Experts call for reforms as Quebec residents stake claims to prevent mining activity near their homes – by Nicolas Van Praet (Globe and Mail – August 15, 2023)

Quebeckers living outside big cities are taking the unusual step of buying mining claims on their own properties to shield them from commercial exploration, amid a new wave of interest in the province’s mineral potential.

Landowners in the towns of Saint-Élie-de-Caxton, Saint-Mathieu-du-Parc, Saint Boniface and Shawinigan in Quebec’s Mauricie region have purchased 165 claims since April this year. Non-profit organizations have bought another 61, for a total of 226, according to Gilbert Guérin, president of a local group fighting mining development. And this is only one of many such hot spots.

“A mining project here would be like an elephant in a china shop – highly destructive,” Mr. Guérin said. “It’s a region of nature and culture. The government doesn’t seem to see this. It’s as if they’re telling companies, ‘The territory is open for you, help yourselves.’”

MiningWatch Canada, another group that advocates for limits on mining, says there has been an unprecedented boom in claims in Southern Quebec by companies and investors over the past two years.

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