Québec City, November 14, 2019 – After forecasting mining investment of around $3.57 billion in 2018, the Institut de la statistique du Québec (ISQ) has reported actual investment of $3.26 billion, a 7% increase over 2017. According to the Québec Mining Association (QMA), this increase shows that mining companies remain active in Québec, but it highlights the need to support mining development to ensure that major investment continues to bring prosperity to Québec and its regions. However, the QMA is concerned about the declining trend in exploration expenditure and the ISQ’s forecast that it will continue in 2019.
The Nord-du-Québec and Abitibi-Témiscamingue regions in the lead
The Nord-du-Québec region received most investment ($1.31 billion), followed closely by the Abitibi-Témiscamingue region ($1.19 billion). The bulk of this expenditure was incurred to extend the Canadian Malartic mine and develop Osisko Mining’s Lac Windfall project and Nemaska Lithium’s Whabouchi site.
With $600 million in investment, the Côte-Nord region came third, mainly thanks to the investment made by Québec Iron Ore in reopening the Lac Bloom mine.
A decline in exploration
The bad news in the ISQ report is confirmation that the decline in exploration expenditure is expected to continue in 2019. Although the actual decrease is small ( 1.6%) between 2017 and 2018, the trend will accelerate in 2019 according to the ISQ ( 9.3%).
The Association is concerned about the small number of projects under construction, as this could be an indicator of a future slowdown.
“Québec’s mining industry is a major vector for socio-economic prosperity. A healthy mining industry has a positive impact for the mining regions and for the whole of Québec. Although traditional sectors such as gold and iron are performing well, there has been a slowdown in other sectors, such as lithium. It is important to provide support in all sectors to ensure a structured approach to mineral development and the ability to ride out a downturn.”
“When exploration declines, the chances of making new discoveries also decrease. Although the situation is not yet dramatic, attention must be paid to the declining trend and more support must be provided for exploration activities, if required. The future of Québec’s mining industry depends on this.”
– Josée Méthot, President and CEO of the Québec Mining Association
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 40,540 jobs and total expenditure of $8.5 billion 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.