Miner key in Canada
July 23, 2014
In 2011, mining added C$10.2bn to Québec' s economy, employing 85,000 in 32 mines and plants. While Québec ranked as the world’s #1 most attractive spot for mining exploration between 2007 and 2010, royalty hikes & a 3-tiered tax on profits dropped it to 21st in 2013.
“For investors wanting stability, it wasn’t really there in the last 18 months,“ says Nochane Rousseau, Mining Sector Leader at PwC Québec. In Dec 2013 an amended Mining Act loosened mining lease rules. A new Québec C$1 bn fund will seek equity in mining and oil & gas projects.
The region, twice the size of Texas, includes James Bay (gold, diamonds, uranium, zinc, copper), the North Shore & Labrador Trough (iron, copper, zinc, nickel) and Nunavik (copper, nickel). C$63m will go to transport infrastructure and do a feasibility study on rail to Labrador.
Québec plans to provide the Côte-Nord with LNG access by 2016. Instead of a pipeline, says PwC’s Mr Rousseau, current thoughts include floating LNG. In windy Nunavik, Xstrata-Nickel Raglan Mine looks to integrate wind into diesel-based power, storing surpluses via hydrogen.
The Northern Plan Fund will receive C$2bn by 2035, with $100m for training people to work the mines. If all 11 projects from 2011 continue, it could mean 11,000 construction-phase jobs and 4,000 jobs per year subsequently.
The Economist (GE Look Ahead)