Quebec's new mining act up for debate

The Quebec government put forth its new mining act in the provincial national assembly, the Montreal Gazette reports.

Bill 43 requires all mining projects to pass an environmental assessment, conduct dialogue with communities, and to restore mining sites to their natural state at 100% cost to the company. Additionally, it calls for mining leases to be granted with a condition of more mineral processing happening within the province.

Mining companies would also have to publicly declare mineral tonnage extracted, royalty amounts paid, claims within 60 days and operating plans 90 days before work starts.

The provincial minister of natural resources said the mining industry and municipal governments had been consulted about where mining would not be allowed.

However, both those groups are skeptical about the new act.

The Union of Quebec Municipalities said the provincial veto on municipal land use allows it to overrule municipalities ability to ban mining projects.

The Quebec Mining Association criticized the bill because mineral processing within the province would burden firms. The requirement to restore sites to their natural state would also add to overall costs.

The government said four other Canadian provinces have the same requirement in place already.

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