Strategic Activities in 2004
- By signing the Peace of the Braves Agreement with the Cree on
February 7, 2002 and the Sanarrutik Agreement with the Inuit on
April 9, 2002, Québec has pledged to encourage and facilitate
the signing of agreements between mining promoters and the Aboriginal
- Three native mineral exploration funds, to which the Department
granted $650,000 in financial support during the 2004-2005 fiscal
year, are currently active:
- the Nunavik Mineral Exploration Fund, active since 1998;
- the Nitassinan Innu Mining Fund, active since March 2002;
- the Cree Mineral Exploration Board, created in March 2002.
- In 2004, 75 Crees (25% of the labor force) worked at the Troilus
gold mine north of Chibougamau and 65 Inuit (14% of the labor
force) worked at the Raglan nickel mine in Nunavik. Moreover,
more than 50 Cree and Inuit prospectors worked for mining companies
exploring in the James Bay and Nunavik areas.
Québec’s Strategy for Protected Areas
- The Department contributes to the creation of protected areas,
at the same time as it looks after the interests of the mining
- The area of land set aside in protected areas continued to
increase: from 2.9% of the landmass in 1999 (48,000 km2)
to 5.4% in 2004 (90,016 km2). Québec’s
strategy concerning protected areas is to reach 8% of its surface
area, that is, 133,000 km2.
- Work continued to identify new territories of interest in the
natural provinces of the Abitibi and James Bay Lowlands (F), the
central Laurentians (D), and the Mistassini Highlands (G).
- In 2004, a strategy aimed at protecting exceptional geological
sites was developed, and the population can now propose potential
sites to the Department.
- In 2005, work will be carried out in the natural province of
the southern Laurentians (C).
- In 2005-2006, the Department will propose legal means to protect
designated exceptional geological sites.
- The Act to amend the Mining Act was sanctioned on
December 18, 2003. In addition to modifications to the financial
guarantee, the following measures are among the main changes:
- A claim holder may renew claims if they are located within
a 4.5 km radius circle of a claim for which there is an excess
of assessment work credits.
- Map designation within a staking park is possible under
- Municipalities and intermunicipal boards may obtain an
exclusive lease for exploitation of surface mineral substances
for the construction and maintenance of their road networks.
- In the public interest, the granting of mining titles on
certain territories can be temporarily suspended for a maximum
period of six months during the preparation of a ministerial
order concerning, for example, the creation of a protected
Committee on the National Diamond Strategy
- On July 20, the Steering Committee of the Strategy, composed
of representatives of the provinces and territories and co-chaired
by Québec and the Northwest Territories, presented its
report to the provincial and territorial mines ministers during
the Mines Ministers’ Conference in Iqaluit. The ministers
approved the National Diamond Strategy action plan. The fifteen
recommendations set forth in the action plan are framed around
three aspects that underlie the development of the diamond market
in Canada: the supply of Canadian-sourced diamonds, the demand
for diamonds processed in Canada, and the regulation of the markets.
These three aspects must be taken into account if the diamond
industry is to be developed in a sustainable way.
- The provincial and territorial Premiers received the action
plan and approved the National Diamond Strategy at the Council
of the Federation held at Niagara-on-the-lake, from July 28 to
30, 2004. The Premiers mandated the provincial and territorial
mines ministers to continue to plan the implementation of the
- Ministers Brendan Bell of the Northwest Territories and Sam
Hamad of Québec made public the action
plan of the Strategy on September 24, 2004. The industry gave
it a very favorable welcome.
Strategy for the Accelerated Development of Québec’s
- Québec’s diamond strategy was announced on June
14, 2004 in Matane in the presence of the Premier of Québec.
This strategy comprises 14 measures aimed at enhancing exploration,
development, cutting, polishing, and jewelry making.
- In order to facilitate the discovery and development of new
copper deposits in northwestern Québec and to ensure the
availability of feed to the Horne smelter, the government has
until now encouraged mining exploration by renewing and improving
existing fiscal measures and by acquiring geoscientific knowledge
in priority sectors, including those of Rouyn-Noranda and Matagami.
- The Department began the production of mineral potential maps
for base metals for the Abitibi region and the southern part of
the James Bay territory. About 120 regional maps will be launched
at the next Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada Convention
(PDAC). These maps will show many new exploration targets for
copper in Québec.
- As an additional measure contributing to the same objectives,
a Copper Plan committee was struck in 2004. It is composed of
representatives of the Québec Mineral Exploration Association,
the Québec Mining Association, Coalition Noranda, SOQUEM,
the Ministère des Ressources naturelles et de la Faune,
and the Ministère du Développement économique,
de l’Innovation et de l’Exportation.
Québec’s Granite Strategy
- The Department made particular efforts to encourage the development
of the granite sector:
- An advisory board composed mostly of industry representatives
was set up.
- A granite section was developed on the Internet website
of the Department.
- Inventory surveys were carried out and promotional documents
Geoscientific Activities at the Department
- The Department invested more than $3.5 million in inventory
surveys and geoscientific studies. Work was concentrated in the
most accessible areas and was carried out in response to the need
for increased resources, especially copper, zinc, and gold. The
Department also sought to highlight the mineral potential of new,
poorly known sectors in the extension of the Chibougamau mining
camp, on the North Shore, and in Gaspésie. During the summer
of 2004, seven geological surveys and about fifteen thematic studies
were carried out in various areas. The first results were revealed
in November during Québec Exploration 2004.
Québec Exploration 2004
- The second edition of Québec Exploration was held from
November 22 to 25. Organized jointly by the Ministère des
Ressources naturelles, de la Faune et des Parcs and the Québec
Mineral Exploration Association, the event attracted nearly 1,200 participants
from the mining exploration sector, geoscientific research organizations,
and the business world.
- A colloquium on Québec’s geological heritage was
held immediately following Québec Exploration 2004.