Canadian Mining Journal


INVESTMENT: Project owners in Quebec boost spending

The Quebec mining industry pays more than $1 billion in taxes to the provincial government every year. (Image: Quebec Mining Association)

QUEBEC CITY – The Quebec Mining Association says the most recent publication from the Institut de la statistique du Québec (ISQ) is good news. The numbers show that the cyclical downturn of recent years is reversed, and mining companies are spending more money to develop Quebec mineral potential.

According to the ISQ, mining investment reached $2.57 billion in 2016, up 2.9% compared to 2015, and should reach $3 billion in 2017.

“This investment growth is healthy and welcome since it demonstrates that the mining sector is rebounding. That said, we must not lower our guard and be carried away by this increase. When mining is better, it’s time to prepare for the future. We must now make sure to acquire the best tools to continually improve our competitiveness and attractiveness. And this requires government support to mining, “said Josée Méthot, president and CEO of the QMA.

Detailed analysis of the ISQ statistics shows that the recovery does not feel the same way in each region. With investments increased by nearly 26% to $895 million, Abitibi-Temiscamingue is a winner because of the price of gold makes the development of new projects attractive. Although the price of iron has increased slightly between 2015 and 2016, the North Shore region has seen its investment decline for the fourth consecutive year to $560 million. Despite the decline in the region, northern Quebec still continues to hold its own with investments of $1 billion and more.

“To ensure the sustainability of the mining industry in Quebec, all sectors must perform so that each can compensate for declines in another. The development of new sectors, such as lithium, phosphate, graphite and rare earths, also will achieve this goal. This is why it is essential to stimulate the development of new projects now to take advantage of the window of opportunity that is emerging,” continued Méthot.

The increase in exploration spending, which reached nearly $300 million in 2016, is expected to reach $539 million in 2017, the QMA predicts. “To find the next mines that contribute to the vitality and socio-economic prosperity of many regions of Quebec, should be explored. This upward trend is good news for keeping the Quebec mining industry healthy and prosperous, “said Méthot.

All regions, including major cities, benefit greatly from the presence of the mining industry in Quebec. A recent study by the QMA found:

  • Total spending by mining companies annually reach $5.8 billion, including $2.1 billion in Abitibi-Temiscamingue and $1.4 billion in Montreal;
  • 45,550 jobs are created or maintained through mining in Quebec, including 15,550 in Abitibi-Temiscamingue and over 10,000 in the greater Montreal area;
  • Quebec mining companies pay more than $1 billion annually to the provincial government.

Visit to learn more about the QMA and its members.