The prospects for mining are improving. Greg Rickford is the minister responsible for mines in Ontario, and he's just back from a national mining conference in Nunavut.

"I spent some time talking with investors and people, who are in the business of building mines and extraction activities. So, a good conference overall," he said.

Rickford noted there's interest in projects in the Kenora and Whitedog area. Avalon has been looking to develop the Big Whopper lithium deposit north of Separation Rapids.

The Ministry of Northern Development and Mines expects investments to reach close to $600 million in mining, up more than $200 million from last year, when about $400 million was invested in mining in Ontario.

Mines in the Red Lake District

  • There is one producing mine, Goldcorp’s Inc.’s Red Lake Gold Mines.
  • Mine development is underway at GoldCorp’s Cochenour Gold Project. The project has an expected capital cost of $536 million.
  • Other advanced mineral projects in the Red Lake District include First Mining Gold Corp’s Springpole Gold Project, Pure Gold Mining Inc.’s Madsen Gold Project and Rubicon Minerals Corp.’s Phoenix Gold Project.

Mines in the Kenora District

  • There is one producing mine, New Gold Inc.’s Rainy River Gold Mine, located approximately 25 km north of Emo.
  • Treasury Metals Inc.’s Goliath Gold Project, located approximately 15 km East of Dryden, is an advanced mineral project with the potential to reach commercial production by 2021.  The project has an expected capital cost of $133 million.
  • Other advanced mineral projects in the Kenora District include Avalon Advanced Materials Inc.’s Separation Rapids Lithium Project and First Mining Gold Corp.’s Cameron Gold project.

In 2017, Ontario exploration expenditures were approximately $526 million, up 33 per cent from $394 million in 2016. This trend is expected to continue this year, with 2018 mineral exploration expenditures forecasted to be $593 million.

Mining in Ontario supports more than 75,000 direct and indirect jobs. About 25 per cent of mining jobs in Canada are in Ontario, and Northern Ontario accounts for about two-thirds of mining jobs in the province.

Project Updates

Treasury Metals project east of Dryden

o   It is undergoing the Environmental Assessment (EA) process, which is a pre-development phase.

o   Currently the company is aggressively drilling three zones at the project. Including the East Resource Target Area, the C Zone Shoot area, and additional infill drilling at the deep Main Zone. All of this is part of a 27,000 metre drill program to grow the resources at the Goliath Project

o   The Company is undergoing detailed engineering work in support of a revised economic study, and they have raised over $20 million in the past 18-20 months in support of exploration and development activities.

First Mining Gold’s Cameron Lake Gold  (formerly the Chalice property)

o   It is in the early exploration phase.

o   First Mining Gold acquired the site in 2016. The current resource sits at 5.5 million tonnes at 2.61 grams/tonne in the measured and indicated category and a further 6.5 million tonnes at 2.54 grams/tonne in the inferred category. In late 2017 First Mining completed an airborne geophysical survey. Results of the survey will assist with future exploration and diamond drilling plans.

Avalon Advanced Materials Inc. (formerly  Big Whopper at Separation Rapids)

o   It is in the early exploration phase.

o   In 2017 the company was focused on further drilling and metallurgical process optimization work.

o   Avalon’s $3-5 million 2018 mineral development priorities at Separation Rapids included an updated resource estimate and an updated mine plan, and preliminary economic assessment.

Frontier Lithium’s PAK Lithium project (formerly the  Houston Lake property)

o   Frontier Lithium is advancing their 7.4 million tonne PAK Lithium Deposit South of Sandy Lake in Ontario’s far North.

o   The company released a Pre-Feasibility Study in 2018 which highlighted a 11.5 year open pit mine and a 4.5 half year underground operation. Phase 1 of the project would produce technical grade lithium concentrate and Phase 2 would produce battery grade lithium compounds.

Manitou Gold’s Kenwest project

o   It is in the early exploration phase and is proposing a 12,000 tonne bulk sample for gold

(Courtesy Ministry Northern Development and Mines)