New rules will cost Quebec lost investments, miners warn

À titre d’information seulement, n’étant pas un expert dans ce domaine, par contre je me suis amusé à lire certains commentaires qui sont assez colorés.


Extrait de: New rules will cost Quebec lost investments, miners warn, Bertrand Marotte, Globe and Mail, Sep. 11, 2011

Quebec’s reputation as one of the most mining-friendly places in the world is taking a beating as exploration companies sound the alarm over stringent new government regulations they say could scare away at least $1-billion in investments.

Quebec is pushing ahead with proposed new legislation that would force exploration companies to win approval from local and municipal authorities for their projects.

The proposed law – Bill 14 – means companies would have to deal with a third level of regulation for their projects besides federal and provincial rules.

It also spells potential chaos as small and medium-sized companies try to navigate the uncertainty of dealing with individual municipalities which have their own local standards, say industry officials.

For the Liberal government of Jean Charest, Bill 14 is an attempt to address a growing citizens’ backlash over the perception that mining and oil and gas exploration companies have been taking advantage of lax provincial regulatory and tax regimes.

Angry public concerns voiced earlier this year over the environmental impact of commercial shale gas exploration in the province helped bring to the fore the issue of stricter regulations in the resources sector.

The Quebec government in March put on hold all hydraulic fracturing activity until a comprehensive environmental review is concluded.

In the case of mining exploration, Quebec City has deemed that giving direct input to the province’s local governments is the best way of making sure the decision-making process is as open and fair as possible.

It is doing so at a time when mining activity in the province is booming. Projects include an $80-billion government-led initiative to foster mineral extraction in the northern regions over the next 25 years as well as Osisko Mining Corp.’s development of what is expected to be the biggest open-pit gold mine in Canada, in Malartic.

For Ghislain Poirier, president of the Quebec Mineral Exploration Association, the proposed law is a surefire way to help chip away at the golden egg mining represents for the province.

“Can you imagine the chaos that giving this power to
1,200 municipalities is going to create?”

said Mr. Poirier.

“If this bill passes, investment in Quebec mining will take a hit because this will increase the risk, the fact that any single town or village mayor and his team could have the power to kill a project,” he said.

“We’re very concerned. This is a big mess.”

The association says passage of the bill as is could lead to losses of $1-billion in current and cumulative mineral exploration investments in the province as investors back off because of the increased risk a project won’t go through.

Anand Beejan, partner and mining sector expert at Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton, says the Northern Plan unveiled by Mr. Charest earlier this year has helped boost the province’s global profile as a top mining investment destination.

But the municipal-oversight aspects of Bill 14 will only lead to investor skittishness, he believes.

“You’re adding a layer of regulatory approval, which increases the cost for the company and the risk for investors because you’re hurting the valuation of the company investing in the property,”

he said.

Instead of imposing the requirement that every town and village council have the right to veto exploration projects in their backyards, the mineral association is proposing that Quebec create an arm’s-length commission to apply and enforce the existing Mining Act, including arbitration of conflicts over controversial exploration plans.

The provincial government has said it’s prepared to study the proposed amendment.


Les blogueurs:

Marp

9:12 PM on September 11, 2011

The not in my back yard syndrome will kill many projects. Provincial regulations that ensure safety and environmental standards are the best way to manage mining in the Provence. Pushing this down to the municipal level will make the province wost than a banana republic from a business perspective

Thorwald01

I have seen a case where a 'local' prospector in Ontario has attempted to become the mayor of a town, where this prospector holds mining claims of his own. His intent, was not only to receive 'power' to advance his own interests in his mining claims, but also to try and sell/lease 'surface rights' for summer camps purposes, on his mining claims that cover lakefront property.

Conflicts of interest could easily develop. If a prospector uses the municipality 'power' advantage in order to 'squash' a mining request, this prospector (who now knows the value of the property that has been turned down for development), could later attempt to re-stake the mining claim for his own purpose, and use his elected power to change the rules in his own favour.

Thorwald Johansen

jpthoma1

The Québec government, by stating in this new law that it will no more issue new mining rights in the inhabited part of the province (art. 91), shows to all its citizen that mining is no more socially acceptable, except in the northern part of the province where only minor part of the land is inhabited.

How can a citizen accept to let an exploration company do some works on its land, if their own government has decided it's not socially acceptable?

They will all say NO! Even, if their municipality does not oppose the project.

Quebeckers, and specially people in the Abitibi area where mining is the main economic activity, will regret that move, 10 to 20 years from now. Because, it takes 10 to 20 years to discover, develop and start production at a new mine site

titewad3

1:03 AM on September 12, 2011

"Quebec will lose a Billion dollars in investment"
Don't worry Quebec...the NDP will come to your rescue and you can screw Alberta out of an extra Billion, they can afford it.
We wouldn't want you to hurt your environment, especially around Asbestos

titewad3

3:22 AM on September 13, 2011

Quebec wants a clean environment...

Quebec wants a $7.00/day..daycare..

Quebec wants lower taxes.

Quebec wants an arena paid for by the Feds..or all of us..

Quebec WANTS, WANTS, WANTS, but when it comes to any type of work/industry/project that will help pay for all this..Sorry, we'll just wait for our check from Alberta...

The sooner these NDP leeches separate, the better....

lynnescape1

1:11 AM on September 12, 2011

I live in a community on Vancouver Island where a coal mining company is hoping to install coal mines in over 70,000 acres of our watershed. I am appalled that despite mass local opposition to the project, the company is proceeding with its attempts. Damned straight communities should have a say in what happens to their environment! The mining companies may provide jobs, but they are under-regulated and have been getting away with destroying the environment for too long. The laws protecting the environment must be much more stringent, and we need more government inspectors taking care of our water and our air. I understand that we need steel, but I think our water should trump mineral extraction every time. They should go to places where they are welcomed, and that isn't in the middle of a community which values a pristine environment. Eco-tourism and food growing are sustainable. Mining isn't.

Especially coal mining which destroys the planet, and gas-fracking which is selling our children's future.