Ball, Couillard talk mining, roads – by David Maher (St. John’s Telegram – April 12, 2018)

N.L. and Quebec seek to expand mining in Labrador Trough

Premier Dwight Ball and Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard are sending a signal that the Labrador Trough is open for business for the mining industry.

The provinces entered an agreement on Thursday to send a signal that they aim to work together on jurisdictional and geological information. One of the goals is to eliminate jurisdictional squabbles over the Labrador-Quebec border that could delay mining the area.

“Both our jurisdictions are recognized as an attractive place to do business. What we want to do is make sure that we do a better job of sharing information,” Ball said.

It’s the jurisdictional questions that are prominent in the talks. Should a new railway need to be installed to help accommodate a new mine, cost-sharing between the provinces will be important. Ball says the provinces want to prevent disputes. “That is really the reason why we’re at the table,” he said.

For example, one railway near the Shefferville mine has a railway that crosses between the two provinces. Power is generated on the Labrador side, then used on the Quebec side for the mine. Ball says those confusing questions will be sorted out through the agreement.

“Companies really want to know that if they sit down with one government, they’ll have a similar conversation at other tables,” he said.

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