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Québec Mining Companies Invested Record Sum of $3.2 Billion in 2011
Québec, March 6, 2012 – For the eighth year in a row, mining investment rose, reaching a new all-time high of $3.2 billion in 2011 and, according to the intentions expressed by mining companies, will be very close to $5 billion this year. That was revealed by the Institut de la statistique du Québec in the 2011 preliminary survey on mining investment in Québec.
Investments in 2011 exceeded those in 2010 by 8.2% ($2.92 billion). The mining triangle formed by the regions of Nord-du-Québec, Abitibi-Témiscamingue and Côte-Nord once again reaped the vast majority of mining investments in the province (96%). Nord-du-Québec ($1.26 billion), which, for the first time, passed the one-billion mark in investment, topping the list of mining regions, ahead of Abitibi-Témiscamingue ($888 million), the leader in the two previous years, and Côte-Nord ($884 million).
Once again, gold captured the lion’s share with 40% of spending, followed by iron at 29%.
Relaunch of the Lebel-sur-Quévillon Pulp and Paper Mill
Québec Premier Jean Charest, together with Pierre Corbeil, Minister responsible for the Abitibi-Témiscamingue region and the Nord-du-Québec region and MNA for Abitibi-Est, announced a $232.7-million investment to relaunch the Lebel-sur-Quévillon pulp and paper mill. The project will create more than 300 direct jobs at the mill and about 400 indirect jobs in the forest industry and transportation sector.
The agreement signed by the former owner, Domtar, the new buyer, Fortress Global Cellulose, and the Québec government provides for a $132.4-million loan from Investissement Québec repayable over 10 years. This assistance will come from the economic development fund of the Ministère du Développement économique, de l'Innovation et de l'Exportation.
The mill, which has been closed for five years, will be converted for cellulose production. The market for cellulose pulp is growing worldwide, and the sector offers good long-term development prospects.