Ontario – home to some of the most mineral-rich deposits in the world – boasts a competitive business climate, world-class talent and a track record of innovation. As high-growth sectors and the push towards a green economy drive demand for critical minerals, Ontario is uniquely positioned to become a global supplier of choice.

Whether your company is involved in exploration, financing, or the mining supply and services sector, you’ll discover limitless opportunities in Ontario.

Ontario’s Mining Industry by the Numbers

value of
mineral production
in 2022
spent in 2022
on approximately 300 mineral exploration projects
direct mining jobs,
plus another 47,000 indirect jobs have been created
active mining claims
in good standing
(as of April 30, 2023)
Largest producer
in Canada of
gold, platinum group elements and nickel,
and the 2nd largest producer of copper

Ontario is one of the top mineral producers in Canada and is among the top 10 jurisdictions in the world for mineral exploration spending.

Miners working in front of a mining drill
Miners working in front of a mining drill in Ontario, Canada
  • Over 1,150 mining companies were listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) and Toronto Venture Exchange (TSX-V) in 2022, approximately 40 per cent of the world’s public mining companies.
  • Capital investment in mining in Ontario has increased from $1.3B in 2010 to ~ $4.0B in 2022. The TSX and TSX-V raised $7.6B in new equity capital for mining in 2022.
  • 36% of all global mining equity capital raised in the past five years came from the TSX and TSX-V.

Building the green economy – Ontario’s critical minerals and environmental stewardship

As more countries transition to green economies and governments accelerate the adoption of new technologies and renewable energy, the demand for reliable, sustainable and ethical sources of critical minerals will grow. Ontario’s mining industry produces and processes mineral resources that are the building blocks of everything from computer drives, renewable energy technologies, electric vehicle batteries, medical devices, nanotechnology and much more.

Ontario has established itself as a jurisdiction that promotes social and environmental responsibility, making it attractive for mining companies and investors with a commitment to favourable Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) practices.

Diverse geology offers a wealth of possibilities

Ontario has a long and storied geological past that has shaped the way it appears today. Ontario’s geology provides immense opportunities for explorers to make exciting new mineral discoveries. This is reflected in the wide range of mineral deposits that have been and continue to be significant contributors to the provincial economy.

Ontario is one of the world leading producers of gold, nickel, and platinum group elements. There are 35 active mining operations in Ontario, most of which are located in Northern Ontario.

Of the 35 active mines:

  • Nine are base metal (nickel, copper, zinc) mines
  • Sixteen are gold mines
  • One is a platinum-palladium mine
  • One is an iron mine
  • Eight are major industrial mineral mines/quarries that produce salt, gypsum, nepheline syenite, talc and wollastonite.
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Mines and significant projects

Who’s here

  • Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd.
  • Alamos Gold Inc.
  • Argonaut Gold Inc.
  • Barrick Gold Corp.
  • Equinox Gold Corp.
  • Evolution Mining Ltd.
  • Ferromin Inc.
  • Glencore PLC
  • Gowest Gold Ltd.
  • IAMGOLD Inc.
  • Impala Canada Ltd.
  • KGHM International Ltd.
  • McEwen Mining Inc.
  • New Gold Inc.
  • Newmont Corp.
  • Pan American Silver Corp. – Lake Shore Gold Corp.
  • Silver Lake Resources Ltd.
  • Vale S.A.
  • Wesdome Gold Mines Ltd.

A critical mass of talent

If you are looking for the right people, Ontario offers a deep talent pool for sourcing mining, energy and infrastructure industry personnel, including managerial and technical staff. You will find one of the best mining education clusters in the world to support your company’s growth.

Great talent from great institutions

29 of Ontario’s 23 universities and 24 colleges have world-class mining, earth and environmental sciences as well as engineering programs. Explore the map to see where our programs are located.

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Mining schools

Exploring Ontario’s opportunities

A leader in innovative geoscience information

The Ontario Geological Survey (OGS) collects, distributes and applies geoscience data and information to attract and guide mineral investment and to help inform broad provincial land-use planning decisions related to the environment, ecology, climate change and public health and safety in Ontario.

