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Québec City, March 17, 2016 – By providing more support for exploration, investing in infrastructures and offering assistance to reduce energy costs, the 2016 2017 budget tabled by the Québec government includes several measures welcomed by the Québec Mining Association (QMA). These measures will help position the mining industry as it prepares for an economic recovery.

First and foremost, the QMA is satisfied with the increase in assistance offered for exploration in the North. This is a measure the QMA lobbied for and that will allow exploration companies to obtain the cash needed to maximize their investments in the field and eventually discover new mining opportunities. "Without introducing any major measures, the budget includes key elements which, added together, send a clear signal that the government hopes to see more mining industry development in Québec," says Josée Méthot, the QMA's President and CEO.

Some of the other budget measures greeted favourably by the Association are:

• Investments in port and road infrastructures.
• Support for hydrometallurgical research.
• An electricity rebate designed to attract investment, and an additional rebate for investment projects that generate reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.
• Support for renewable energy projects in the area covered by the Plan Nord.

"Since energy is one of the main expenditure items in mining companies operating budgets, any measure to reduce its cost is welcome. Although it supports these initiatives, the QMA would have liked to see measures to encourage mines to switch to natural gas supplies," says Ms. Méthot.

The QMA commends the goal set out in the budget of stimulating employment in the mining sector, during the current downturn, by implementing a plan to increase the pace of rehabilitation for abandoned mining sites. The objective is to reduce the environmental liabilities of mining sites by 80%, rather than the former objective of 50%, by 2021-2022. The plan includes total investments of $620 million over the next six years, which will benefit economic development in outlying regions.

"Overall, the 2016-2017 budget responds to the QMA's demands. In particular, the Association wanted to see more emphasis on mineral exploration and measures to reduce the industry's financial burden. Now that the Minister for Mines has tabled his Strategic Vision for Mineral Development, the mining sector is aware of the elements that will guide the government's actions. The Association will continue to work with the government to maintain a strong mining industry in Québec as a source of prosperity," 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 high-quality jobs and $2.3 billion in investment generated by Québec’s mining industry over the last year. The QMA’s mission is to promote, support and proactively develop a responsible, committed and innovative mining industry in Québec.