The Daily Press is the city of Timmins broadsheet newspaper.
TIMMINS – A Northern geologist who represents one of the key players in the Ring Of Fire mining project, says Ontario needs a friendlier investment climate to reboot the mining exploration industry.
Without continued exploration and the discovery of new mineral deposits, the mining industry in Ontario will eventually fail according to Moe Lavigne who spoke at the opening of The Big Event on Wednesday.
Lavigne, a Timmins native, is the vice-president of exploration and development for KWG Resources Inc. which has a large stake in the Ring Of Fire.
Lavigne is taking part in an exploration forum at The Big Event and said Wednesday he was pleased to be part of the Timmins mining show, but somewhat disappointed that there were fewer exploration companies on site, compared to past years.
“Exploration or grass roots exploration in Ontario has come to a grinding halt,” Lavigne told the audience.
He said there are only a handful of companies that are able to carry out significant exploration, such as Lake Shore Gold of Timmins, because they’re self-financing and sustainable.
“Junior mining companies raise their money on the stock market. Investors no longer feel confident that if we discover a deposit of gold that we will have the opportunity to mine it. If they’re not confident, they’re not going to invest.”
He said he is running into more and more colleagues in mining exploration whose companies are failing.
“If you talk to the few people who represent the exploration industry here, they can no longer raise money on the stock market to support their drilling.”
He added that even some smaller companies with prospects in the Ring Of Fire are not able to raise enough financing to keep working.
Lavigne said the problem in Ontario is that the political and financial climate is such that investors don’t have faith in the return on investment.
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