The Québec Mining Association has established six working committees to discuss best practices in the mining sector and ways to maintain leadership of the mining companies active in Québec on issues that affect the industry as a whole :
- Ground control
- Industrial hygiene
- Nursing staff
- Community relations
- Human resources
- Health and accident prevention
Working committee representatives are from member companies of the Association. They help identify possible solutions to various problems to ensure that Québec’s mineral resources are developed in a sustainable, responsible, safe and innovative way.
Catamine is a mutual aid committee enabling underground mines to assist each other in the event of accidents or major disasters. The committee works in partnership with the mine rescue team of the CNESST (Commission des Normes, de l’Équité, de la Santé et de la Sécurité du Travail) to train volunteer rescuers, develop the Mine Rescue Training Manual, debate issues, and support initiatives aimed at improving underground intervention techniques and the equipment used by mine rescue teams. It also makes it possible to coordinate efforts and send equipment in the event of an emergency.
The issues facing Québec’s mining industry require a range of communication approaches. The QMA’s Communications Committee examines the situation of mining companies in their host communities and within Québec in order to identify ways to improve the effectiveness of communications that highlight industry methods, the positive impacts of mining activities, and the commitment of companies to sustainable development.
Mining companies are constantly seeking ways to limit the impact of their activities on the environment and to identify new exploration and extraction techniques. At meetings of the Québec Mining Association’s Environment Committee, the members discuss their own approaches and monitor trends in environmental regulations to ensure that Québec’s mining industry has a detailed awareness of the current situation. The committee’s work is made even more important by the fact that this complex legislation changes constantly. Since protection for the environment is a major focus for the QMA, one of the committee’s priorities is to help mining companies understand the applicable laws and regulations and ensure that they maintain a high level of compliance.
To promote best practice in the area of ground control during mine operations, the QMA has set up a working committee of mining industry representatives. Its mandate is to discuss problems and future prospects for ground control in Québec’s mines in order to maintain a safe environment for workers. The members of the committee also work together to organize a ground control seminar to promote successful approaches and discuss best practices.
The QMA’s Maintenance Committee provides guidance and technical support for maintenance activities. Committee meetings provide an opportunity for discussions between members about maintenance problems and best practices. The committee members work together to organize a maintenance seminar to promote success stories and discuss trends in the sector.
Québec’s mining industry financial obligations to various levels of government in royalties, taxes, corporation tax, are considerable. As a result, it is important to constantly monitor tax measures announced in both governments’ budgets, since they may have a major impact on mining projects. The role of Québec Mining Association’s Taxation Committee is to scrutinize the budgets, analyze each measure and its implications, and review the administrative problems and questions of interpretation raised by the application of tax legislation.
Industrial hygiene is the discipline of anticipating, recognizing, evaluating and controlling health hazards in the work environment with the aim of protecting the health and well-being of workers. The QMA’s Industrial Hygiene Committee allows best practices related to this scientific discipline to be shared, and monitors new provincial, national and international regulations and standards in effect in the industry. The participants are industrial hygienists or occupational hygiene technicians who work for various mining companies.
The Mining Nurses Working Group allows nurses in the mining sector to discuss issues they face. An annual three-day meeting ensures that they receive accredited training.
In order to conduct their activities in a manner consistent with sustainable development, mining companies must take into account the concerns of host communities and their populations. These concerns evolve constantly, and the Québec Mining Association’s Community Relations Committee constitutes a forum where its members can discuss the realities faced by individual companies, identify best practices and if necessary, adapt measures to their situation. The sharing of experiences is the best way to ensure successful relations with host communities, whether Aboriginal or non-Aboriginal.
In addition to organizing training activities, the Québec Mining Association’s Human Resources Committee studies the situations facing member companies in the area of labour relations, recent initiatives in personnel management, policy trends and the impacts of labour legislation on workers. The evolution of the workforce and the shortage of workers are also discussed.
Pour mener leurs activités dans le respect du développement durable, les sociétés minières doivent tenir compte des préoccupations de leur milieu d’implantation et des gens qui l’habitent. Comme les préoccupations des populations évoluent sans cesse, le comité « Relations avec les communautés » de l’Association minière du Québec est un lieu privilégié de discussion permettant à ses membres de connaître les réalités de chacun, d’identifier les meilleures façons de faire et ainsi, adapter les mesures à déployer dans leur entreprise, le cas échéant. Le partage des expériences est un gage de succès en matière de relations avec les communautés, qu’elles soient autochtones ou non autochtones.
Québec’s mining industry is recognized for its leadership in the field of occupational health and safety. The Québec Mining Association’s Health and Accident Prevention Committee coordinates discussions between members to ensure ongoing improvements in the health and safety record of the mining industry and in accident prevention. More specifically, members discuss their needs, aims and experience in connection with accident prevention and workers health safety and physical integrity.