Northern prospectors look to boost their visibility- by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – February 7, 2020)

Tough times in grassroots exploration prompt Ontario Prospectors Association to boost their image as lobby group

Gold and palladium prices are reaching lofty heights but there continue to be troubling signs on the grassroots side of Ontario’s mining industry. Garry Clark, executive director of the Ontario Prospectors Association (OPA), said the mining sequence of discovery and development is faltering right now.

Since the economic crash of 2008, investor interest in early-stage exploration has largely been in the dumper, despite the uptick in value of various mineral commodities. “Grassroots exploration isn’t happening as much as it should,” said Clark.

Part of problem, he said, has been competition for investor attention from other high-risk, high-reward ventures such as Bitcoin, Blockchain and marijuana stocks.

The OPA has been pushing the government for more incentives to stimulate the exploration side of a $10-billion industry and spotlight the province as one of the world’s best mining jurisdictions. The conditions are prompting the OPA to make internal structural changes.

Besides the cosmetic rebranding, the intent to become more of an effective lobby group to better represent its 700 members at Queen’s Park, and be more visible to the general public, who have little idea on what the grassroots stage of the industry actually does. One item under consideration is the appointment of a full-time president and CEO.

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