Archive | Quebec Mining

Canadian Malartic, country’s biggest gold mine, shuts down temporarily – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – March 26, 2020)

Canada’s biggest gold mine is shutting down under Quebec’s directive that all non-essential businesses close until April 13 to reduce the spread of COVID-19, putting more stress on the already battered Canadian gold sector.

The Canadian Malartic mine in the Abitibi region of Quebec produced about 450,000 ounces of gold last year, and is co-owned by Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. and Yamana Gold Corp. Agnico’s Goldex and LaRonde mines, both in Quebec, are also closing under the province’s directive.

In addition, the Toronto-based company is paring back operations at its two mines in Nunavut, which heavily rely on Quebec workers. At Meliadine, Agnico plans to process ore from stockpiles for 40 days, while Amaruq will be sidelined entirely. Continue Reading →

Glencore shutters Quebec mines; operations in Sudbury continue – by Staff (Sudbury Star – March 27, 2020)

Glencore said Thursday its Raglan nickel and Matagami zinc operations in Quebec will be on care and maintenance for the next three weeks. Nickel from Raglan is shipped to Glencore’s Sudbury operations, where it is processed. Operations in Sudbury will continue to run.

“The government of Quebec has ordered all non-essential businesses to close in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19. Accordingly, our Raglan (nickel) and Matagami (zinc) operations in Quebec will be on care and maintenance for the next three weeks,” Glencore said in a statement. “In Ontario, the government has issued a similar decree, but mining has been designated an essential business and therefore our assets can continue to operate.”

The company said it is halting operations at its smaller mines around the world due to government restrictions to curb the spread of the coronavirus but added its larger operations were not materially impacted. Continue Reading →

OPINION: To build bridges, not barricades, learn from the Cree Nations of Quebec – by Abel Bosum (Globe and Mail – February 27, 2020)

Abel Bosum is the Grand Chief of the Grand Council of the Crees of Northern Quebec and President of the Eeyou Istchee James Bay Regional Government.

If you’ve been watching the news over the past several weeks, you might have the impression that Indigenous rights and the appetite of non-Indigenous society for resources are irreconcilable, that polarization is inevitable, and that Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians are incapable of listening to one another. It doesn’t have to be this way.

The only way to bring down the barricades that separate us is by truly listening to one another. Right now across Canada, when we get word that a barricade is to be going down, even more spring up. The Prime Minister calls for dialogue and patience, and then yields to the lead of premiers. The situation is confusing for anyone trying to find resolve.

For the Cree Nation of Eeyou Istchee, the situation echoes 2002 – which marked the peak of decades of bitter conflict with Quebec. It was a conflict defined by an unfortunately all-too-common threat posed by large-scale resource development to traditional ways of life, based on hunting, fishing and trapping. Continue Reading →

Cree leaders work to calm fears over surprising $4.7B infrastructure deal – by Susan Bell, Betsy Longchap and Christopher Herodier (CBC News North – February 20, 2020)

Cree leaders in Quebec are focused on reassuring a jittery population after announcing a far-reaching economic development agreement with Quebec regarding massive infrastructure improvements in the territory over the next 30 years and, very likely, more resource extraction projects.

The $4.7-billion Grande Alliance project was signed Monday by Cree Grand Chief Abel Bosum and Quebec Premier François Legault. It proposes a deep sea port, an improved and extended road network and a railway to be built up to the most northern reaches of Cree territory.

The deal came as a surprise to many Cree and had people expressing suspicion, worry and support for the deal on social media. People raised questions about what it will mean, how the land and animals would be affected, and how they will be consulted moving forward. Continue Reading →

Quebec, James Bay Cree announce $4.7-billion development deal – by Christopher Curtis (Montreal Gazette – February 17, 2020)

The vision for the program that includes rail networks and wildlife habitat protection “came from us,” a Cree leader says.

Premier François Legault and the James Bay Cree have signed a $4.7-billion deal that will extend rail networks north, protect new wildlife habitats against development and partner on new infrastructure projects.

The Grand Alliance is a “new chapter” in the relationship between both governments, Legault said Monday. An extended rail network means more minerals can be extracted from mines in the boreal forest and shipped to American and German markets. By increasing rail capacity, Legault says Quebec will offer North American and European businesses an alternative to Chinese imports.

