Metals processing in Montreal worth about C$1.8bn to metropolitan economy

8th February 2013 By: Henry Lazenby - Creamer Media Deputy Editor: North America

TORONTO ( – The economic spinoffs of metals processing in the Montreal metropolitan area are worth about C$1.8-billion a year and maintain about 19 000 direct and indirect jobs, a study by the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal said on Thursday.

The report, titled ‘Metal processing and Greater Montreal: A sustainable and promising alliance’ found 46% of Quebec's primary processing businesses and 42% of its secondary processing businesses were located in the metropolitan area, and an increase in activity in this sector would benefit the city's manufacturing industry.

"The study we are releasing today furthers the analysis that began in 2012 about the spinoffs of natural resource exploitation for the metropolitan area. The Government of Quebec announced its intention to hold consultations on the royalty regime and will soon propose new legislation on mining.

“Given this, it is important that we base our debate on facts and dispel any myths. The Board of Trade study clearly shows that Quebec already processes a significant portion of the metal extracted in the province, contrary to what is widely believed. This is in addition to processing ore from abroad,” Board of Trade CEO Michel Leblanc said.

He added that the fact that Montreal processes a significant share of metals did not mean there was no room for improvement.

"To take full advantage of business opportunities in natural resource exploitation, we can increase the spill-over effects upstream and downstream in the value chain. That said, we have to do it intelligently, based on the particularities and challenges of each sector, from extraction to tertiary processing. The situation changes dramatically, depending on whether we're dealing with iron, copper, nickel, gold or titanium."

The Board of Trade said the city had definite assets to take advantage of the dynamic metals processing sector, along with all of Quebec's regions.

At the heart of its strategy to develop the natural resources sector, the Board of Trade proposed creating more contact between significant order givers, suppliers, users and qualified workers to create the synergy needed to increase spinoffs for the city.

"The responsible and sustainable exploitation of our natural resources, at every stage in the value chain, is a unique opportunity to participate in global growth, stimulate our manufacturing sector and create wealth in the metropolitan area," Leblanc said.