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2017 results for Québec's mining industry : THE QUÉBEC MINING ASSOCIATION SEES GROUNDS FOR OPTIMISM


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Québec City, December 14, 2017 – The Québec Mining Association (QMA) views the last year in a positive light. The results confirm the new momentum in Québec's mining sector, in particular thanks to gold prices which have remained strong and boosted the pace of development for other mining projects.

"In recent months we have seen a more favourable outlook for mining development. Several promising mines are now operating, and other projects are under development, leading in particular to more diversity in the minerals produced. Although it is not all good, the gloomy attitude of recent years seems to have given way to optimism, raising motivation as we face the challenges ahead," says Josée Méthot, the QMA's president and CEO.

Highlights of 2017

The highlights of 2017 include:

• Québec's rise from 8th to 6th place in the ranking established by the Fraser Institute for the best jurisdictions around the world for mining investment (dropping from 2nd to 3rd place in Canada);

• Confirmation of the increase in mining investment, from $2.49 to $2.57 billion (an increase of 2.9 %);

• The reopening of the Bloom Lake iron ore mine in the Côte-Nord region by Québec Iron Ore;

• Government authorization for the project to extend the Canadian Malartic Mine in the Abitibi-Témiscamingue region;

• Public environmental hearings for Agnico Eagle's Akasaba West project in the Abitibi-Témiscamingue region;

• The commissioning of Nemaska Lithium's Phase 1 plant in Shawinigan and the first delivery of battery-quality lithium hydroxide produced from concentrate mined at the Whabouchi Mine;

• The reopening of North American Lithium's mine in the Abitibi-Témiscamingue region;

• The sale of the first diamonds from Québec by Stornoway Diamond Corporation;

• The price increase of zinc.

"Despite this performance by the mining sector, we must not lose sight of our ultimate objective, which is to ensure that Québec's mining industry has a future over the long term. We must continue to work to establish the conditions that will maintain, or improve, Québec's attractiveness for investors, by creating an environment that is competitive in economic, legislative and regulatory terms," Ms. Méthot continues, pointing out that Québec ranks ninth out of eleven Canadian jurisdictions in the Fraser Institute survey for the competitive nature of its tax system. "We must do more to attract investors."

"It takes around ten years following the discovery of a deposit to bring a mine into production. We must begin to prepare, now, for the mines that will operate in 15 to 20 years' time. Since Québec has competitors around the world, the different levels of government have a role to play in introducing measures that attract, rather than repel, investors and that make Québec a predictable destination for investment."

Issues for 2018

Several key issues will continue to occupy the QMA and its members in 2018. They include:

• Government requirements, in particular concerning reductions in greenhouse gas emissions;

• New conditions for the environmental authorization process;

• The industry 4.0 revolution;

• Manpower and recruitment.

Economic benefits

It is important to point out that, according to a recent study commissioned by the Québec Mining Association,

• Total expenditure by mining companies amounts to $5.8 billion annually, spread throughout Québec;

• 45,550 jobs are created or maintained thanks to mining in Québec;

• Over $1 billion is paid by mining companies to the Québec government alone each year.

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 45,550 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.