The association started in 1987, as the Ontario Mineral Exploration Federation (OMEF), to provide input in the drafting of the new Mining Act for Ontario. In December of 1994 the name was changed to the Ontario Prospectors Association, to reflect the membership and its relationship to the regional prospecting groups. The OPA is well respected for its ethical standards and strict code of conduct adhered to by all members
By early 2000, the OPA Restructuring Committee (OPARC), along with support from the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation and the Ontario Ministry of Northern Development and Mines retained consultants to assist with finalizing the new OPA strategic and operations plan. The OPA was restructured into a member driven organization, joining all the regional groups into one, stronger, provincial voice.
The OPA predicts its future membership of 3,000 to have Province wide representation and to be an effective lobbying group on government, taxation, land access and environmental policies. We will be an information source for the media designed to foster exploration and development awareness and connect buyers and sellers of properties. The OPA will design and promote prospector development initiatives that support grassroots exploration.
Within 3 to 5 years the OPA will be financially self-sufficient; operating and effective, well managed organization with full-time staff, contract specialists and a proactive, competent Board of Directors. We will establish a communications network through the Internet and industry publications and provide leadership on issues that affect exploration in Ontario.
The objectives of the Ontario Prospectors Association are to represent and further the interests of the mineral exploration industry and the interests of prospectors. Our mission is to enhance and promote the Ontario mineral exploration and development community to foster a healthy mining industry.