Quebec mining Bill to hurt investment – QMEA

18th September 2013

By: Henry Lazenby

Creamer Media Deputy Editor: North America


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TORONTO ( – An analysis of Bill 43 of the Quebec Mining Act had concluded that, in its current form, the Bill would eventually reduce the ability of the mining industry to develop resources, create jobs and generate wealth for Quebecers, the Quebec Mining Exploration Association (QMEA) has said.

The association on Tuesday expressed surprise and concern during a Parliamentary committee presentation, saying it was clear that government demonstrated an “unfortunate” lack of understanding of how the industry and its business models worked, as well as of the challenges the industry faced.

“The Bill ignores the reality of mineral resource development in Quebec and seems to uphold a fictional vision of our practice on the ground," QMEA geologist and president Philippe Cloutier said.

The QMEA, which represents about 2 000 individual members and more than 250 corporate members in the province, said the new legislative framework included too many administrative and discretionary provisions, including the introduction of more than 70 separate provisions that were “arbitrary” and “disproportionate” in nature.

In an explanatory memorandum supporting its position, the association included a variety of provisions regarding the management of mining titles and new requirements imposed on operators, as well as provisions that would affect the development of the sector's stakeholders by rendering their business environment unpredictable.

The association did, however, unanimously support certain items in the Bill, such as paying 100% of financial guarantees to ensure future site remediation and assigning a proactive role to regional county municipalities in determining zones that are incompatible with mining activities, which partly reflected an agreement reached between the industry and the municipal sector.

The association urged the government to provide a transparent, predictable and stable legal framework to ensure the development of Quebec's mineral sector accorded with the province's economic interests.

"The proposed processes will make each step of a project dependent on the whims of the presiding Minister. Faced with so many random provisions, investments in our exploration projects will become illusory, since there will be little guarantee of being able to bring an interesting discovery to a viable operating project," QMEA general director Valérie Fillion said.

The association offered its full cooperation to government to make all improvements needed to align the Bill with the mining industry, as well as the realities of the geoscientific and economic environment.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter


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