Discovery involves conducting research, using a variety of tools, to determine the potential location of mineral deposits.


Ontario's mineral wealth is spread unevenly across the province. Many tools are available to assist with the process of discovering areas with mineral potential. The discovery process usually involves a variety of tools which are selected based on cost, project timelines, the size of the area being explored, the type of minerals being searched for and the required level of accuracy.


The Mines and Minerals division collects data about Ontario's geology. Collected data is assembled into reports, maps and geographic information system data files which are made available through a number of applications.

John B. Gammon Geoscience Library

The Mines and Minerals division operates the John B. Gammon Geoscience Library which houses a comprehensive collection of journals, thesis, government documents, maps and reference material relating to geology and mineral exploration. The library also makes available many geoscientific journals and provides computer terminals to access the GeoRef geoscience literature database and the GeologyOntario application.

Field Exploration

Field exploration involves the on-site investigation of local geology. Investigation methods may include collecting rock samples, measuring dip and alienation, analyzing rock orientation properties and measuring magnetic or electromagnetic rock properties.

Geoscience Laboratories

The Ontario Geological Survey Geoscience Laboratories, (Geo Labs) is a high-quality, full service, inorganic materials analytical facility providing analytical services in geochemistry, mineralogy, and reference materials. The Geo Labs offer these services to government, academic, exploration, mining, environmental, industrial and research organizations. The primary focus is on research grade analyses for academic institutions and government geological surveys, including the Ontario Geological Survey, the Geo Labs largest client.

For more information on the services offered by the Geosience Laboratories, please see the current Schedule of Fees and Services.

Remote Sensing

Remote sensing involves the capture of information about an area of land from a distance. Information can be captured by a variety of devices such as satellites, aircraft and airborne sensors.


The Resident Geologist Program is a network of offices located across the province which are staffed by geologists who are familiar with the geology of the surrounding region. Resident Geologist Program offices provide public access to geoscience databases and local resource material. Resident Geologist Program geologists provide geological consultation and advisory services.  

The Resident Geologist Program also produces monthly reports that may include information on mining and exploration activity, property visits, mine visits, First Nations/Métis meetings, and field trips within each Resident Geologist District. Archived month end reports are available on request.

To get in touch with a geologist, contact the Resident Geologists Program or one of their local offices.


Resident Geologist Program Office Locations