The top business risks for Quebec mining companies – by Zahid Fazal (Canadian Mining Journal – October 1, 2017)

A rebound in commodity prices and a lower Canadian dollar have injected fresh momentum into the mining industry in Quebec.

In some ways, this is a continuation of the strengthening we’ve seen across the industry since the financial crisis. Things have improved significantly since 2008, with producers across the province shoring up their balance sheets and holding much healthier cash balances. And on the cost side, miners are continuing to drive down expenses through a focus on productivity and the subsequent automation and digitization of their operations.

Even with these positive indicators, insufficient financing and volatility in the mining industry continue to persist, and a number of other significant business risks pose challenges for Quebec producers. Based on EY’s 2017 ranking of the business risks facing mining and metals, the following three risks stand out as particularly relevant for producers and explorers based in the province.


While mining companies continue to focus on productivity gains, the risk of falling behind remains real. As a result, productivity is the top risk for CEOs and their companies’ boards. By adopting a manufacturing mindset, miners can manage variability and hence improve productivity. In doing so, digital alignment, a market-to-mine approach and a zeroloss focus culture will significantly close the integration gap.

Digital technology will remain critically important to driving further productivity improvements for mining companies.

For example, using technology to create a complete digital picture of an orebody can help with plant optimization through real-time recovery management, allowing producers to accurately forecast feed types.

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