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2014-02-21 at 16:56

Exploration lull

Ontario Prospectors Association executive director Garry Clark.
Jamie Smith, tbnewswatch.com
Ontario Prospectors Association executive director Garry Clark.
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By Jamie Smith, tbnewswatch.com

Mining exploration in the province is down more than half from what it was a few years ago, says the head of the Ontario Prospectors Association.

While Ontario announced $1 billion in exploration in 2011, OPA executive director Garry Clark that number included development. True exploration was really closer to $450 million. But today, the province would be lucky if exploration in Ontario is $250 million, the worst Clark has ever seen.

"It's probably the slowest exploration year we've had," he said. "A lot of people are scared to invest in high risk things right now."

Typically prospectors would head to other provinces or countries to find work but Clark said lately it's been slow all over the world. Closer to home, that means a lot of prospectors, drillers and other industry professionals are looking for work.

That also means there's no one out there making discoveries in the region that could one day turn into mines.

"If you don't have people kicking rocks and drilling diamond drill holes you'll end up with a glut of time where you don't have new projects coming on stream," Clark said.

Changes to the Mining Act, which were announced in 2009, have yet to materialize. That, along with land issues, could be scaring away some investors too Clark said.

But the best way to get investors to take a chance on exploration is for discoveries to be made. The sizzle of discovery in the Ring of Fire has slowed recently but Clark expects a run there again. He said prospectors by nature are big gamblers and optimists. 

Northern Development and Mines Minister Michael Gravelle is also optimistic. While there have been challenges he said mines in the province continue to open like Vale's Totten Mine, the first new mining operation in Sudbury in 40 years.

"The fact is Ontario continues to be a very attractive place to invest," he said.


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Comments

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jonthunder says:
Mr. Clark is very optimistic and diplomatic. But, it is clear the Ontario Liberal Government is "blowing" this incredible opportunity, and does not know how to "do development". I am not big on the other parties or Canada, but we truly do need a change in this mix. But bottom line, the Ontario Liberals are inept.
2/21/2014 6:26:20 PM
jimmyboy says:
I love it when the truth is actually spoken vs. the B.S. the Ontario government tries to spoon feed people...there is an extreme shortage of fact vs. fiction when listening to our elected officials in this country.
2/21/2014 7:53:55 PM
gone for good says:
No surprise there.
Just like most everything in the area.
A "snails pace".
2/22/2014 7:39:53 AM
drdolittle says:
Can someone explain to me why in comments this is always painted as "the governments fault". Mining is a private industry and I would assume that low precious metals prices are making exploration and development financially unworkable. Subsidizing an industry does nothing to help it be sustainable and stand on it's own. Is it a FN negotiation thing? In my opinion people who blame the government are just saying "we want a different government who will give us more money". It has nothing to do with liberals, conservatives or ndp. Crony capitalism is not a legitimate form of governance. If you can't afford to mine the area then don't, don't blame the government.
2/22/2014 9:41:53 AM
ring of fire dude says:
Ontario is not a "safe jurisdiction" as it once was , anybody who knows mining can attest to that .
2/22/2014 3:46:10 PM
waldo says:
drdolittle: how about the auto industry, oil sands, keystone pipeline, hybernia etc? Depends I guess in what part of the country you are if you get $ or not.
2/23/2014 9:58:14 AM
lori says:
Not connected to this article but it was interesting to watch Bill Maher the other night.

California with a population much larger than Canada has legislated against large coal plants, they have prohibited the importation of energy from coal plants and by 2020 they must have 1/3 of their power produced from renewables. They get climate change and are leading the way.

Ontario get's climate change and they are leading the way. Alberta and Mr. Harper get climate change also, they continue to pollute. 20 years from now when the rest of the country catches up both in the US and here, California and Ontario will be leading the way.

But i am sure, the right wing anti centre everything will tell me I am wrong. The left wing will stay silent except to criticize the centre and offer nothing and things will continue as they do on this site.

38 million people in California get it.

here in backwater Ontario we still get grumbling. It would be funny if not so sad.
2/23/2014 12:47:27 PM
mnr says:
California is widely known to have the most debt of any state in the USA. About the only place with more debt than California is Ontario (with less than half the population).

I totally agree though we should definitely subsidize renewables on the backs of ratepayers some more - this way we can get rid of all the heavy industry in Ontario (which causes so much pollution) when they can't remain competitive due to power prices and tax rates. We can just create more Ontario government jobs for everyone to pay for our power bills and everything will be just fine.
2/24/2014 10:56:52 AM
The Beaver..... says:
lore read this
Coal and nuclear power generation processes offer the cheapest per unit ... started the construction of a 66000 Megawatt coal-fired plant in Gadani. ... a new coal power initiative in Punjab at the cost of around $10 billion. Moreover, a number of existing oil-based thermal plants are being converted to coal.
We should make a greater effort to clean up coal rather then just condemn it. If we can go to the moon then we can also clean up coal.
2/24/2014 10:41:54 AM
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