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Québec City, November 15, 2017 – The Québec Mining Association (QMA) is pleased to see the increase in mining investment reported in the most recent publication of Québec's institute of statistics (Institut de la statistique du Québec, or ISQ). It shows that the mining sector is recovering from the downturn of recent years and that mining companies plan to continue to develop Québec's mineral potential.

According to the ISQ, mining investment climbed to $2.57 billion in 2016, an increase of 2.9% compared to 2015, and is expected to reach $3 billion in 2017. "This growth in investment is healthy and welcome, since it shows that the mining sector is gaining strength. However, we cannot let our guard drop and be carried away by this increase. It is during periods when things are going well in the mining sector that we need to prepare for the future. We must take action now to ensure that we have all the tools we need to remain competitive and attractive. And this will require government support for mining activities," comments Josée Méthot, the QMA's president and CEO.

A detailed analysis of the statistics published by the ISQ shows that the recovery is not spread equally across all regions. The Abitibi Témiscamingue region, where investment increased by almost 26% to reach $895 million, is a clear winner, thanks to the price of gold which makes the development of new projects more attractive. The Côte-Nord region, on the other hand, notwithstanding a slight increase in iron prices between 2015 and 2016, has seen investment decline for the fourth consecutive year, to $560 million. The Nord-du-Québec region, despite a drop in investment, is still in a strong position with investment totalling over $1 billion.

"To ensure the future of the mining industry in Québec, each sector must perform well in order to offset any decline in another sector. The development of new products, such as lithium, phosphate, graphite and rare earth elements, is another way to attain the same objectives, and this is why it is essential to support new projects and take advantage of the current window of opportunity," says Ms. Méthot.

The increase in exploration expenditure, which reached almost $300 in 2016 and is expected to top $539 million in 2017, is another reason for optimism according to the QMA. "To find the mines of the future that will contribute to the vitality and socioeconomic prosperity of Québec's regions, exploration is essential. The current rising trend is good news since it indicates that Québec will retain a healthy, prosperous mining industry" Ms. Méthot concludes.

All the regions, including the major urban centres, benefit from the presence of Québec's mining industry. According to a recent study by the QMA,

• Total expenditure by mining companies amounts to $5.8 billion each year, including $2.1 billion in the Abitibi-Témiscamingue region and $1.4 billion in Montréal;
• 45,550 jobs are supported by mining activities in Québec, including 15,550 in the Abitibi-Témiscamingue region and over 10,000 in Greater Montréal;
• Over $1 billion is paid by mining companies to the Québec government 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.