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Ontario Prospectors Association Award Winner

Release from the Community Economic Development Commission

November 27, 2012 - We are pleased to honour John Mason for his devotion to prospecting, juniors companies and Northern Ontario. He has been responsible for getting prospectors engaged, stimulating the economy of numerous northern towns and promoting Ontario as a place to explore.

The Ontario Prospectors Association Award is given to individuals who have made significant contributions to the mineral exploration sector in Ontario.

“It was a tremendous honour to be recognized by my peers,” said John Mason. “Thank you to the OPA for the acknowledgement.”

John started with the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines (MNDM) in the 1970’s where he progressed through the Resident Geologist program to become the Resident Geologist for the Beardmore- Geraldton area for a number of years. John became known for his excellent advice to prospectors and junior companies which resulted in numerous options and new gold discoveries.  His progression continued to become Manager of the Resident Geologist Program for Northwestern Ontario.

While the Resident Geologist, along with colleague Bernie Schnieders, John became a promoter of Ontario as a location for exploration.  John attended many conferences to spread the word. At these events he continued to introduce prospectors and junior explorers.

In the 1988 when the Mining Act was being “Modernized” John lead the assessment changes that moved us to a dollar based system. John was once again able to provide his wisdom and direction when the Government decided to update the Mining Act again in 2009.

John retired in the Fall of 2011 from MNDM and commenced work as Project Manager, Mining Services for the Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission (CEDC), to lead the development of a Mining Readiness Strategy.

The City of Thunder Bay, together with Fort William First Nation (FWFN) and CEDC are undertaking the Mining Readiness Strategy to address and strategically plan for economic growth in Thunder Bay and the region.  

The Mining Readiness Strategy will address issues related to: transportation and infrastructure needs; industrial energy; workforce training and development; business development; housing and community services; research and development; capital investment and financing; intergovernmental relations; and communications.

Research demonstrates that the discovery and development of mineral resources in the “Ring of Fire” and beyond will create mining opportunities that will have a direct impact in shaping the region’s exciting economic outlook. Currently Thunder Bay hosts 29 exploration company offices, and over 130 service and supply companies in exploration/mining. Anticipated growth in mining will place unique pressures on Thunder Bay and communities in Northwestern Ontario.

The Strategy is in its early stages of development, and is scheduled to be completed by January 2013. Implementation of the Strategy is anticipated to be completed by the end of 2015.

CEDC is responsible for business development, retention and expansion, entrepreneurial support, opportunity promotion, and collection and assessment of key business data. Incorporated in December 2006, CEDC is an arms-length Community Development Corporation, led by an independent Board with core funding from the City of Thunder Bay. Located within CEDC's administrative office, the Thunder Bay and District Entrepreneur Centre provides seminars, workshops and free and confidential business counselling services to new and existing small businesses.



John Mason
Project Manager, Mining Services
Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission (CEDC)
Phone: 807-625-2480