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Québec City, March 26, 2015 – The Québec Mining Association (QMA) is generally pleased with the measures announced for the mining sector in the 2015-2016 budget speech presented by the Minister of Finance, Carlos Leitão. The main focus was on measures to promote mineral exploration, an area where improvement is sorely needed. “Promoting exploration means promoting the development of the mines of the future,” says Josée Méthot, the QMA President and CEO. “This sends a positive signal to the whole of the industry.”

Other measures are welcomed by the QMA. The rent for mining leases will not be increased, while the increase in rent for leases to mine surface mineral substances will be adjusted from January 1, 2016. Support for research on the reuse of mine tailings will, over time, help reduce the cost of storing mine tailings in storage sites and is a positive step.

The budget tabled by the Minister of Finance is, overall, not likely to have a negative impact on QMA members. However, the Association would have liked to see confirmation in the budget that mining company projects are eligible for the new improved tax holiday for major investment projects, in order to stimulate more private investment in the mining sector. With investments of over $3 billion in 2014 alone, there can be no doubt that the mining industry is developing large-scale projects in Québec.

“We would also have liked to see improvements to R&D tax credits,” adds Ms. Méthot. She points out that Québec is a high-production-cost mining jurisdiction and that one way to increase productivity is to introduce technological innovations.

The QMA considers that the measure to enhance geoscientific knowledge about the area covered by the Northern Plan is a step in the right direction, since it will help identify mineral potential. In addition, it welcomes the measures to improve the distribution of natural gas in outlying regions, which includes an accelerated capital cost allowance for property used in the natural gas liquefaction process. This measure will have an impact in particular in the Côte-Nord and Nord-du-Québec regions.

“It goes without saying that we hope to continue our ongoing work with the government to promote major investments in our sector,” Ms. Méthot concludes.

About the Québec Mining Association
The Québec Mining Association (QMA) was founded in 1936 and speaks proactively for mining companies involved in extraction and processing, mining contractors and junior mining companies, along with suppliers, institutions, non-profit organizations and other mining sector partners. It is proud of the 45,000 high-quality jobs and $4.6 billion in investment generated by Québec’s mining industry over the last year. The QMA’s mission is to promote, support and play a role in the development of a responsible, committed and innovative mining industry in Québec.