Ontario Invests in Mineral Exploration Projects to Strengthen EV Supply Chain

The Ontario government is investing close to $9 million to help junior mining companies finance early exploration projects to find critical minerals used in electric vehicles, smart phones, laptops, medical equipment and renewable energy. The funding is being delivered through the Ontario Junior Exploration Program(OJEP), which helps boost growth and job creation in the province, particularly in northern and Indigenous communities.

“The Ontario Junior Exploration Program is part of our government’s strategic plan to secure the critical minerals needed for the made-in-Ontario supply chain that will change our world and reshape our economy,” said George Pirie, Minister of Mines. “Through our government’s investments in exploration, we are supporting the most critical part of the supply chain and strengthening our mining industry so we can capitalize on this generational opportunity to fuel the future. Our plan, backed by strategic investments like this one, will help drive economic development, secure domestic supply chains and create jobs across the province, especially in northern and Indigenous communities.”

Launched in 2021, OJEP helps junior mining companies cover eligible costs for critical and precious mineral exploration and development. Through its third intake, OJEP has committed $8.9 million in funding to 54 projects – 37 of them exploring for critical minerals – leveraging approximately $21 million in additional investment from industry. Ontario has committed a total of $35 million over four years to the program.

Projects receiving OJEP funding under the third intake include:

  • $200,000 to EV Nickel to complete a drill program to test for nickel, copper and platinum group metals (PGM) deposits.
  • $200,000 to E2Gold to complete soil, bedrock and channel sampling, followed by a drill program to test for gold deposits.
  • $200,000 to Noble Minerals to complete geophysical surveys and a drill program to detect sulphide-bearing rocks that might host critical elements such as zinc, copper, gold, silver, cobalt, selenium and tellurium.
  • $200,000 to Rockridge Resources Inc. to complete a drill program to test for critical minerals such as lithium, nickel and copper and other precious minerals such as gold.
  • $77,405 to Mink Ventures Corporation to complete a drilling program and helicopter testing to identify nickel, copper and cobalt deposits.

In 2022, Ontario was first in Canada for mineral exploration expenditures totalling $989 million – accounting for almost a quarter of all mineral exploration expenditures in the country.

As part of the province’s OJEP investment to date, a $12 million funding stream is dedicated exclusively to critical minerals. This stream will support the discovery and development of critical minerals that will help build an integrated supply chain for electric vehicles – connecting producers in the North with Ontario’s world-class manufacturing sector the in the south.

Ontario Government