be regrown through sustainable forest management [10]

Agriculture in New Brunswick

New Brunswick natural resource facts - New Brunswick exported over 2.2 billion dollars of seafood  - Copy

Agriculture is another integral part of the economy in New Brunswick - and has been for generations - with the province being home to a large number of farms that produce a wide range of crops and livestock. 

With an ideal climate and fertile soil, the agriculture sector has been able to thrive and make a significant contribution to the provincial economy. 

Quick Facts 

> New Brunswick was home to 1,851 farms as of 2021 [11] 

> The proportion of farms in New Brunswick by farm type in 2021 was: [11] 

• Beef and feedlots - 18.6%
• Fruit and tree nut farming - 17.2%
• Vegetable and melon farming - 10.2%
• Dairy and milk production - 8.8%
• Other animal production - 7.5%
• Greenhouse, nursery and floriculture production - 7.2%
• Poultry and egg production - 2.9%
• Oilseed and grain farming - 2.3%
• Sheep and goat farming - 1.8%
• Hog and pig farming - 0.5%
• Other crop farming - 23.0%

> In 2020, farms in New Brunswick reported $734.2 million in total annual farm revenues [11]

> A total of 8.8% of all farms in New Brunswick reported utilizing renewables for energy production in 2021 [11]

> In 2021, New Brunswick reported the second most maple taps in the country, with 3.5 million [11]

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1 - Government of New Brunswick - Seafood Exports Reach All-Time High. Date accessed: February 2023 (https://www2.gnb.ca/content/gnb/en/departments/10/news/news_release.2022.03.0126.html)

2 - Government of Canada - Aquaculture Production and Value. Date accessed: February 2023 (https://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/stats/aqua/aqua21-eng.htm)

3 - Government of Canada - Employment. Date accessed: February 2023 (https://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/stats/cfs-spc/tab/cfs-spc-tab2-eng.htm)

4 - CER - Provincial and Territorial Energy Profiles – New Brunswick. Date accessed: February 2023 (https://www.cer-rec.gc.ca/en/data-analysis/energy-markets/provincial-territorial-energy-profiles/provincial-territorial-energy-profiles-new-brunswick.html?=undefined&wbdisable=true#:~:text=The%20Irving%20Oil%20Refinery%20in,the%20U.S.%20and%20neighbouring%20provinces)

5 - Mining Technology - Five largest zinc mines in Canada in 2021. Date accessed: February 2023 (https://www.mining-technology.com/marketdata/five-largest-zinc-mines-canada-2021/#:~:text=The%20Caribou%20Zinc%2DLead%2DSilver,mine%20will%20operate%20until%202024)

6 - NRCAN - Canadian Mineral Production. Date accessed: February 2023 (https://www.nrcan.gc.ca/science-data/science-research/earth-sciences/earth-sciences-resources/earth-sciences-federal-programs/canadian-mineral-production/17722)

7 - Invest Canada - Spotlight on Mining: Opportunities in Canada’s Minerals and Metals Sector. Date accessed: February 2023 (https://www.investcanada.ca/sites/default/files/pitchbooks/files/SpotlightOnMiningCanada_EN.pdf)

8 - NRCAN - Minerals Sector Employment. Date accessed: February 2023 (https://www.nrcan.gc.ca/science-data/science-research/earth-sciences/earth-sciences-resources/earth-sciences-federal-programs/minerals-sector-employment/16739)

9 - Government of New Brunswick - New Brunswick Forest Industry. Date accessed: February 2023 (https://www2.gnb.ca/content/gnb/en/departments/erd/forestry-conservation/content/forest-products/forest-industry.html#:~:text=The%20New%20Brunswick%20forest%20industry,of%20approximately%20%241.8%20billion%20annually)

10 - Forest NB - Sustainability. Date accessed: February 2023 (https://www.forestnb.com/sustainability/)

11 - Statistics Canada  - New Brunswick leads Atlantic Canada in maple taps and lowbush blueberries.Date accessed: February 2023 (https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/96-325-x/2021001/article/00004-eng.htm)


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