The Ontario advantage

Ontario’s rich mineral resources make us a global leader in mining and exploration. Our mining industry is a major economic engine that supports local economies in every corner of the province. Mineral production in Ontario supports:

  • 28,000 direct jobs
  • 47,000 indirect jobs associated with mineral processing and mining supply and services

We understand the changing perspective of the investment community, including meeting our environmental, sustainable and governance (ESG) objectives. We are committed to creating a safe and profitable investment climate that helps investors meet their ESG goals.

Ontario’s investment targets - progress to date

Our minerals sector continues to grow. In 2020, there were $2.1 billion in capital investments into Ontario’s mining sector, compared to the baseline low of $1.877 billion over the last five years. This shows progress toward the 2023 target of $2.5 billion.

Investments in mineral exploration, development, and mining in Ontario increased in 2021. Ontario’s share of the Canadian market share of exploration expenditures increased to 27.2%. This is above the baseline low of 24.2% over the last five years and the 2024 target value of 26.5%.

Mineral activities

  • High level information on the exploration activities in Ontario such total exploration spending highlights, spending by mineral type and mining lands activity.
  • High level information on the production activities in Ontario such as total production value highlights, production details of select minerals and capital market facts.

Minerals and geoscience

Ontario is a leader in innovative geoscience information. If you explore in Ontario, you’ll have access to a wide range of free, online information. Our online resources include publications, maps, drill hole data and more.

GeologyOntario

GeologyOntario is an online database of our publicly available digital data. You can download the data or search using an attribute-based search.

OGSEarth

OGSEarth has geoscience data that can be viewed with user-friendly geographic information programs like Google Earth.

Map of Ontario geology

Ontario is home to a diverse geology with vast regions of high mineral potential waiting to be explored.

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Geological map of Ontario. Resident geologist districts are outlined in purple. There are nine districts including: Southern Ontario, Sudbury, Kirkland Lake, Sault Ste. Marie, Timmins, Thunder Bay South, Thunder Bay North, Kenora and Red Lake.

Commodities

Learn more about our commodities.

Critical minerals

Several critical minerals are produced in Ontario, including:

  • nickel
  • copper
  • zinc
  • platinum group elements
  • cobalt
  • selenium
  • tellurium
  • indium

Other critical minerals were produced in the past, have exploration or development potential, such as:

  • barite
  • chromite
  • fluorspar
  • graphite
  • lithium
  • magnesium
  • niobium
  • phosphate
  • uranium

Ontario’s varied geology provides numerous critical mineral exploration opportunities.

We are developing our first ever Critical Minerals Strategy to help drive investment, reduce red tape and create jobs, while maintaining public health and safety and respecting the environment.

Indigenous partnerships

We collaborate on resource development projects to help advance reconciliation and encourage Indigenous communities, industry and other partners to work together towards a shared understanding of local projects.

Read our:

We offer initiatives that support skills training, capacity-building and improved economic development opportunities, such as:

Claim registration

You can register a mining claim online 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We register and manage mining lands through the online Mining Lands Administration System (MLAS).

To access MLAS, you must first hold a valid prospector’s licence and create an account.

With MLAS you can:

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    view active unpatented mining claims

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    register a new mining claim

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    manage your mining claims

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    buy or renew your prospector’s licence

    Mining supply and services

    Hundreds of Ontario companies supply Ontario’s mining industry. Many Ontario companies have successfully grown into competitive global suppliers of leading-edge technologies.

    These suppliers:

    • meet the high-quality standards set by the Ontario mining industry
    • provide excellent services to clients worldwide
    • service markets across Canada, the United States and throughout the world

    Mining companies operating in Ontario

    Some of the world’s largest mining companies operate in Ontario. Ontario produces approximately:

    • two-fifths of Canada’s nickel and gold production
    • one-quarter of Canada’s copper production
    • three-quarters of Canada’s platinum group metals production

    These companies benefit from a range of provincial support programs, including programs to help manage the energy costs associated with mineral production and processing.

    Tax incentives and business supports

    Through tax incentives and targeted business supports, we help companies across all phases of the mining sequence leverage opportunities to invest in and promote their mineral and mining projects.

    Northern Energy Advantage Program (NEAP)

    The expanded NEAP helps Northern Ontario’s largest industrial electricity consumers better manage electricity costs and create and sustain jobs in Northern Ontario to maintain global competitiveness.

    Ontario Junior Exploration Program

    Ontario Junior Exploration Program (OJEP) helps junior mining companies finance early exploration projects. These projects help boost mineral exploration, growth and job creation in the province.

    Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation

    Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) provides financial assistance to projects big and small, rural and urban, that stimulate recovery, growth, job creation and skills development.

    Flow through share tax credit

    Flow through share tax credit provides eligible individual shareholders with a refundable tax credit of 5% of eligible Ontario expenses.

    Mining tax exemption

    We offer mining tax exemptions for new mines and for major expansions on existing, non-remote mines.

    Our team is always available to help foreign companies understand investment and development opportunities in Ontario’s mining sector. Email us at invest.north@ontario.ca to explore the possibilities.

    Upcoming events

    We participate in global mining conferences throughout the year. Check back often for updates on where you can find us.

    Timmins Canadian Mining Expo (CME) June 8-9, 2022

    Timmins CME connects the mining and exploration industry, investors, equipment manufacturers, supply and services companies and others focusing on Northeastern Ontario.

    Ministry staff will be attending the Timmins CME.

    Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) Conference — June 13-15 and online June 28-29, 2022

    PDAC is the world’s premier technical mineral exploration and mining convention. It attracts over 25,000 participants from more than 135 countries.

    Ministry staff will be attending the PDAC 2022 in-person conference from June 13-15. Come visit the Ontario pavilion (Booth #637).

    Ontario’s virtual exhibit booth

    We will be available online during the virtual convention on Thursday, June 28 and Friday, June 29 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST.

    We’re looking forward to meeting you virtually and answering your exploration and investment questions.