Since 1915, the Northern Miner weekly newspaper has chronicled Canada’s globally significant mining sector.
Back in 1986, before Louis Gignac accepted the opportunity to head up a public mining company holding the crown jewels of Quebec’s government-owned Soquem, he wanted assurances that the company would be truly private and not in any way an instrument of government policy.
After securing this hands-off pledge, Gignac set out to build a gold mining company that was entrepreneurial in nature and primed for the big leagues. At the onset, Gignac made it clear that his growth plans for Cambior (TSE) would not be restricted to the Quebec projects inherited from the Soquem privatization.
“We will go wherever the opportunity arises,” Gignac told The Northern Miner at the time of Cambior’s public offering. These proved to be prophetic words. Cambior’s roots are still firmly planted in Quebec, where a number of its mines are situated. But the operating experience gained in Quebec also gave the company the expertise and the confidence to compete on an international level. Today, much of the company’s gold production comes from outside North America, and its current development and advanced exploration projects reflect an aggressive diversification into base metals.
For his role in shaping Cambior into one of Canada’s foremost mining companies and for other industry achievements, The Northern Miner has named Louis Gignac, 44, its “Mining Man of the Year” for 1994.