The Mineral Sector in Northwestern Ontario; An Economic Driver Led by Gold!

Northwestern Ontario Mines produced approximately 900,000 ounces of gold and 234,000 ounces of palladium in 2017.

New Gold Inc.'s Rainy River Gold Project came into production in late 2017 as Canada's newest gold mine. Production rate will be 325,000 ounces of gold per year.

Harte Gold, Treasury Metals, Greenstone Gold Mines, Goldcorp-Cochenour, Pure Gold Mining Inc. 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, diamonds, palladium, nickel and copper.


Mining in Northwestern Ontario brochure

Exploration/Mining companies are expanding or continuing to move closer to actual production in the region. View the update in the Mining in Northwestern Ontario Brochure

Projects in Northwestern Ontario

View the mines and major mineral exploration projects in Northwestern Ontario map (high resolution - 24MB)

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

View the Goldcorp Commercial from Epica Pictures on Vimeo.

Thunder Bay CEDC mining updates

Subscribe to Thunder Bay CEDC's Mining list to receive updates on news, events, and happenings with Northwestern Ontario's mining sector. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Thunder Bay Mining Readiness Strategy - an integrated regional economic development plan

The City of Thunder Bay, together with Fort William First Nation (FWFN) and the Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission (CEDC) has initiated a Mining Readiness Strategy to address and strategically plan for growth in Thunder Bay and the Northwestern Ontario Region. The Strategy is a major step forward to help guide all of Northwestern Ontario in capitalizing on the many opportunities that mining development is expected to bring to the Region. Visit the Thunder Bay Mining Readiness Strategy website for more information.

Thunder Bay Mining Sector - Goods 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 - Goods & Services Directory

Mines & mineral exploration, Ontario - 2017


Ring of Fire exploration

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

Transportation infrastructure

Thunder Bay is situated on the Trans-Canada Highway, and the Ontario/Minnesota border crossing is less than one hour south of the city. The city has ready access to Canadian National Railway and Canadian Pacific Railway rail lines. Thunder Bay is a one- or two-hour flight from major centres in Canada and the United States. The Port of Thunder Bay on Lake Superior is at the head of an important transportation link through the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway to destinations within Canada, the United States and internationally.

Canadian Pacific Railway Limited (CP)

CP, through the ingenuity of its employees located across Canada and in the United States, remains committed to being the safest, most fluid railway in North America. The employees are the key to delivering innovative transportation solutions to CP customers and to ensuring the safe operation of the trains through the more than 1,100 communities where CP operates. Visit the Canadian Pacific Railway Limited (CP) website for more information.

Canadian National Railway (CN)

CN has the North American market covered. When importing or exporting goods from North America, CN can help capitalize on market opportunities. Their unique rail network gives you access to 75% of the population in the U.S and Canada. What's more, CN's numerous marketing agreements with the other railroads provides more flexibility and access. And with the dockside access to major ports in North America, goods can be shipped to and from Asia, Europe, and South America in record time. Visit the Canadian National Railway (CN) website for more information.

Thunder Bay Port Authority

The Port is located at the head of the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Seaway System, a dynamic navigable waterway that stretches 3700 kilometres into the heart of the North American continent. Both the Port of Thunder Bay and the Seaway System operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, from the end of March through to late-December. However, in recent years, the season has been extended as weather permits. Thunder Bay has port facilities for handling all types of cargo and is served by Canadian National and Canadian Pacific Railways, as well as major Canadian trucking companies. Numerous berths mean quick and efficient turn-around time to the more than 400 ships that visit the port each year. Cargo such as grain, coal, potash, forest products, manufactured goods and dimensional cargo are shipped throughout the world via Thunder Bay's many port facilities. Visit the Thunder Bay Port Authority website for more information.

Thunder Bay International Airport

The Airport operates on a 24-hour, 7-day per week basis. The airport is located on the southwest reaches of the City of Thunder Bay, and is one of 26 National Airport System (NAS) airports in Canada.

The airfield features a significant general aviation component, with a number of on-site corporate, charter, maintenance, training and speciality aviation services companies. Some 100 fixed and rotary-wing aircrafts are based at the airport, although this number rises considerably during the busy summer season, especially in support of those forestry, mining and tourism interests who are based throughout the Northwestern Ontario hinterland. Visit the Thunder Bay International Airport website for more information, including airline companies servicing Thunder Bay and flight arrival and departure information.

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.
 Mining Update
 Fall 2019 - Ontario Prospector article by John Mason

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