Exploration and Mining

Canada is one of the top global destinations for exploration, and mining and Thunder Bay is the gateway to Northwestern Ontario and all of its resource potential.  Northwestern Ontario is a strong contributor to Canada's gold mining industry, producing 19% of Canada's gold in 2018 (1.05 million ounces)! With 4 new gold mines being developed in the next 5 years, that percentage will grow. It is forecast that Northwestern Ontario will produce 1.6 million ounces of gold by 2023


The region produces 237,000 ounces of palladium at the North American Palladium owned Lac des Iles Mine (mainly for clean air applications in autocatalysts).  In addition a number of major exploration projects are advancing for a variety of commodities, including gold, lithium, cobalt, zinc, copper, chromite and graphite.

In the Ring of Fire, mineral exploration is led by Noront Resources in the McFauld's Lake area (north of the chromite deposits). Noront drill intersected zinc mineralization of ore grade and thickness.

Map of Ring of Fire

Marten Falls First Nation has hired AECOM to conduct technical studies feeding an environmental assessment process  for a future all season road from Greenstone to Marten Fall FN. In the future, the all-season road to the community also has the potential to be extended to the Ring of Fire so that Marten Falls First Nation, and other surrounding communities, can participate in and benefit from natural resources development.

In addition, Webequie First Nation has engaged consultants to start the process of road planning for a Webequie to Ring of Fire deposits road.

The mineral resource in the Ring of Fire exceeds 300 million tonnes of ore grade chromite. Chromite is typically smelted to ferrochrome, a key ingredient in stainless steel production.

Mineral Exploration Summary (Ontario 2018):

Mining Infographic

Mineral Extraction in Ontario

Supply Chain

Forklift operatorThunder Bay's strategic location and transportation network make it a prime location to support mining in Northwestern Ontario. Thunder Bay is serviced by road, rail, air, and sea transportation enabling easy access for people and good to move in and out of the region. Thunder Bay also features over 400 businesses that support the mining industry. Business categories include:

  • Assay Firms

  • Camp management / camp supplies

  • Consulting

  • Drillers / Drill Suppliers

  • Electrical Contractors

  • Engineering

  • Equipment Rentals

  • Exploration / Mining Companies

  • Industrial Suppliers

  • Machine Shop Fabricators

  • Medical

  • Meetings and Conventions

  • Mining Services

  • Mining Supplies

  • Office Equipment and Supply

  • Plumbing

  • Storage

  • Towing

  • Trailers, ATV's, Marine, Snow Machines

  • Transportation - Air

  • Transportation - Ground

Globally Recognized Mining & Mining Supply Companies in Thunder Bay

Barrick logo

Valmet Forward logo

Haveman Brothers logo


Taranis Contracting Group logo

Manroc logo

Premier Gold Mines Ltd logo

Goldcorp logo

Venshore Mechanical Logo

For additional information please contact the Project Manager, Mining Services Sector at (807) 625-2480 or visit our Contact Us page.


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