Economic benefits generated by mining in Québec: the Abitibi-Témiscamingue region remains a key mining region

The Québec Mining Association (QMA) has released its latest report on the economic benefits generated by the mining industry in Québec, covering the year 2020. The study confirms, once again, that the Abitibi-Témiscamingue region remains the main hub for the mining sector.

Whether in terms of jobs or the economic benefits generated by mining industry activities, all the indicators confirm not only the dominant position of the Abitibi-Témiscamingue region, but also its growth during a period that saw the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Québec as a whole derives $10.5 billion in benefits from mining company activities in Québec, of which the Abitibi-Témiscamingue region alone benefits from $3.3 billion, or 31.4% of the mining industry’s total contribution to Québec’s gross domestic product (GDP). Within the region itself, the mining industry in Québec generates 35.8% of GDP.

In terms of jobs, the study shows that mining activities in Québec supported 48,187 person-years of employment in the form of direct, indirect and induced jobs, including 15,589 person-years (23.9%) for residents of the Abitibi-Témiscamingue region and 6,669 direct jobs. It is also interesting to note that despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the mining industry was able to limit the impact on jobs. From 2018 to 2020, the person-years of employment generated or supported by mining company activities in the Abitibi-Témiscamingue region increased from 14,907 to 15,589 (+4.5%), without counting all the mine workers from the region who work in Nunavut or around the world.

The COVID-19 pandemic also impacted supply chains, and mining companies had to broaden their network of suppliers in order to continue their activities. The total number of mining industry suppliers with a place of business in Québec was 4,857 in 2020, an increase of 27.8% over two years. This included 1,483 suppliers in the Abitibi-Témiscamingue region. In short, the response to the challenges raised by the pandemic created a positive feedback loop.

It is also important to remember that mining provides a significant source of revenue for both the Québec and Canadian governments, which together received $2.4 billion in fiscal and parafiscal revenue. This included almost $1.8 billion for the Québec government, without counting corporate income tax. Fiscal revenue for the Québec government increased by 77.3% between 2014 and 2020. The most important factor in the increase was mining royalties, which increased fivefold over the period and attained a record $631.7 million in 2020.

The data, covering activities in 2020, is the most recent available and highlights the contribution made by the mining industry to the province’s socio-economic development.

To view the complete study, click here.

« The mining industry has demonstrated its resilience and introduced a range of solutions to deal with the COVID-19 crisis and limit its impacts. These actions have had positive repercussions, since the report highlights an increase in the economic benefits despite the pandemic. The Abitibi-Témiscamingue region is still the central pillar of an industry whose member companies make a substantial contribution to regional GDP. »

« The Abitibi-Témiscamingue region is a strategic player in the mining industry, as shown clearly in this study. Considering all mining company activities in Québec, the Abitibi-Témiscamingue region is the region that employs the most mine workers, reflecting the importance of the industry for the region’s economic vitality. »

– Josée Méthot, QMA President and CEO

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 48,187 jobs and activities totalling $11.7 billion generated by Québec’s mining industry in 2020. The QMA’s mission is to promote, support and proactively develop a responsible, committed and innovative mining industry in Québec.