While the demand for our minerals is about to explode with the proliferation of electric vehicles, it is mainly foreign companies that are in charge of mining development in Quebec.
• Read also: [MAPS] 20 of the 22 mines in Quebec belong to foreigners
• Read also: Meetings on the road to the Abitibi mines
Quebec has not succeeded in taking control of its mineral resources, as our mapping shows. Almost all of the mines on its territory – and their profits – do not belong to it.
The Journal presents a major file on the state of our mines until Monday. We met with citizens, elected officials, entrepreneurs and workers concerned with mining development. Testimonials that illustrate how this industry arouses passions:
Very few head offices
In 2014, the largest mining project ever led by Quebecers, the Canadian Malartic gold mine in Abitibi, passed into the hands of the Toronto firms Agnico Eagle and Yamana Gold.
The purchase offer was too attractive for the shareholders to refuse.
André Gaumond, who played a major role in the discovery of the Éléonore gold mine, located in Eeyou Istchee–Baie-James, remains hopeful of seeing the creation of a new major Quebec mining company like Cambior, which was sold to Ontario's Iamgold in 2006.
“In the area of production, we are very good, but we have fewer producer headquarters [than Ontario]. It's still a lot of owners from outside Quebec, but it's coming, ”says Mr. Gaumond.
Built by Ontarians
He would have liked the Éléonore deposit to be developed by a local company.
“Yes, it could have been developed by Quebecers, but putting the mine into production cost US$2 billion,” he recalls. At the time, there was Cambior who made an offer, but they didn't quite deliver. »
Goldcorp of Toronto acquired the Éléonore project and built the mine. Goldcorp is now owned by the American giant Newmont.
A healthy industry
In another era, not only did our mines belong to companies from outside Quebec, but most of their managers and technical teams also came from elsewhere.
The Quebec industry, with its geologists, exploration companies, production managers, mining engineers and specialized suppliers, is in very good health, assures Mr. Gaumond.
"Just because we don't have a lot of head offices of big mining companies doesn't mean we don't play an important role on the chessboard," he says.