Evaluation involves advanced exploration and the start of bulk sampling and drilling from underground tunnels. Field camps increase in size and heavy equipment is brought in. At this stage, explorationists and mine planners gather all available data to predict the profitability of a mine and the best methods of extracting the ore. Once mapping and mineral resource data is collected, and the results are strong, the project can move forward with obtaining financing, design and planning. This typically consist of studies to help companies determine if and how a project can be safe, environmentally sound, economically viable and socially responsible.

Environmental studies and permits, as well as public consultation, are required for all advanced exploration projects. In addition, projects with a potential effect on the environment are posted on Ontario's Environmental Registry. This electronic bulletin board details proposals, decisions and court cases that have a potential impact on the environment. The public has the opportunity to submit comments directly online. 

Every advanced exploration and mining project is detailed in a closure plan filed with the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines. Companies and individuals must report how their activities comply with provincial standards protecting the public and environment, and they must guarantee that funds are available to return lands to a natural state upon completion of exploration and mining activities. Provincial mining inspectors ensure compliance with the closure plan through audits and site inspections throughout the life of the mine. 

Learn more from the Exploration and Mining Guide for Aboriginal Communities2021 Advanced Exploration Projects MapSource: Ontario Mining and Exploration Directory 2021