The road to recovery for Ontario’s mining sector is paved in gold – by Robert Spence (Mining – May 28, 2015)

Ontario is one of the top mining jurisdictions in the world. In recent years, the jurisdiction has been in a downturn.

The province, which is home to more than 40 operating mines, is the largest producer of gold, nickel, copper and platinum metals in Canada. Ontario’s mineral production is valued at $9.2 billion with more than $4 billion annually invested in research and development (R&D), exploration, construction and equipment.

In a recent article by, industry stakeholders agreed that Ontario is falling behind as a mining jurisdiction. The article spotlights that while the province has shifted its focus to the Ring of Fire, which many believe is moving slower than anticipated, key figures see the government neglecting other parts of the province.

“All we hear about is the Ring of Fire. Let me explain something about the Ring of Fire. It’s not the only thing going on in this province. I’m sick to death of it,” said Gino Chitaroni, president of the Northern Prospectors Association.

“We have a lot of projects out there that could be economic very shortly, but we have to encourage them,” Chitaroni said. “I don’t see it happening.”

To learn how Ontario is challenging the situation, we interviewed Michael Gravelle, Ontario Minister of Northern Development and Mines to discuss how Ontario is working to improve its current situation and reestablish itself as the powerhouse mining jurisdiction we all know.

Fall from grace

According to the Fraser Institute Annual Survey of Mining Companies: 2014, Ontario ranked #23 internationally for investment attractiveness, falling nine spots from last year. The province ranked #9 among the top 10 attractive mining jurisdictions in Canada despite being one of Canada’s geographically larger jurisdictions.

The survey, which was comprised of 122 jurisdictions worldwide, included comments such as:

“Revision of the Mining Act to include near-veto powers against exploration of First Nation traditional land use areas contrary to treaty assurances.”

“Provincial regulations different from federal regulations. Government entities not addressing First Nations consultation issues.”

“Lack of transparency, extreme conflict over land use with First Nations groups, high costs of permitting and new poorly organized regulations.”

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