Northwestern Ontario is a World-Class Mining Powerhouse!

As a regional exploration hub, mining is big business in Thunder Bay. In recent years, new material finds have reinvigorated interest in mining in Northwestern Ontario. Similar in size to France, Northwestern Ontario is a vast land of minerals with gold production growing and expected to reach 1.5 million ounces by 2020. The Lac des Iles mine north of Thunder Bay is the only platinum-palladium mine in Canada, and the Ring of Fire’s $60 billion in mineral deposits presents a once-in-a-century economic opportunity.


Employment in Thunder Bay in the Mining and Mineral Exploration Sector
Mining in Northwestern Ontario

Learn more about Mining in Northwestern Ontario

Government Services

Federal, Provincial and Municipal government encourages exploration and development of our natural minerals, which capitalizes on growth opportunities for investors and sustains our mineral industry.

Government of Ontario
The Ministry of Northern Development, Mines and Forestry (MENDM) Northern Ontario makes up about 90 percent of Ontario, and is bigger than most provinces. The Ministry of Northern Development, Mines and Forestry (MENDM) serves this region and the province’s minerals industry. MENDM delivers provincial government programs and services in Northern Ontario. They also represent northern and mining interests at Queen’s Park. Visit the MENDM website for more information. The Mines and Minerals Division works to support responsible land use management and mineral resource development by administration of the Mining Act, providing public geoscience information and client services.
Government of Canada

Natural Resources Canada (NRCan)

The Minerals and Metals Sector (MMS) of Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) is the federal government’s main source of minerals- and metals-related economic and scientific knowledge, including statistics, sustainable development, commodities, technological expertise, and policy advice. Visit the NRCan website for more information.

City of Thunder Bay

Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission (CEDC)
CEDC receives formal proposals on projects that will contribute to economic development. It responds quickly to new opportunities and initiatives to attract direct financial involvement from government and private sectors. CEDC’s staff will assist your business with attaining essential information for decision making. Visit the CEDC‘s homepage for more information.

Development Services
There are four Divisions within the Department:

  • Planning
  • Building
  • Licensing, Enforcement & Animal Services
  • Realty Services


While each Division has a specialized area of expertise, cross-functional teams are put in place to manage projects and provide investors and developers with “one-stop shopping”. This approach is intended to streamline development approvals to the fullest extent possible by assembling cross-functional teams to facilitate projects under the guidance of a Project Facilitator.

Thunder Bay Mining Sector - Supply and Services Directory

The directory provides access to information on a variety of companies based in the Thunder Bay census metropolitan area (CMA) that supplies goods and services to the sector. The directory provides comprehensive contact information for the companies, interactive maps and is web linked (where available) to corporate websites.

Visit the Thunder Bay – Mining Sector – Supply & Services Directory

Industry Associations and Other Useful Links

The Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM)

CIM is a technical society of professionals in the Canadian minerals, metals, materials and energy industries. The CIM’s mission is to provide leadership, quality services, and value to CIM members through technical forums, publications, professional and social networking opportunities, continuing education, and recognition of excellence programs. Visit the CIM website for more information.

The Ontario Mining Association (OMA)

OMA was established in 1920 to represent the mining industry of the province. Their fifty-seven members are engaged in exploring, producing and processing mineral resources in an environmentally responsible manner. The majority of the members are operating mines in Northern Ontario and produce gold, nickel, copper and a variety of other metals and minerals. Visit the OMA website for more information.

The Ontario Prospectors Association (OPA)

The objectives of the Ontario Prospectors Association are to represent and further the interests of the mineral exploration industry and the interests of prospectors. OPA’s mission is to enhance and promote the Ontario mineral exploration and development community to foster a healthy mining industry. Visit the OPA website for more information. Regional members of the OPA include the Northwestern Ontario Prospectors Association and Boreal Prospectors Association.

The Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC)

PDAC is a national association representing the interests of the mineral exploration and development industry. The association works to ensure a robust mineral industry in Canada, and encourage the highest standards of technical, environmental, safety and social practices in Canada and internationally. Visit the PDAC website for more information.

Mining Information Kit for Aboriginal Communities

This information kit explains the purpose of mine development, identifies the main activities and players, and outlines opportunities for Aboriginal communities to get involved during mine development. Visit the Natural Resources Canada website for more information.

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