THE QUÉBEC MINING ASSOCIATION SATISFIED BY THE MERN GUIDELINES ON SOCIAL ACCEPTABILITY
Québec City, January 24, 2017 – The Québec Mining Association (QMA) is satisfied by the guidelines on social acceptability issued by the Ministère de l’Énergie et des Ressources naturelles (MERN) and made public by Minister Pierre Arcand. It notes that several of its demands have been met.
"Since social acceptability is not a clearly defined concept, difficulties may arise when it is applied. The fact that the MERN wants to provide a better framework and more support is a step in the right direction, and will help ensure that mineral resource development projects continue to advance in a way that shows respect for local communities," says Josée Méthot, the QMA's president and CEO.
The measures welcomed by the QMA include the creation of an office to coordinate major projects and analyze economic impacts, which will support project promoters and local stakeholders, more consideration for the economic benefits generated by projects, and a focus on basing the social acceptability process on joint actions by several government departments rather than making it a sole responsibility of the MERN. However, the QMA is anxious to find out more about the parameters that will emerge from the government's plan to draft a good practice guide for partnership agreements between promoters and non-Aboriginal communities.
"Mining companies understand that local communities have high expectations in their regard. This makes it important to work with all stakeholders at all stages in the mining cycle, to properly identify the social impacts of each project. The actions set out in the guidelines will complement those already applied by mining industry to harmonize its activities with those of the community," Ms. Méthot continues.
The QMA notes that some of the measures contained in the guidelines are already applicable to the mining sector, such as the requirement for the promoter to set up a monitoring committee and a public consultation process, which is already provided for in the Mining Act. "The mining sector is genuinely committed to the idea of social acceptability, and will continue to develop and maintain close ties with the government authorities and local communities in order to maintain a strong mining industry in Québec that respects the needs of the local population," Ms. 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.