Mining in Quebec: 25+ Facts

Mining in Quebec 25 Facts and Statistics

Did you know that Mining in Quebec accounted for 34.3% of Canada's gold production in 2019, or that the province also is home to the largest operating gold mine in the country?! If you didn't, you'll want to read on and learn more facts such as how Quebec's mining industry is also a major producer of minerals and metals that are essential for the production of electric vehicle batteries including cobalt, lithium, graphite and more!

Mining in Quebec is an important part of our nation's prosperity as it creates economic opportunities for Canadians while providing us with some of the materials used in several modern day applications that supplement our high standard of living and quality of life.

Gain more insight on mining in Quebec by checking out the 25+ facts and statistics we've compiled for you below! Also see:


Canada Top Producer of Minerals Metals


25+ Facts on Quebec's Mining Sector

#1 - Several minerals and metals are found across regions of Quebec (Government of Canada):

  • Abitibi and James Bay Region (gold, copper, zinc, diamonds)
  • Rouyn-Norando and Val-d’Or (gold, copper, silver, zinc)
  • Havre St. Pierre and Sorel-Tracy (titanium)
  • Montreal and area (metal smelting and refining, allied industries)
  • Northern Quebec (nickel, copper, cobalt, platinum group metals)
  • Saguenay Region (aluminum refining, niobium)
  • Schefferville and Fermont (iron)

#2 - In 2019, Quebec was responsible for 34.3% of Canada's gold production (NRCAN)

#3 - Mining in Quebec supports more than 48,000 jobs through direct, indirect and induced employment. (Québec Mining Association)

#4 - The number of women directly employed by mining companies in Quebec grew by 35.8% between 2014 and 2018 (Gouvernement du Québec)

#5 - The total number of Aboriginal workers directly employed by mining companies in Québec grew 77.9% between 2014 and 2018 (Gouvernement du Québec)

#6 - A network of over 3,800 suppliers helps support the development of Quebec's mineral resources, part of a supplier network that extends to all regions of Québec but is especially important in the Abitibi- Témiscamingue region (Gouvernement du Québec)

#7 - As of 2019, 30 active agreements were signed by exploration and mining companies and Indigenous communities or governments in Quebec (Gouvernement du Québec)

#8 - Quebec's mining industry generated $1.3 billion in revenues for the provincial government alone in 2018 without including corporate income tax while the Government of Canada received a further $500 million (Québec Mining Association)


Canada 2nd largest producer of niobium in the world 2019


#9 - The average annual salary in Quebec's mining industry is close to $104,000, more than 62% more than the average annual salary in the province of $64,000 (Québec Mining Association)

#10 - Over 90% of Quebec's substratum consists of Precambrian rock, a geological formation well known for its deposits of gold, iron, copper and nickel (Gouvernement du Québec)

#11 - The history of mining in Quebec goes back almost to the discovery of North America when Jacques Cartier thought he had found diamonds and gold on the slopes of Cap Diamant. However, what he had discovered was quartz and pyrite (Gouvernement du Québec)

#12 - Quebec’s first true mines didn’t open until the 1840s, when several major mineral deposits were identified, mainly in the south. Then, following the discovery of a famous gold nugget in the Beauce region by Clothilde Gilbert, entirely by chance, Quebec experienced its first gold rush and by 1847 the first alluvial gold operation had opened (Gouvernement du Québec)

#13 - A major copper and sulphur mine opened in the Eastern Townships around 1860, which was also when asbestos was first mined in Quebec (Gouvernement du Québec)

#14 - The early 1920s was when mining became established in Quebec. The growth of the mining industry made Quebec a vital source of minerals for the most highly industrialized parts of North America (Gouvernement du Québec)

#15 - One of the few niobium operations in the world is active in Quebec in Saint-Honoré in Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean (Niobec)

#16 - Since 2014, the Quebec Mining Association (QMA) and its members have been part of the Towards Sustainable Mining (TSM) initiative. The results for each mine are published annually in the TSM reports, which are always publicly accessible. Under the TSM initiative, mining companies must assess their performance based on 23 indicators in six categories (Québec Mining Association)


Canada 8th largest producer of cobalt in the world 2019


#17 - Mining companies in Quebec are governed by over 100 environmental laws and regulations, ensuring restrictions on mining activities in Quebec (Gouvernement du Québec)

#18 - Quebec's total land area is 1.7 million km², of which only 1%is currently mined, and 5% is covered by mining rights (Gouvernement du Québec)

#19 - In 2013, Quebec amended its Mining Act to clarify the regulatory framework for international investors. Provisions on processing, environmental protection and dialogue with local communities were added to the Act to ensure greater transparency. (Gouvernement du Québec)

#20 - Nearly $10 billion was spent by the mining industry in 2018 throughout Quebec (Gouvernement du Québec)

#21 - As of 2020, there are 21 active mines and 27 projects in Quebec (Gouvernement du Québec)

#22 - In 2017, Quebec was the leading jurisdiction in terms of exploration spending in all of Canada (NRCAN)

#23 - The Goldex Mine in Val-d'Or, Quebec installed electric powered ore transporting technology to save on energy, ventilation, mine design and infrastructure costs (CIM Magazine)

#24 - Renard Mine is the first diamond mine in Quebec, and one of only six in Canada. The mine is expected to produce an average of 1.6 million carats per year over an initial 14-year mine life (Stornoway)

#25 - Canadian Malartic is the largest operating gold mine in Canada and can be found 25 km west of Val-d'Or in northwestern Quebec (Canadian Malartic)

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