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Ontario Investing in the Critical Minerals Supply Chain

Funding for junior mining companies creating jobs in the north

THUNDER BAY – The Ontario government is investing over $4 million to help junior mining companies find the mines that will fuel the electric vehicle revolution. Funding through the Ontario Junior Exploration Program(OJEP) is part of the province’s Critical Minerals Strategy to drive long-term economic growth by creating jobs and prosperity, especially in northern and Indigenous communities.

“I am thrilled to be in Thunder Bay at the Ontario Prospectors Exploration Showcase to announce the successful OJEP recipients because it means the drills are turning and we are searching for new mines,” said George Pirie, Minister of Mines. “Our government recognizes that Thunder Bay is quickly becoming a hub for lithium, which is essential for the growing supply chain for electric vehicles in Ontario. The projects we are celebrating today are creating jobs in the region and in other mining towns across the north.”

In 2023, Ontario was the top destination for mineral exploration investment in Canada totalling $952 million. This is the second year in a row that Ontario has led the country in mineral exploration investment. The Ontario Junior Exploration Program continues to encourage private sector investment throughout the province that will secure the minerals needed for new technologies including electric vehicles.

Projects receiving OJEP funding under the fourth intake include:

  • $200,000 to New Break Resources Ltd. to conduct surveys and drilling, targeting gold and base metals mineralization.
  • $200,000 to Tyko Resources Inc. to conduct surveys and drilling targeting nickel, copper and platinum-group elements.
  • $198,047 to Copper Lake Resources Ltd. to complete surveys and drilling targeting copper and zinc.
  • $107,823 to Fladgate Exploration Consulting Corp. to conduct surveys targeting nickel, copper and cobalt.
  • $81,554 to Solstice Gold Corp. to conduct surveys targeting lithium.

Launched in 2021, OJEP helps junior mining companies cover eligible costs for critical and precious mineral exploration and development. Through its fourth intake, OJEP has committed $4.4 million to fund 35 projects – 24 of them exploring for critical minerals– leveraging approximately $10 million in additional investment from industry.

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