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Ontario Providing Mineral Exploration Assistance and Training

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Ontario Providing Mineral Exploration Assistance and Training

Province Supporting Jobs and Growth in Mineral Sector

Ontario is supporting mineral exploration work by junior exploration companies and providing training opportunities for new and potential prospectors.

The province is partnering with the Ontario Prospectors Association and announced a $5 million investment, through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC), to support the delivery of the Junior Exploration Assistance Program in the spring.

Following the program's first round of applications the Ontario Prospectors Association has committed to support 32 exploration projects across Northern Ontario. A second round of applications will be accepted from May 30 to August 30, 2016.

The Junior Exploration Assistance Program is delivering on the province's Mineral Development Strategy by providing financial support to increase mineral exploration in Northern Ontario. The program also provides incentives for mineral exploration companies to actively engage Indigenous skills training or capacity building.

Later this summer, the province and the Ontario Prospectors Association will also deliver the Prospecting Training Program, a five-day course, open to members of the public interested in becoming prospectors. Further training courses will also be delivered in 11 Indigenous communities across the province.

Investing in mineral exploration in Northern Ontario is part of the government's economic plan to build Ontario up and deliver on its number-one priority to grow the economy and create jobs. The four-part plan includes investing in talent and skills, including helping more people get and create the jobs of the future by expanding access to high-quality college and university education. The plan is making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario's history and investing in a low-carbon economy driven by innovative, high-growth, export-oriented businesses. The plan is also helping working Ontarians achieve a more secure retirement.

Quick Facts

  • The Junior Exploration Assistance Program and Prospecting Training Program support Ontario’s Mineral Development Strategy, a 10-year vision to position the province as the global leader in sustainable mineral exploration and development.
  • The Mineral Development Strategy is a commitment of the Growth Plan for Northern Ontario, which is driving a globally competitive economy, supporting people and communities, renewing and expanding modern infrastructure and supporting a healthy environment.
  • Ontario led Canada in mining exploration spending last year with over $390 million in expenditures, nearly one-quarter of the country’s total.
  • Ontario’s value of mineral production reached $10.8 billion last year.
  • Ontario accounts for approximately 25 per cent of mining jobs in Canada.
  • Mining is the largest private employer of Indigenous peoples in Ontario.

Background Information

Additional Resources


“Our government is ensuring Ontario remains a global leader in mining to allow the mineral sector to continue to provide significant social and economic contributions to the province. Our partnerships with the Ontario Prospectors Association will help us reach this goal by stimulating mineral exploration in Ontario.”

Michael Gravelle

Minister of Northern Development and Mines

“The Ontario Prospectors Association welcomes the government's investment to support junior exploration companies. Junior exploration companies will use this support to help them move their projects to the next level in development.”

Garry Clark

Executive Director, Ontario Prospectors Association

“Wallbridge Mining is very pleased to have been accepted as a successful applicant for the Junior Exploration Assistance Program for our exploration projects in Sudbury. Ontario is a great place to invest in mineral exploration and these incentives will help as we work to find the next generation of mines.”

Marz Kord

President and CEO, Wallbridge Mining Co. Ltd.

“At a time when most junior explorers are struggling in a significant industry downturn, Transition Metals Corp commends the Ontario Government in taking action to support exploration in the province through its Junior Explorer Assistance Program. Ontario continues to be an excellent place to discover economic deposits and the government’s investing in a strong mining future in province”

Scott McLean

President and CEO, Transitions Metal Corp.

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