The Ontario Geological Survey (OGS) is the leading provider of reliable, credible, accessible geoscience data, information and expert knowledge in Ontario. This helps to attract mineral sector investment, guide efficient and effective mineral exploration and inform government policy priorities.

Here are just some examples of OGS products and services available to the mining and mineral exploration sector:

  • Geology Ontario: An online portal housing Ontario Geological Survey publications and maps, drill hole data, assessment files and mineral deposit inventory data.
  • OGSEarth: Provides access to a wide range of geoscience data in a format that can be viewed using user-friendly geographic information programs such as Google Earth.
  • OGS Focus: A free, publicly accessible tool that allows anyone to find historical mineral exploration data from areas available for mineral exploration and claim registration.
  • Resident Geologist Program (RGP): Serves mineral sector clients across the province through a network of eight field offices. Services include collecting and maintaining geological data, conducting property visits, monitoring exploration activity, providing expert geological knowledge and developing recommendations for exploration.

Supporting junior exploration companies

The Federal Mineral Exploration Tax Credit Program provides a 15 per cent tax credit to investors in the flow-through shares of mineral exploration companies working in Canada. Ontario provides an additional permanent Ontario Focused Flow-Through Share five per cent Tax Credit for companies exploring in the province. The program allows tax credits and tax deductions for exploration to “flow through” to investors purchasing the shares. A $1,000 investment in flow-through shares for exploration in Ontario could cost as little as $375 after federal and provincial tax credits and deductions.

The Ontario government recognizes that early exploration is key to making promising geological discoveries that can lead to future mines, including discoveries of critical minerals. Through the Ontario Junior Exploration Program (OJEP), junior mining companies can apply for up to $200,000 in funding per project to cover 50 per cent of eligible costs.

Helping mining companies manage energy costs

The Northern Industrial Electricity Rate (NIER) Program helps Northern Ontario’s largest industrial electricity consumers offset their electricity costs, sustain jobs and maintain competitiveness. The NIER Program provides electricity rebates to qualifying participants as they achieve greater electricity efficiency by committing to the development and implementation of a comprehensive Energy Management Plan.

Ontario has a plan to reduce electricity costs on average for medium and larger industrial commercial employers through a Comprehensive Electricity Plan. On January 1, 2021, the province removed certain costs from industrial electricity bills, resulting in average savings of 14 per cent for qualifying metal ore mining employers.

Fostering Indigenous partnerships

Ontario promotes strong relationships and partnerships between Indigenous communities, industry and government through initiatives like the Aboriginal Participation Fund, which offers opportunities supporting community capacity to participate in mineral exploration and mine development activities. Broad sharing of knowledge and resources, enhanced communications and information-exchange at relationship tables, and collaborative identification of economic opportunities ranging from mining-related activities to initiatives such as resource revenue sharing, all combine to create a progressive environment for Indigenous participation in the mining sector.

Helping to build a cutting-edge mining innovation sector

Ontario actively works to bring industry, different levels of government, academic institutions, researchers and commercialization entities together to build collaboration opportunities and partnerships. The Province has helped build a culture of innovation through targeted initiatives and investments, such as industry roundtables and working groups, marketing and investment attraction supports, and targeted funding in mining innovation, including through new and improved Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) programs. The NOHFC helps build strong and resilient local economies by making targeted investments in northern businesses, community organizations and municipalities.

Cutting red tape in the sector

The Ontario government has taken significant steps to cut red tape, bring clarity to its regulatory framework and improve processes, including:

  • Establishing the Mining Lands Administration System, an easy-to-navigate digital system for proponents to register and manage mining claims
  • Clarifying and streamlining the regulatory process for mining projects requiring multiple permits or approvals from more than one Ontario ministry or the federal government
  • Updating the Mining Act to establish timeline requirements to create business certainty around closure plan amendments.
Agnico Eagle Mines’ strategy is to build regional competitive advantage in premier jurisdictions with proven high geological potential and low political risk such as Ontario. Ontario’s open, collaborative and supportive approach to mining makes it an ideal jurisdiction for continued investment.

Natasha Vaz
EVP, Chief Operating Officer
Ontario, Australia and Mexico Operations
Agnico Eagle