June 24, 2024

The Queens County Citizen

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An unprecedented gold rush in Quebec

An unprecedented gold rush in Quebec

Exploration in Quebec is great. In 2021, Quebec set a historic Quebec record for spending on exploration and deposit appraisal work. And this, thanks in large part to the discovery of gold.

Mining exploration expenditures reached $990 million, including $708 million by exploration firms; $278 million by management firms; and $4 million by public corporations (regulated by the Quebec government).

Record exploration spending in 2021, up 85% from 2020, testifies to companies’ interest in Quebec’s mining potential, indicated the annual mining investment survey led by Louis Mador, senior analyst for mining statistics at the Institut de la Statistic du Québec.

Precious metals

Expenditures for precious metals, mainly gold, exploration and deposit evaluation are at the top: they account for 71.5% of the total exploration costs, with the work amounting to 708 million dollars.

Exploration for lithium, graphite and rare earth deposits accounted for only 5.6% of exploration costs, with work totaling $56 million.

Iron, titanium and vanadium are 9.5% of the cost, totaling $94 million in work.

Exploration for base metals, including zinc, copper and aluminum, generated $119 million in expenditures.

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Our “Klondike”

Surprisingly, the Nord-du-Québec region ranks first in mining exploration work with 62.8% of total expenditures, or no less than $622 million.

Abitibi-Témiscamingue was second with $236 million in work, nearly 24% of total spending in Quebec.

Mining complexes

Now looking at investment costs in Quebec mining complexes, they will reach $3.3 billion in 2021. This includes $1.67 billion in capital expenditures; $897 million in development; and $733 million in repairs and maintenance.

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For investments in mining complexes, 2021 is the “best” in the last eight years.

Mining complexes in Quebec saw the largest investments in 2012 and 2013, reaching $4.5 billion and $4.2 billion, respectively.

Political digression: these two good years of mining investment coincided with the reign of PQ Premier Pauline Marois from September 2012 to April 2014!

Foreign domination

According to a Statistics Quebec survey, the largest investment in our mineral wealth is by foreigners.

In 2021, foreign companies accounted for nearly 60% (59.8%) of the capital expenditure of mining complexes.

Canadian companies headquartered outside Quebec accounted for 37.8% of costs.

On the other hand Quebec companies are doing poorly with only 2.5% of investments. This is a very disappointing statistic.

One thing is certain, we are far from being “masters in our own house” with our mineral wealth!

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