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Quebec climbs to 6th spot in Fraser Institute's mining survey

Peter Hadekel



More from Peter Hadekel, Special to Montreal Gazette

Published on: February 24, 2015Last Updated: February 24, 2015 6:31 AM EST


A newly constructed bridge spans the Eastmain river in northern Quebec on Thursday October 03, 2013. The bridge leads to Stornaway Diamond's Renard mine and Camp Lagopede. They are located about 800 kms north of Montreal, on the shore of lake Kaakus Kaanipaahaapisk.


Pierre Obendrauf / The Gazette





After tumbling in the rankings in recent years, Quebec has re-established itself as one of the world’s most attractive mining jurisdictions, according to the Fraser Institute’s annual survey of the mining industry made public Tuesday.


The province jumped to sixth spot in the 2014 rankings for investment attractiveness after finishing 18th the year before. The survey rated 122 jurisdictions around the world “based on their geological attractiveness and the extent to which government policies encourage exploration and investment.”


Quebec sat on top of the international rankings from 2007 to 2010 but then dropped as industry perceptions of the province turned negative. Increased red tape, royalty hikes and uncertainty surrounding new environmental regulations all took their toll.


But a change of government in Quebec seems to have helped turn those perceptions around.


“The confidence mining executives now have in Quebec is due in part to the province’s proactive approach to mining policy and its Plan Nord strategy to encourage investment and mineral exploration in northern Quebec,” said Kenneth Green, the Fraser Institute’s senior director of energy and natural resources.


The Liberal government under Philippe Couillard breathed new life into the Plan Nord after taking over from the previous Parti Québécois administration, which had been noticeably cool to the plan first proposed by former Liberal premier Jean Charest.


While uncertainty surrounding mineral prices has held back new investment in Quebec, the Liberals have pledged to push the Plan Nord strategy by improving transportation infrastructure and making direct investments where needed.


Reflecting the improved mood, an index measuring policy perception places Quebec 12th in the world, up from 21st in 2013.


However, Quebec got a black eye in the mining community over its handling of the Strateco Resources Inc. uranium mine, which has been repeatedly delayed. A moratorium was imposed on all uranium exploration permits, which the industry saw as an arbitrary and unnecessary action that devastated junior explorers.


As well, the Fraser Institute’s Green noted that in Ontario and British Columbia uncertainty surrounding First Nations consultations and disputed land claims should serve as “a stark lesson for Quebec. Above all, mining investment is attracted when a jurisdiction can provide a clear and transparent regulatory environment.”


Finland finished first overall in this year’s survey of 485 mining executives from around the world. Exploration budgets reported by companies participating in the survey totalled US$2.7 billion, down from US$3.2 billion in 2013.


Despite its strong performance, Quebec was edged out by two other Canadian provinces: Saskatchewan finished second and Manitoba fourth. A strong Canadian showing included eighth spot for Newfoundland and Labrador and ninth for Yukon.


The mining industry has been hampered by a lack of financing for exploration as well as continued uncertainty over future demand and prices.


The report found an overall deterioration in the investment climate around the world. There is “a stark difference between geographical regions; notably the divide between Canada, the United States and Australia and the rest of the world.”




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Things just get better when we elect a government that makes sense!


Yé! Non seulement on construit des routes pour les compagnie minière, mais on paye pour restaurer leur dégât. !!


Pollution privée, décontamination publique


'' Au Québec, plusieurs compagnies minières ne paient pas la restauration environnementale des sites qu'ils ont exploités. Une équipe de l'émission Enquête a identifié une des entreprises délinquantes derrière les 345 sites abandonnés. ''




'' Dans les faits, ce sont souvent les contribuables qui doivent assumer les coûts de la décontamination. ''



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He means that by paying 100% for roads / bridges (that basically only serve a few mines or only one), its not an efficient way to climb into the "attractivness" ladder.


We have to encourage user-pay (and polluter-pay).

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Je ne pense pas qu'on devrait être très pressé à vouloir développer les mines. Contrairement à une compagnie d'aspirateur qui se demande si elle va s'installer au Québec ou au sud des USA, les minéraux resteront ici dans le sol. Peut-être que dans 50-100-200 ans la dynamique va avoir changé et c'est les compagnie minières qui vont faire la queue pour construire les infrastructures pour se rendre au minerai... :confused:


J'aime beaucoup mieux voir le gouvernement investir dans des jobs hautement qualifiées en ville que des jobs d'ouvriers dans le bois :)

Edited by franktko
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Ce qui faut comprendre ici c'est qu'on ne joue pas sur un terrain égal, nous devons compétitionner contre des pays qui n'ont pas les mêmes règlements que nous. Ces mêmes pays sont prêt à baisser leurs lois pour les faire rentrer, donc si on veut nous aussi avoir notre part du gâteau, il faut niveler vers le bas.

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Ce qui faut comprendre ici c'est qu'on ne joue pas sur un terrain égal, nous devons compétitionner contre des pays qui n'ont pas les mêmes règlements que nous. Ces mêmes pays sont prêt à baisser leurs lois pour les faire rentrer, donc si on veut nous aussi avoir notre part du gâteau, il faut niveler vers le bas.


Ben oui, on devrait revenir un pays du tiers monde :rolleyes:

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WHat do you recommend Chris? That in Quebec we continue to do nothing? You're against everything that isn't socialized!


Toi qui est contre le socialisme..... tu défend pas mal le ''corporate welfare '' !!!

On paye pour vos routes, vous avez de l'électricité à rabais, le minerai est presque donner, ah et, aussi, on va nettoyer vos millier de sites contaminés. Tu trouve ça normal ? On doit investir des millards de dollars pour nettoyer tous ces site, qui se trouvent souvent près de communautés autochtones et/ou locales.


Sérieux, les choses doivent changer. Mais comme t'es fermer d'esprit, ça vaut même pas la peine d'essayer de te convaincre.

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