The Ontario government has invested $5.8 million to help junior mining companies explore for critical minerals used in manufacturing batteries for electric vehicles, smartphones, pharmaceuticals and advanced manufacturing technologies. This funding is part of the government’s Ontario Junior Exploration Program (OJEP) to help increase and expand mineral exploration, growth and job creation in the province, particularly in northern and Indigenous communities.
“These investments are an important part of our government’s plan to build our economy as we support industry exploration for the critical minerals Ontario is blessed with,” said Premier Doug Ford. “We’re building a supply chain ecosystem, connecting resources and workers in the north to the future of clean steel and electric vehicles, and ensuring the cars of the future can be built in Ontario from start to finish by Ontario workers.”
Ontario is investing a total of $12 million over four years for critical mineral exploration in the OJEP. Since the launch of the program in 2021, 32 mining companies have received funding for exploration of minerals such as nickel, copper, cobalt and lithium. These companies have invested an additional $12.8 million in these projects.
“Early exploration is the first step to finding future mines including critical minerals,” said George Pirie, Minister of Mines. “The Ontario Junior Exploration Program is helping unlock the province’s vast mineral exploration potential and paving the way for unprecedented growth in our mining sector.”
The Ontario Junior Exploration Program has funded the following critical minerals mining projects:
- $200,000 to VR Resources Ltd. to complete a drill program with eight holes
- $200,000 to MacDonald Mines Exploration Ltd. to complete a drill program with eight holes
- $200,000 to Tyko Resources Inc. to complete the Tyko Ni-Cu-PGE drilling program, consisting of nine holes
- $172,000 to BTU Metals Corp. to complete a drill program with three holes
- $150,000 to 5007223 Ontario Inc. to complete a diamond drill program with five holes, line cutting activities and an induced polarization (IP) survey
- $71,857 to Transition Metals Corp. to complete an airborne geophysical survey over an area of 363 kilometres
“Our government will continue to make targeted investments that enhance growth in locally-driven mineral exploration while bolstering supply chains,” said Greg Rickford, Minister of Northern Development. “By supporting early exploration, we are opening the door for economic development across the north that will lead to high quality full-time jobs and stronger communities.”
The province is currently accepting a third round of applications for the Ontario Junior Exploration Program. The deadline to apply is March 16, 2023. Details on the application process are available online.