Did you know that Toronto is the mine-financing capital of the world?
Fur, timber and minerals were Ontario’s first natural resources, but minerals have taken over. According to the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines, Ontario now produces more than $5 billion worth of minerals a year and ranks as the world’s second largest producer of nickel.
Ontario also leads the rest of Canada in the production of gold, zinc, platinum group metals, cobalt, and salt that mainly come from the Canadian Shield, which covers two-thirds of the province. We’re also an important producer of copper, silver, palladium, and Canada's only producer of nepheline syenite, an industrial mineral used as filler in paints, powder coating and plastics.
Ontario ranks first when it comes to exploration and production of minerals in Canada, and mine financing has catapulted the province on a global level. In 2014, the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) raised $8.9 billion in new equity capital compared to $6.9 billion in 2013. The TSX and the Vancouver stock exchange, combined, list 1,500 mining companies – more than half of the world’s listed mining companies.
The exploration industry is a very important contributor to Ontario’s economy. In 2014, the value of mineral production reached a record $11 billion, which makes Ontario the top province in Canada for mineral production.
There are currently 43 mines operating in Ontario, including:
- 14 base metal (nickel, copper, zinc) mines
- 16 gold mines
- one platinum-palladium mine
- one iron mine
- one diamond mine
- 10 industrial mineral mines/quarries
Gold accounted for about two-thirds of exploration spending in 2014, much of it concentrated in traditional gold camps across northern Ontario.
- The mineral sector is the largest private sector employer of Aboriginal peoples in Canada.
- Ontario accounts for about 25 per cent of mining jobs in Canada, with two-thirds of them located in the north.
- In 2014 there were 26,000 people working in mineral production; an additional 50,000 jobs are linked to manufacturing and processing.
- Over 60 per cent of our mineral production is exported, mostly to the United States.
- China is one of Ontario’s major competitors in smelting and refining, and Asia is a new competitor in nickel production.