Northwestern Ontario is a World Class Mining Powerhouse!

Northwestern Ontario Mines produced approximately 720,000 ounces of gold and 232,000 ounces of palladium in 2019.

Harte Gold, located in the White River area, declared commercial production on January 8th, 2019, as Canada's newest gold mine.

Greenstone Gold Mines, Pure Gold Mining Inc., Treasury Metals, Rubicon Minerals Corp. and First Mining Gold, all continue to advance major gold projects in the Northwest toward production.

Other major exploration projects that are advancing are led by gold, but also include such commodities as: lithium, graphite, palladium, nickel, zinc, iron and copper.

COVID - 19 NWO Mining Update

Northwestern Ontario hosts 6 producing mines . Current status amid COVID 19 challenges; all mines have strict COVID protocols in place:

  • Newmont-Musselwhite Mine—production scale up is in play(underground materials handling construction being completed, and COVID protocols in place)—full production by September
  • New Gold Inc. –full production
  • Impala Canada-Lac des Iles Mine—full production
  • Barrick Gold-Hemlo Mine-full production (Barminco commenced as new underground mining company)
  • Harte Gold-Sugar Zone Mine—full production as of July 29/20 (transition started from contract mining to Harte owner/operator)
  • Evolution-Red Lake Mine—full production, as well as rationalization of all assets, at Red Lake Mine.
Exploration projects in the Northwest are of mixed status with some temporary closures. Following is a sampling:
  • Premier Gold (March 30) made an offer to partner Centerra Gold Inc.,to acquire the Hardrock (Greenstone Gold) deposit outright for $205 M, Geraldton , ON.
  • Pure Gold continues with constructing the Madsen Mine, Red Lake. Production will commence in Q4. Capital cost is $124.6 M and the mine will employ 340 personnel.
  • Great Bear Gold, with COVID protocols in place continues to explore at the Dixie Lake Gold Project, Red Lake. This is one of Canada’s largest gold exploration projects.
  • Treasury Metals continues with drilling on the Goliath gold deposit, east of Dryden. COVID19 protocols in place.
  • First Mining Gold have temporarily suspended exploration drilling at Springpole Lake and Goldlund, in light of COVID19 considerations.


Employment in Thunder Bay in the Mining and Mineral Exploration sector

Looking for employment in Thunder Bay in the Mining and Mineral Exploration sector?

Mining in Northwestern Ontario

Learn more about Mining in Northwestern Ontario

Ontario Mining Directory 2020

Thunder Bay Mining Sector - Supply and Services Directory

The directory provides access to information on a variety of companies based in the Thunder Bay census metropolitan area (CMA) that supplies goods and services to the sector. The directory provides comprehensive contact information for the companies, interactive maps and is web linked (where available) to corporate websites.

Visit the Thunder Bay - Mining Sector - Supply & Services Directory

Mines & mineral exploration, Ontario - 2020


Ring of Fire exploration

Visit the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines website for the Ontario Mining & Exploration Directory 2016

Government services

Federal, Provincial and Municipal government encourages exploration and development of our natural minerals, which capitalizes on growth opportunities for investors and sustains our mineral industry. 

Government of Ontario

The Ministry of Northern Development, Mines and Forestry (MNDMF)
Northern Ontario makes up about 90 percent of Ontario, and is bigger than most provinces. The Ministry of Northern Development, Mines and Forestry (MNDMF) serves this region and the province's minerals industry. MNDMF delivers provincial government programs and services in Northern Ontario. They also represent northern and mining interests at Queen's Park. Visit the MNDMF website for more information.

The Mines and Minerals Division works to support responsible land use management and mineral resource development by administration of the Mining Act, providing public geoscience information and client services.   

Government of Canada

Natural Resources Canada (NRCan)
The Minerals and Metals Sector (MMS) of Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) is the federal government's main source of minerals- and metals-related economic and scientific knowledge, including statistics, sustainable development, commodities, technological expertise, and policy advice. Visit the NRCan website for more information.

City of Thunder Bay

Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission (CEDC)
CEDC receives formal proposals on projects that will contribute to economic development. It responds quickly to new opportunities and initiatives to attract direct financial involvement from government and private sectors. CEDC's staff will assist your business with attaining essential information for decision making. Visit the CEDC's homepage for more information.

Development Services

There are four Divisions within the Department:

  • Planning
  • Building
  • Licensing, Enforcement & Animal Services
  • Realty Services

While each Division has a specialized area of expertise, cross-functional teams are put in place to manage projects and provide investors and developers with "one-stop shopping". This approach is intended to streamline development approvals to the fullest extent possible by assembling cross-functional teams to facilitate projects under the guidance of a Project Facilitator.

Industry associations and other useful links

The Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM)

CIM is a technical society of professionals in the Canadian minerals, metals, materials and energy industries. The CIM's mission is to provide leadership, quality services, and value to CIM members through technical forums, publications, professional and social networking opportunities, continuing education, and recognition of excellence programs. Visit the CIM website for more information.

The Ontario Mining Association (OMA)

OMA was established in 1920 to represent the mining industry of the province. Their fifty-seven members are engaged in exploring, producing and processing mineral resources in an environmentally responsible manner. The majority of the members are operating mines in Northern Ontario and produce gold, nickel, copper and a variety of other metals and minerals. Visit the OMA website for more information.

The Ontario Prospectors Association (OPA)

The objectives of the Ontario Prospectors Association are to represent and further the interests of the mineral exploration industry and the interests of prospectors. OPA's mission is to enhance and promote the Ontario mineral exploration and development community to foster a healthy mining industry. Visit the OPA website for more information. Regional members of the OPA include the Northwestern Ontario Prospectors Association and Boreal Prospectors Association.

The Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC)

PDAC is a national association representing the interests of the mineral exploration and development industry. The association works to ensure a robust mineral industry in Canada, and encourage the highest standards of technical, environmental, safety and social practices in Canada and internationally. Visit the PDAC website for more information.

Mining Information Kit for Aboriginal Communities

 This information kit explains the purpose of mine development, identifies the main activities and players, and outlines opportunities for Aboriginal communities to get involved during mine development. Visit the Natural Resources Canada website for more information.

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