Ontario Junior Exploration Program offers exploration funding for junior miners
There’s a looming global crunch for high-tech metals to feed the electric vehicle industry and not enough mines currently in production to meet that increasing demand.
To incentivize more exploration in Ontario, the provincial government announced in Sault Ste. Marie that it has invested $5.8 million to help a handful of exploration companies hunt for critical metals like nickel, copper, cobalt and lithium. The funding will be delivered through the Ontario Junior Exploration Program (OJEP) as part of a special critical minerals stream, launched in 2021.
The government said in a news release over a four-year period it is allocating $12 million specifically for critical mineral exploration. These minerals are used for batteries in electronic vehicles and in everyday digital technologies like cell phones.
The province said since 2021, 32 companies on the critical minerals trail have pocketed funding with the companies themselves investing an additional $12.8 million in their exploration projects.