“It will create well-paying jobs in the Cree community but also foster a new generation of Cree entrepreneurs,” said Legault, who called the deal a model of nation-to-nation governance. Continue Reading →

Quebec and Cree Nation sign 30-year economic development deal for James Bay territory (CBC News Montreal – February 17, 2020)

The deal is expected to last 30 years, ensure economic stability for the region

The Quebec and Cree Nation governments have signed a memorandum of understanding for a $5-billion, long-term economic development deal for the James Bay territory, known in the Cree language as Eeyou Istchee.

According to the mandate of the “Grande Alliance,” the deal aims to “the Indigenous values of the region,” while allowing several ambitious social and economic projects to proceed.

Those include the expansion of the rail network to reduce the negative impacts of trucking, the electrification of some industrial projects in the region and infrastructure sharing, Quebec Premier François Legault and Cree Grand Chief Abel Bosum announced Monday. Continue Reading →

Agnico Eagle CEO takes blame as gold miner shocks market with poor 2020 forecast – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – February 15, 2020)

Investors and analysts punished Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. after the big Canadian gold miner shocked the market with a host of unforeseen operational problems across multiple mines.

Last year, Toronto-based Agnico put two new mines into production in the Arctic, but the ramp-up isn’t going to plan, with the company dealing with various challenges such as unanticipated equipment shortages.

At La Ronde, the company’s flagship mine in Quebec, Agnico is grappling with ground stability issues three kilometres underground, and reinforcements are needed. Also in Quebec, at its Canadian Malartic open pit mine, which it co-owns with Yamana Gold Inc., the company is processing lower grade ore than expected. Continue Reading →

Moving 800 tonnes of bog iron by hand – by Susanna McLeod (Kingston Whig Standard (January 29, 2020)

There was no gleam or glitter to the natural resources in the Saint-Maurice valley near Trois-Rivieres, Que. Among the lush forests, there were oil deposits and enormous boggy regions of peat. Under that spongy organic mass, another resource was mixed with clay. The dull red colouring gave away the presence of bog iron, inspiring a vibrant industry in New France, lasting 150 years.

Embroiled in war, France needed as much of the element as it could get. While importing iron from Spain and Sweden, a supply from the new colony would relieve the shortage pressure. Surveying the exceptional mineral resources in Quebec by the mid-17th century, French colonial authorities were pleased to issue an order to begin mining the iron ore in 1670.

The next year, Intendant Jean Talon “indeed had 800 tonnes of ore extracted, but many years would go by before any industrial development actually took place,” Parks Canada’s Forges du Saint-Maurice National Historic Site said. Performing through gruelling manual labour, workers excavated the swampy bog iron with shovels and picks, loading the ore into horse-drawn carts. Continue Reading →

Nemaska Lithium gets lifeline, just as Tesla wins new interest in China – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – January 9, 2020)

Nemaska CEO hoping Tesla’s prospects there could spark strong enough investor excitement to help lift it out of creditor protection

On Tuesday, the same day that Elon Musk awkwardly danced on a stage outside Shanghai and delivered the first “made in China” Tesla Model 3, the Canadian company that hopes to build a foundation for an electric vehicle revolution in North America received a lifeline in Quebec.

The province’s Superior Court Judge Louis J. Gouin gave Nemaska Lithium an additional month to figure out a way forward, under court-granted creditor protection, as it seeks to build the country’s first mine and electrochemical conversion plant to produce battery-grade lithium to power electric vehicles.

Early last year, Nemaska was forced to pause construction on its project in Northern Quebec after a dispute with its bondholders and cost overruns created a roughly $600-million funding shortfall. Continue Reading →

Town called Asbestos to rename itself after people ‘scared away’ – by Vincent Wood (Independent – December 1, 2019)

The town of Asbestos, Canada will seek a new name after acknowledging that the moniker “does not have a good connotation – particularly in English-speaking circles”

Founded in 1899 and named for the “grey gold” found in its surrounding hills, the French-speaking town in Quebec once boasted a thriving mining community. However the mine suspended operations in 2011, with the municipal government of Quebec cancelling a $58million loan promised to reopen it a year later.

