Forest fires disrupt Quebec mining and exploration activity

Operations at the Casa Berardi mine have been temporarily suspended.

Operations at the Casa Berardi mine have been temporarily suspended.

6th June 2023

By: Mariaan Webb

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online


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Several mining and exploration companies operating in Quebec have temporarily suspended their operations, as the Canadian province struggles to battle more than 160 forest fires during what officials say is shaping up to be among the country’s worst fire seasons ever.

Numerous fires are forcing thousands of evacuations in several regions of Quebec and are threatening essential infrastructure.

At the weekend, the Quebec government announced the closure of forest lands and certain roads, which impact mining and exploration operations.

Precious metals miner Hecla has temporarily suspended operations at the Casa Berardi mine, owing to the fires in the Abitibi and the Eeyou-Istchee region in the James Bay area.

Hecla said on Tuesday that all Casa Berardi’s personnel were safe, and that the infrastructure had not been impacted.

The fires are also impacting on railway operations servicing the Bloom Lake mine, owned by TSX- and ASX-listed Champion Iron.

The iron-ore miner confirmed that there were no damages to the railway or third-party infrastructure and that services were expected to resume in the near term; however interruptions could impact on the supply chain required to maintain a complete operational capacity at the mine.

Bloom Lake benefits from significant onsite concentrate stockpiling capacity, but sales could be materially impacted, Champion noted.

Work on several exploration projects has also ground to a halt as companies comply with restrictions imposed by the government.

Osisko Mining has withdrawn its staff from the Windfall gold project, while Fury Gold Mines has halted all exploration activities at the Eau Claire project and Patriot Battery Metals has ceased all drilling and surface exploration field activities.

Quebec Nickel, Troilus Gold, Q2 Metals, Brunswick Exploration, Bonterra Resources, Archer Exploration, Cosmos Exploration and Champion Electric Metals have all ceased activities at their projects.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter




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