Something new for CMJ readers
This issue, subtitled “Mining in Qubec”, is a new venture for us. It is a look at Canada’s second largest province, by population, by land mass (I am not including territories in this comparison) and by the size of the mining industry. Ontario (the top dog in those three categories) and Qubec tied in first place for investment attractiveness, in the most recent Annual Survey of Mining Companies by the Vancouver-based Fraser Institute. So it should come as no surprise that there is a feeling of “We’re Number Two so we try harder” in la Belle Province.
This issue is actually a joint venture between CMJ and Qubec’s Ministry of Natural Resources, also supported by the two major provincial mineral industry associations, the Qubec Mining Association and the Qubec Prospectors Association. The ministry and two associations approached us last winter, saying that there was a good story to tell about how far Qubec has come as an easy place to do business. We agreed.
Chantal Dussault, the manager of mineral exploration client services and marketing for the ministry, arranged for me to meet all the right people in Qubec City in June, and I had one of the most pleasant business trips of my career. The balcony of the Manoir Mont-Morency overlooking the falls on a June afternoon is probably the best place on earth to have lunch.
The ministry officials whom I met were unfailingly helpful, for the most part able to speak English well. This was good, because I am a peculiar linguist: I can speak French sort of, but have trouble understanding it. The assistant deputy minister of mines, Dr. Jean-Louis Caty, admitted to me that he was born on the Ontario side, as did Yves Harvey, the CEO of Soquem. Although the Honourable Franois Gendron, Minister of Natural Resources, conducted his side of the interview in French, translated into English for me by Dr. Caty, now and then Monsieur Gendron slipped into English, and his frequent winks emboldened me to try my French on him.
Aside from the pure charm of an early summer visit to Qubec, I could not help but be impressed with the government money and personnel being used to map the province, at a time when other provincial and the federal geological surveys have been cut back to mere shadows of their former selves. Beyond that are the database systems for doing research and for claims-staking, easily available on the Internet.
Sometimes we don’t recognize something good in our own backyard. It is too familiar, or maybe we don’t realize that it has grown up. If exploration companies are willing to look for minerals anywhere in the world, deal with any cultural and language differences, then they should definitely start by taking another look at Qubec. There are no barriers; it is open for business.
As a new service to our readers who use the Internet, CMJ is launching a weekly news service at www.CanadianMiningJournal.com. For the past several months, we have been showing the headlines and introductions of the top daily mining stories written by our brother publication, The Northern Miner newspaper. That will change starting on September 26, when we will post our own news articles, information and interactive features aimed particularly at CMJ readers. Visit our site September 26 and every following Thursday morning for the weekly news.