Drop in mining investment in Québec : THE QUÉBEC MINING ASSOCIATION HOPES THAT QUÉBEC WILL BE MADE MORE ATTRACTIVE FOR INVESTORS
Québec City, November 16, 2016 – The constant decrease in mining investment remains a concern for the Québec Mining Association (QMA), even though it appears to be levelling off according to the observations of Québec's statistics instituted (Institut de la statistique du Québec, or ISQ). The QMA hopes that action will be taken quickly to make Québec more attractive for investors. One of the steps that government must take in the short term to ensure the ongoing viability of the mining industry in Québec is to reduce its regulatory and administrative burden.
According to the Mining by the Numbers bulletin issued by the ISQ, mining investment dropped from $2.9 billion in 2014 to $2.5 billion in 2015, a decrease of 16%. "Québec is competing with the rest of the planet for the same investors. If it is too difficult and complicated to do business here, investors will look elsewhere. Urgent action is needed to maintain a strong mining industry in Québec. The conditions required to stimulate mining development must be put in place now," says Josée Méthot, the QMA's president and CEO. She hopes to see a continuation of the previous work completed by Québec's department of energy and natural resources (Ministère de l’Énergie et des Ressources naturelles, or MERN) and the Société du Plan Nord to identify and deploy structural solutions.
The QMA recognizes that the Québec government has implemented a process to reduce the administrative and regulatory burden, but actual changes have yet to be made and have an effect. "A deposit discovered today could become a mine in ten to fifteen years' time. Currently, we have no idea where the mine will be located and, above all, if the conditions will be in place to allow it to be created. It is important to act now, with the government, to ensure that the mining industry will continue to be a vector for economic prosperity in Québec and its regions," says Ms. Méthot.
Although the published data shows the source of investments rather than the area where the money is spent, it appears that the Abitibi-Témiscamingue is faring better than Québec's other traditional mining areas, since investment has only declined by an estimated 6%, compared to 17% in the Nord du-Québec region and 22% in the Côte-Nord region, which was hit hard by the decline in iron ore prices in 2015. Since all these regions rely substantially on the mining industry to ensure their economic development, a drop in investment is clearly a source of concern.
"Regardless of the number of projects under development, if nothing is done they may never see the light of day. We must act now to reverse this trend, by providing more support for the development of the mining industry and removing the obstacles to its ongoing operations. The future of the industry in Québec depends on this," concludes Josée Méthot.
About the Québec Mining Association
The Québec Mining Association (QMA) was founded in 1936 and speaks proactively for mining companies involved in exploration, 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 mining investment of $2.5 billion generated in Québec over the last year. The QMA’s mission is to promote, support and proactively develop a responsible, committed and innovative mining industry in Québec.