Now the town has said it needs to move past its heritage for harvesting the hazardous mineral. “As the word ‘Asbestos’ does not have a good connotation, particularly in English-speaking circles, it is a brake on the city’s willingness to develop economic relations abroad,” the local authority said in a statement. Continue Reading →

Tired of being linked to toxic substance, the Quebec town of Asbestos is changing its name – by Amy Luft (CTV News Montreal – November 27, 2018)

ASBESTOS — The Quebec town of Asbestos is tired of the negative connotation of its name – so it’s getting a new one. Town officials said in a news release Wednesday that municipal council has agreed to a name change following “several reflections and with a view to development oriented towards the future.”

Mayor Hugues Grimard said Wednesday the name carries an unfortunate connotation and it’s preventing the town from developing foreign business ties.

“If we want to go further in terms of economic development, then we don’t have the choice,” Grimard said in an interview. “The media attention of our past stays with us any time we do anything.” Continue Reading →

JOURNEY DOWN THE RAILWAY THAT COULDN’T BE BUILT – by Peter Gzowski (MACLEAN’S Magazine – Novmeber 16, 1963)

A portrait, then and now, of the extraordinary feat that is the Quebec North Shore and Labrador line

THE SUN was inching into the bleak northern sky when Maclean’s photo editor Don Newlands and I checked out of the Sir Wilfred Grenfell Hotel in Wabush, Labrador, to begin the journey to Seven Islands, Que. We had flown into Wabush directly from Toronto and spent a few days there looking into life on the last frontier, à la 1963, and although we had both enjoyed our visit with the men and women who are opening up the wilderness, I for one was anxious to get going.

Our program was to drive our rented car to Labrador City, three miles away over a dirt road, and then take the passenger-express train from there to Seven Islands. Most of this journey would be over the QNS & L — the Quebec North Shore and Labrador Railway — and seeing the railway, I knew, would be an exciting experience for me.

I had spent the summer of 1952 as a beardless (though not for lack of trying) chain man on a survey party helping to build the QNS & L. And, although I hadn’t been back in eleven years, I had retained a sort of proprietary interest in the railway.

The QNS & L was one of the great construction projects of our time, a job that many expert engineers were certain could never be finished, and many of us who worked on it — there were as many as seven thousand men employed at one time — looked on the achievement much the way war veterans look on battles their regiments have won. Continue Reading →

Canadian lithium-tech companies find traction amid rise of electric cars – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – September 26, 2019)

Canada’s mainstream lithium miners continue to struggle suggesting the next wave of growth will come from technology — not geology

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau travelled to Burnaby, British Columbia to announce his latest climate change initiative at the pilot plant of an upstart company that’s tinkering with lithium-ion battery technology.

His choice of venue revealed much about the opportunities in Canada as a new supply chain takes shape around the growing electric vehicle industry, which relies on lithium-ion batteries, not oil.

Although mining has been a historical strength in Canada, the latest rush around battery metals may end up providing more opportunities to this country’s fledgling technology sector. Continue Reading →

Osisko Gold buys Stornoway Diamond in deal with creditors – by Colin McClelland (Financial Post – September 9, 2019)

Montreal-based Osisko Gold Royalties Ltd. is buying Stornoway Diamond Corp. in partnership with its creditors as the Longueuil, Que.-based gem miner files for bankruptcy protection.

The agreement stemming from a June letter of intent will see Osisko and other creditors assume all debts and liabilities of Stornoway while continuing to operate its Renard diamond mine in Quebec by supplying $20 million in working capital, according to a company filing to the provincial Superior Court.

“The continued downward pressure on the market price for rough diamonds, as well as a variety of other factors and circumstances, have contributed to the corporation’s inability to generate positive free cash flow in 2019, and to maintain an adequate level of working capital,” the company said in the filing. Continue Reading →

Quebec is poised to be a leader in lithium development, Legault says (Montreal Gazette – August 19, 2019)

Lithium is a “jewel” that Quebec has yet to exploit, Premier François Legault said on Sunday.

Speaking to the youth wing of the Coalition Avenir Québec meeting in Sherbrooke, Legault dreamed of a Quebec that would one day export lithium batteries around the world, noting that the province is home to the world’s third-largest deposit of lithium, an element essential to the manufacturing of batteries used by electric vehicles.

Along with other “strategic metals” that are also found in Quebec, Legault said it would be possible to construct “100-per-cent Quebec batteries.” “We have the potential to take our place in this enormous market,” Legault said. Continue Reading →