The year 2016 reviewed by the Québec Mining Association : DESPITE THE SLOWDOWN THAT CONTINUED THROUGHOUT 2016, THE MINING INDUSTRY SEES ENCOURAGING SIGNS FOR 2017
Québec City, December 22, 2016 – According to the Québec Mining Association (QMA), the slowdown in the mining sector that began several years ago continued throughout 2016. However, the opening of Québec's first diamond mine, Stornoway's Renard Mine, pointed to a brighter future.
The price of iron ore, despite a slight increase recently, has forced mining companies to make difficult decisions in order to maintain their operations. In contrast, rising gold prices have led to more exploration and the development of new projects, such as Falco Resources' Horne 5 project, Agnico Eagle's Akasaba West project, and the extension of the Canadian Malartic Mine. "2016 was a good year for some, and a difficult year for others. What is clear is that, overall, the slowdown has continued. In addition, Québec has become less attractive than other destinations worldwide, in particular because of regulatory uncertainty and administrative and governmental red tape," says Josée Méthot, the QMA's president and CEO.
In the view of the QMA, the fact that Québec dropped from sixth to eighth position in the Fraser Institute's worldwide ranking of attractiveness for investors was a wake-up call requiring action from the Québec government to reduce the administrative and regulatory burden. "We are not asking for deregulation, but for an easier process for the development of mining projects and ongoing mining operations in Québec. We are losing ground not only with respect to other jurisdictions worldwide, but also within Canada," Ms. Méthot continues. However, she welcomes the actions taken by the Couillard government to give mining companies better access to the port facilities in Sept-Îles, and its goal of maintaining a strong mining industry in Québec.
Events to monitor in 2017 include new legislation to modernize the rules for environmental authorizations, the launching of concentrate production at Nemaska Lithium's Wabouchi Mine, which adds a new dimension to Québec's mineral sector, and the ongoing implementation of the Plan Nord, whose success is closely linked to a strong mining industry.
"Although the mining sector is not expected to recover fully in 2017, some projects at the development stage will continue to advance towards operation. The QMA will continue to work with the government to help improve Québec's attractiveness at the international level. Innovation will also remain important as a way to make mining operations safer and more productive, as we prepare for a recovery that we hope to see as soon as possible," Josée Méthot concludes.
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 jobs and total expenditure of almost $6 billion generated by Québec's mining industry. The QMA’s mission is to promote, support and proactively develop a responsible, committed and innovative mining industry in Québec.