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Québec City, June 13, 2018 – The Québec Mining Association (QMA) welcomes the energy transition, innovation and efficiency master plan released by the Québec government. It points out that, although work remains to be done, the mining industry began the shift several years ago.

The plan recognizes the efforts made by heavy industry to make the necessary energy transition, stating that industry has "significantly reduced its consumption of petroleum products and improved its energy efficiency". The QMA is pleased to note the government's commitment to finance larger-scale projects to go even further in this direction.

"Energy represents over 30% of mining companies' operating costs, and diesel fuel is often the only available option. The energy transition offers interesting new prospects to improve the competitive edge of Québec's mines. But these substitute energy sources must be accessible, and conversion costs must be affordable. Given that many mines, whether operating or planned, are located in remote areas, it is clear that companies cannot act alone. Government support will be essential to ensure the success of the transition," says Josée Méthot, the QMA's president and CEO.

Existing initiatives

Mining companies have already taken several initiatives to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and begin energy transition and innovation. One example is Raglan Mine in Nunavik, which built the largest wind turbine ever installed in Québec and has reduced the mine's diesel consumption by 2.3 million litres per year. Another is Stornoway Diamond Corporation, which chose natural gas rather than propane for heating and power generation at Renard Mine, reducing its GHG emissions by 43%. Nouveau Monde Graphite wants to operate Québec's first 100%-electric open-pit mine, and ArcelorMittal is already engaged in a pilot project to convert some of its facilities from oil to natural gas. Mining companies are also looking at the electrification of machinery or conversion to natural gas operation.

"Mining companies are careful to ensure that they can pursue their operations while limiting their environmental and human impact and using less polluting energy sources, and they have taken action to implement these goals. Like other industrial sectors, the mining sector has taken steps to improve its environmental footprint. The next round of initiatives will require more time and investment, and companies are currently working on these aspects. We are please to see that the government wants to support our industry, given that some conversion projects could require up to $100 million in investments," 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 45,550 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.