Strategic Location

Thunder Bay is in a prime strategic location to support mining in Northwestern Ontario. It is surrounded by resource rich areas and has an extensive transportation network enabling the flow of employees and resources. Thunder Bay provides a centre of support for mines currently in production as well as those in stages of exploration.

Mining in Northwestern Ontario map

Click on map above for full image.

Current Producing Mines

Goldcorp logo The Musselwhite mine is extracting gold approximately 500 kilometres north of Thunder Bay. This mine produced 236,000 ounces of gold in 2017 and is estimated to produce 265,000 ounces in 2018.

GOLDCORP Inc. - Musselwhite

Goldcorp logoThe Red Lake Complex is extracting gold north of Thunder Bay. This is a historic mining district and has produced over 30 million ounces of gold since 1949. This mine produced 209,000 ounces of gold in 2017 and is estimated to produce 235,000 ounces in 2018.

Newmont GOLDCORP Inc Red Lake Complex

Nelson Granite logoNelson Granite has been extracting granite for over 100 years. They have six quarries in Northwestern Ontario, two of which (Kenora and Dryden) are close to Thunder Bay. They have more quarries currently in stages of exploration.

Nelson Granite

New Gold logoThe New Gold mine in Rainy River extracts gold 400 kilometres west of Thunder Bay. Operations began in September of 2017 and by the end of the year the mine produced 28,500 ounces of gold. In 2018, the first full year of production, 227,000 ounces of gold were produced.

New Gold Inc

NAP ALLDIUM logoNorth American Palladium has been operating the Lac des Iles mine for 25 years. This mine extracts palladium, which is primarily used in the automotive sector. 237,000 ounces were produced in 2018.



North American Palladium Lac des lles

Barrick logoHemlo has been extracting gold for over 30 years. The Williams mine is located approximately 350 kilometres east of Thunder Bay. This mine produced 196,000 ounces of gold in 2017 and 171,000 ounces of gold in 2018.


Barrick Gold Corp Hemlo

De Beers Group logoVictor Mine is the first diamond mine in Ontario. The mine began production in 2008 and will complete mining activities in 2019 and move towards formal closure.

De Beers Victor Mine

Ring of Fire

The Ring of Fire covers an area of 1,930 square miles. It is home to world class mineral deposits valued at $60 billion. Chromite, nickel, copper, zinc, gold, platinum group metals and vanadium are present. Chromite is a strategic metal recycled to produce stainless steel. Over 300 million tones of chromite ore have been discovered.

Map of Ring of Fire

The Ontario government has committed $1 billion to construct infrastructure essential to sustainable development of this mineral rich region. Environmental assessment and road planning is underway for two sections of road. Thunder Bay is strategically located to support mining service and supply industry businesses develop the Ring of Fire deposits.

Thunder Bay's international airport has a competitive advantage over other regional airports due to the number and frequency of regional, provincial and inter-provincial connections available and the number of charter operations.

The Thunder Bay Port Authority is the largest export port in Northwestern Ontario and has available dry bulk capacity to service the mining industry.
Thunder Bay has a thriving business environment featuring strong communications and transportation networks that enable global connection.

World Class Logistics Network

Arial photo of Thunder Bay

Airport landing strip

Transport truck

Arial photo of Thunder Bay

Thunder Bay has an excellent transportation network, as well as international market access due to its strategic location. Extracted materials can quickly and easily be shipped across the country as well as to destinations around the globe. By using a variety of road, rail, air, and sea transportation, mining businesses can choose the most efficient and cost effective shipping methods.

Transportation infographic


Transport truckThe Trans-Canada Highway is a transcontinental highway system that travels through all ten provinces of Canada between its Atlantic and Pacific coasts. Thunder Bay is very close to the US border at Pigeon River with a 45 minute drive on Highway 61 to the border. Thunder Bay also has direct highway access to international transportation arteries such as ports, rail, and an international airport. With its central location within Canada, trucking is a viable shipping option throughout the country and into the US.

Distances to Major Markets


Airport landing stripThunder Bay International Airport is the 3rd busiest international airport in Ontario, servicing 869,404 passengers in 2018. With planes departing daily, goods can be shipped across the globe. Economic activity related to the Airport is responsible for an estimated $645 million dollars in GDP annually and over 5000 jobs.



Travel times to major centres


Arial photo of portThe Port of Thunder Bay is a major international inland port. With 400 ships coming through annually, an average of over 8 million tonnes of goods are shipped through the port. Keefer Terminal, at the Thunder Bay Port Authority, handles grain, coal, and potash. The port also handles lumber, steel, machinery, bagged goods, and forest products. By using vessels through The Port of Thunder Bay, businesses have a cost effective shipping method for national and international markets.

St Lawrence Seaway Ports


Arial photo of Thunder BayRaw materials can be shipped across the continent through the Canadian Pacific (CP) and Canadian National (CN) Railways, both of which service Thunder Bay. With access to over 20,000 kilometres / 12,427 miles of tracks, Thunder Bay is well connected across Canada and the US. The mainline of Canadian Pacific Railway runs directly through Thunder Bay, providing convenient and cost effective access to markets and suppliers.

Shipping via rail is not only cost effective but can be more environmentally sustainable than other modes of transportation. Both CP and CN offer intermodal shipping, making door-to-door service through connections with rail, trucking and sea ports possible.

Railway Lines from Thunder Bay

Access to Raw Materials

Rock containing goldNorthwestern 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 also produces palladium at the Lac des Iles Mine (mainly for clean air applications in autocatalysts) and has a number of major exploration projects advancing for a variety of commodities including gold, palladium, lithium, cobalt, zinc, copper, chromite, silver and graphite. Toromont CAT provides and services CAT mining equipment in Thunder Bay and the surrounding area.

Arial photo of portNew businesses can also benefit from Thunder Bay being situated along Lake Superior, the cleanest and clearest of the Great Lakes. It stores 10% of the Earth's available fresh water, providing a key resource for industries such as food and beverage manufacturing, deep water cooling, and data centres.

Investment in Transportation

Queens ParkThe Government of Ontario is committed to the development of the mining industry in Northern Ontario, and has released their plan of investment through the "Northern Highways Plan." This is a commitment to invest over $500 million to expand and rehabilitate the highways in Northern Ontario. This will greatly improve land transportation around current and future mines.


Supporting the Mining Industry

Image of large mining equipmentThunder Bay is strategically located and prepared to support mining in Northwestern Ontario. There are over 400 businesses in Thunder Bay that are dedicated to providing service to the 6 operational mines, as well as those that are in advanced exploration stages as they move towards production. These companies are well versed in the technical requirements, and skilled in transporting extracted materials. For more information about these businesses visit the Thunder Bay Mining Directory.


Success Stories: Venshore Mechanical

CNC operator"As the gateway to Ontario's Northwest and close proximity to the US border, Thunder Bay offered a great logistical advantage, so [John Jurick] committed to building a new plant in Thunder Bay to be able to supply Western Canada."

Download the Venshore case study to read more about Venshore Mechanical's success in Thunder Bay over the last 30 years.

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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