Ontario has an expansive prospective geology consisting of millions of hectares worth of untapped potential just waiting for you to explore and claim. Our commitment to technological innovation means you have access to one of the world’s best geoscience databases at your disposal. And because Toronto, Ontario is the exploration finance capital of the world, you will have easily accessible funding options—making the opportunity for exploration here simply tremendous.

Top jurisdiction for exploration

Ontario is the number one jurisdiction in Canada for mineral exploration. Canada is the number one jurisdiction in the world.

  • With $371 million in exploration expenditures in 2016, Ontario is still the leader in Canadian mineral exploration, a title it has held for more than a decade.
  • Toronto's TSX and TSXV provide the best access to exploration capital in the world. Companies raised $9.4 billion for exploration and mine development on the two exchanges in 2016 alone.
  • Ontario's universities and colleges produce some of the top mineral explorers through their geology, geophysics and earth science programs.
Exploration expenditures
  Ontario Value of Exploration Spending
(C$ million)
Ontario’s Rank in Canada for Value of Exploration Spending
2016p 371.1 1st
2015 440.2 1st
2014 468.1 1st
2013 562.0 1st
2012 961.5 1st
2011 1,067.7 1st
2010 853.4 1st
2009 536.2 1st
2008 799.3 1st
2007 571.7 1st
Source: Natural Resources Canada

More diversity, less risk

Ontario's mineral inventory is remarkably diverse and widespread.

Ontario's mineral inventory is remarkably diverse and widespread. You can choose from deposit types ranging from gold-bearing quartz veins in northern Ontario to flake graphite in the centre of the province. The polymetallic nature of many of Ontario's deposits, such as the Ni-Cu-PGE mines near Sudbury, offers protection from individual commodity price swings.

  • Ontario produced about 10 different base, precious and other metals and 15 types of industrial minerals in 2016.
  • More than 200 mineral exploration projects for 12-plus metal types are currently underway.

Stake your claim

Ontario is a hub of claim-staking activity and many prospectors are holding onto their mineral properties to develop them over the long term.

  • Ontario's mining law provides security of mining land tenure.
  • Companies have confidence in the long term mineral potential: the annual number of active claims has remained above 200,000 for a decade.
  • With more than 70,000,000 hectares open for staking in Ontario you can claim your piece too.
Active Mining Claim Units in Ontario
2016 207,263
2015 209,190
2014 235,285
2013 278,211
2012 306,145
2011 325,903
2010 311,762
2009 339,344
2008 363,022
2007 307,829

Priceless intelligence at a click


  • Ontario's is ranked 26th in the world for the quality of its geological database by the Fraser Institute Annual Survey of Mining Companies, 2016.
  • The Ontario Geological Survey (OGS) provides a wealth of geoscience data through its Geology Ontario and OGSEarth online applications.
    • Geology Ontario provides online user-friendly access to public geoscience data including 17,000 OGS geological reports and maps, as well as 80,000 exploration assessment files that are available online for discovery and downloading at no charge.
    • OGSEarth provides geoscience data relating to mining claims, geology, index maps, administrative boundaries and abandoned mines that can be viewed using 3D mapping and viewing tools such as Google Earth or other applications that are compatible with Keyhole Markup Language (KML). All of the data provided by OGSEarth is available in KML format.

    If you explore in Ontario, you'll have access to a wide range of free, online mineral information that will help you find the best prospects.

    OGSEarth can be accessed through:

    Ontario's Geoscience database Geology Ontario can be accessed here:

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