Quebec’s increase in mining claims, including under people’s homes, is causing anxiety – by Jacob Serebrin (CTV News Montreal/Canadian Press – February 5, 2024)

When Ellen Rice-Hogan discovered that someone had bought a mining claim under her farm, she was shocked. “There’s no mining around the Township of Low, Que., about 40 kilometres northwest of Ottawa, where she raises sheep and cattle.

“It was shocking, surprising, all of the above,” she said. “We’re a small community. The potential of this is huge and it’s going to have a huge negative impact, I feel, on our territory.” There is a boom in mining claims in Quebec as prospectors anticipate explosive demand for minerals used in electric batteries.

The rush has people laying claim all over — even under people’s homes. In response, residents and municipalities are calling for the rules to be tightened.

While most mining in Quebec still takes place in the province’s north, the demand for graphite and lithium — crucial components in electric vehicle batteries — has miners expanding their search to southern regions, where the industry is unfamiliar to residents and local governments. Rice-Hogan’s town council wants much of its territory to be designated by the province as incompatible with mining.

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