What you might not know about the mining industry in Quebec!

What you might not know about the mining industry in Quebec!

The mining industry is booming in Quebec, thanks in no small part to the development of its lithium sector. However, this sector remains relatively unknown to the public, despite the important strategic role it plays for the province. Mines and their operation represent a considerable source of wealth for the province and provide us with materials we can’t do without in our daily lives.

Here are some interesting facts you might not know about the mining industry in Quebec!

Minerals and metals from here

Quebec is rich in minerals and metals of all kinds. The Nord-du-Québec region is well known for its nickel, copper, and cobalt reserves; the Lanaudière and Laurentides regions have graphite in spades; and Abitibi-Témiscamingue stands out for its gold, silver, diamond, and lithium deposits. Titanium can even be found in Havre-Saint-Pierre and Sorel-Tracy! More than 90% of all our bedrock was formed in the Precambrian era, which dates back to the Earth’s formation. This explains why our soil abounds in ores and rare metals, such as diamonds and gold, whose chemical elements came to us from the skies during this particularly turbulent geological period.

A brief history

We could say that Quebec’s mining history began around the time Jacques Cartier arrived in North America and believed he discovered diamonds and gold on the shores of Cap Diamant (hence the name of the famous cape in Quebec City). Much to his disappointment, it was actually quartz and pyrite. It was not until 1686 that the first lead, zinc, and silver deposit was discovered in Abitibi-Témiscamingue, on the shore of Lac Témiscamingue. For 200 years, the mining industry simply extracted extracting iron sands and operated quarries and sandpits. Did you know that the Beauce region saw the first gold rush in Canada, after the first nugget of this precious metal was discovered there in 1835?

At the turn of the 20th century, Abitibi-Témiscamingue held 90% of all the mining claims registered in Quebec. Aerial exploration, however, allowed the industry to broaden its horizons, as new deposits were discovered and areas such as Chapais-Chibougamau were developed. Lithium recovery is a very recent process in the province’s history. Prior to 2020, only one lithium mine had ever been operated in Quebec: the North American Lithium Complex. With the growing global demand for this critical and strategic metal, a new chapter in Quebec’s mining history is happening right now!

An increasingly inclusive field

According to the most recent statistics for 2021, the mining industry represents more than 48,000 direct and indirect jobs in Quebec alone. While it has historically been male-dominated, women are increasingly taking their place in this dynamic economic sector. Between 2014 and 2018, the number of women hired by mining companies increased by 35.8%, reflecting the democratization of the sector and the growing involvement of different demographics. As a result, organizations such as Women in Mining (https://wimcanada.org/) are taking the lead when it comes to inclusion and representation in the mining sector. Quebec’s natural resources are everyone’s business!

A special role for Indigenous peoples

From a historical point of view, it is important to remember that Indigenous peoples have been involved in the rock, metal, and mineral trade for centuries, particularly through their traditional crafts. Across Canada, Indigenous people make up 12% of the workforce in the mining sector, as many mining sites are close to their communities. This is the highest rate of any industry in the country. For a company like Sayona, collaboration with Indigenous peoples and their involvement from the very beginning of the organization’s strategic projects is essential. There are many opportunities to build meaningful, mutually beneficial projects with and for local communities and Indigenous groups!

All in all, Quebec’s rich mining industry is not a thing of the past—it is continually evolving and unfolding before our eyes. It is experiencing new growth and bringing a wind of opportunity and renewal to the province. Here’s hoping you learned something new!

Sources :

Keysdates, Ministère des Ressources naturelles et des Forêts

History of the Mining Industry, Ministère des Ressources naturelles et des Forêts

Mining in Quebec : 25+ Facts, Canada Action

Lithium, Portail substances minérales, Ministère des Ressources naturelles et des Forêts

Uncategorized

Our 2022 ESG report and our sustainable commitments to the community

ESG (environmental, social, and governance) factors are crucial to sustainable and transparent management, as they provide important guidance for strategic decision-making and risk management. One of the aims of publishing the 2022 ESG report is to demonstrate Sayona’s commitment to building relationships of trust with the community and to pursuing its environmental, social, and governance […]+

Uncategorized

What you might not know about the mining industry in Quebec!

The mining industry is booming in Quebec, thanks in no small part to the development of its lithium sector. However, this sector remains relatively unknown to the public, despite the important strategic role it plays for the province. Mines and their operation represent a considerable source of wealth for the province and provide us with […]+

Uncategorized

Sayona at PDAC 2023: the power to connect

Sayona will once again be taking part in the annual PDAC (Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada) convention, which will be held in Toronto in one week. The PDAC convention is one of the most important events in the mining industry, bringing together professionals from exploration, mining, finance, and more. It’s an opportunity for industry […]+