Nickel Quest a reality: A Virtual Underground Mine Tour


This article was provided by the Ontario Mining Association (OMA), an organization that was established in 1920 to represent the mining industry of the province.

The “Nickel Quest” educational resource, was originally launched in June 2007, to complement aspects of the grade seven to grade nine curriculum.

The project was launched with the idea that it isn’t possible to provide all Ontario students with the educational experience of touring an underground mine. The Ontario Mining Association (OMA) took the route of using technology to create a virtual mine tour and take the underground mine experience to the classroom.

The development of Nickel Quest was led by the OMA Virtual Mine Tour Advisory Panel. This group, had representation from the mining industry, education and government, and worked together to produce an educational — and entertaining — resource that will help provide the link for students from mining activity to the products they use everyday and show why mining is important to all.

The video was produced by eSolutions Group, based in Waterloo, Ont. Subsequent to the launch of the virtual mine tour, people could download the video from the OMA website by visiting

The Nickel Institute had assisted the OMA with this project technically and financially and is planning to distribute Nickel Quest to its international audience.

Mining in Ontario is a nearly $11-billion (2011) annual business, with nickel being the province’s most important mined base metal. About half of Ontario’s total mining activity takes place in the Sudbury basin, and more than 85% of the mining workforce uses advanced technology.

Within the next 10 years, it is anticipated that the Canadian mining sector will be looking for 80,000 skilled individuals to hire. In a small way, the OMA hopes Nickel Quest will inform students about the hundreds of career possibilities the industry offers.