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$4 Million in Critical Minerals Funding via Ontario Junior Exploration Program (OJEP) 

Ontario is making a significant investment in the critical minerals supply chain, with over $4 million allocated to junior mining companies. This funding, provided through the Ontario Junior Exploration Program (OJEP), is a crucial part of the province’s Critical Minerals Strategy aimed at driving long-term economic growth, especially in northern and Indigenous communities. 

“Our government recognizes that Thunder Bay is quickly becoming a hub for lithium, which is essential for the growing supply chain for electric vehicles in Ontario. The projects we are celebrating today are creating jobs in the region and in other mining towns across the north.”

George Pirie, Minister of Mines 

The Importance of the Critical Minerals Supply Chain 

As the demand for electric vehicles (EVs) grows, so does the need for critical minerals like lithium, nickel, and copper. These minerals are essential components of EV batteries and other advanced technologies. Ontario’s investment ensures a stable supply chain, fostering economic growth and job creation, particularly in regions such as Thunder Bay, which is emerging as a hub for lithium. 

Ontario Junior Exploration Program (OJEP) 

Launched in 2021, OJEP supports junior mining companies by covering up to 50% of eligible costs, with a maximum of $200,000 per project. This initiative encourages private sector investment and supports the exploration and development of critical and precious minerals.  

In 2023, Ontario was the top destination for mineral exploration investment in Canada, totaling $952 million. This is the second year in a row that Ontario has led the country in mineral exploration investment. The Ontario Junior Exploration Program continues to encourage private sector investment throughout the province that will secure the minerals needed for new technologies, including electric vehicles. 

Funding Recipients and Their Projects 

The fourth intake of OJEP includes funding for the following companies: 

  • New Break Resources Ltd.: $200,000 for gold and base metals mineralization surveys and drilling. 
  • Tyko Resources Inc.: $200,000 for surveys and drilling targeting nickel, copper, and platinum-group elements. 
  • Copper Lake Resources Ltd.: $198,047 for copper and zinc surveys and drilling. 
  • Fladgate Exploration Consulting Corp.: $107,823 for nickel, copper, and cobalt surveys. 
  • Solstice Gold Corp.: $81,554 for lithium surveys. 

Since 2021, OJEP has committed $4.4 million to 35 projects, leveraging approximately $10 million in additional industry investment. 

Access More Critical Minerals Funding 

If your company is in the critical minerals industry, Mentor Works, a Ryan Company is here to support you through the wide range of Canadian critical mineral funding opportunities available such as the Critical Minerals Innovation Fund (CMIF) or the Canada & UK: Critical Minerals Sustainability and Circularity Program that present unique opportunities for Canadian businesses to strengthen their operations, exhibit their leadership as strategic partners in the global critical minerals market, and successfully secure a sustainable economic future.  

You can also subscribe to our  newsletter for regular funding updates related to Canadian critical minerals and business strategy guidelines. 

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