Drop in mining investment in 2013

Québec, November 25, 2014 – Following nine years of growth and record investments of $5.1 billion in 2012, mining investment declined by 10.8% to $4.6 billion in 2013. Still, 2013 was the second best year in the history of mining investment in Québec. According to intentions expressed by mining companies, there should be an even larger drop in 2014, as mining companies are expecting to invest $2.9 billion, a 36.0% decline from 2013. This was revealed in the newsletter Mining by the Numbers 2013 released today by the Institut de la statistique du Québec.

Côte-Nord ($2.1 billion), Nord-du-Québec ($1.5 billion) and Abitibi-Témiscamingue ($0.8 billion), Québec’s three main mining regions, received 97.0% of total mining investment in 2013. In addition, Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean ($0.1 billion), an emerging mining region, accounted for 2.4% of total investment in Québec.

Investment in mine complex development down in 2013

Mine complex development investment remained relatively high, but was down 7.0% from 2012. In 2013, mine complex development costs totalled $4.2 billion: $1.0 billion in general rock work, $2.6 billion in capital costs (non-residential construction, machinery and equipment) and $0.6 billion in non-capital repair and maintenance expenditures. Ferrous metals and gold figured prominently in the Québec mining sector, respectively accounting for 48.2% and 35.3% of mine complex development costs.

Decline of exploration expenditures in 2013

Exploration expenditures, including deposit appraisal costs, stood at $382 million in 2013, down 38.5% compared with the previous year, and down 54.2% from record investments of $834 million registered in 2011.

Gold remained the most sought-after commodity in Québec, with precious metals representing 37.4% ($143 million) of all exploration and deposit appraisal expenditures. They were followed by base metals and ferrous metals, which respectively accounted for 15.9% ($61 million) and 11.6% ($44 million) of exploration and deposit appraisal expenditures. Rare earths generated some interest as they represented 9.9% ($38 million) of total exploration and deposit appraisal expenditures in Québec, while graphite, diamond and phosphate accounted for 9.1% ($35 million) of these expenditures.

Mining investment in 2014

According to intentions expressed by mining companies for 2014, exploration and deposit appraisal investment should remain relatively stable at $404 million. However, mine complex development expenditures should see a significant drop. They are expected to fall by 39.8%, slipping to $2.5 billion in 2014.

Data and tables are available on the ISQ website.


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