Ontario has the largest metal mining sector of all the provinces in Canada, and accounts for one-third of Canada's mineral production. Ontario's mining industry generates $5-7 billion each year, primarily through exports. Nickel, gold and copper generate the greatest monetary value.
Since 1907, Ontario has mined (as of 2004):
- 166 million ounces of gold
- 1 billion ounces of silver
- 10.8 million tons of nickel
- 13.8 million tons of copper
- 10.2 million tons of zinc
Mineral exploration in Ontario is heavily subsidized, through both direct grants to mining industry associations, government funded mineral reconnaissance and research, and flow-through shares, which provide tax benefits to those who invest in mineral exploration, regardless of whether or not a mine is ever found. Over 6,000 inactive or abandoned exploration or mining sites litter the province.