The Ontario government invested $5.8 million to support junior mining companies in their exploration for critical minerals used in manufacturing batteries for EVs, smartphones, pharmaceuticals, and advanced manufacturing. The government’s Ontario Junior Exploration Program (OJEP) will help increase and expand mineral exploration, growth, and job creation, especially in northern and Indigenous communities.
Over the next four years, $12 million will go to critical mineral exploration in the OJEP. So far, 32 mining companies have received funding for exploration for nickel, copper, cobalt, and lithium. The companies have also invested an additional $12.8 million into the effort.
Ottowa says it is committed to make investments in local mineral exploration and also to bolster supply chains. A third round of applications for the Ontario Junior Exploration Program is now underway, and the deadline to apply is March 16, 2023.